Don't forget to belt up
Police and road safety experts have urged all drivers and passengers who don’t wear seatbelts to stop gambling with their lives.
“Our message is blunt,” said Great Southern Police District Superintendent Ian Clarke.
“We had at least five people not wearing seatbelts die in road crashes last year. In almost all cases, they would have likely survived had they been wearing one.”
Supt. Clarke said higher speeds in regional areas significantly increased the impact and outcome of a crash.
“A person failing to wear a seatbelt will be thrown around in a vehicle and will either die or sustain substantially worse injuries.”
Road Safety Council Chairman Iain Cameron said it was very concerning that, almost 50 years after wearing vehicle seatbelts became mandatory in Western Australia, people were still flouting the law.
He said out of 588 people killed in motor vehicle crashes between 2014 and 2018, 135 – or 23% - were not wearing seatbelts.
And 104 of those killed not wearing seatbelts were involved in crashes in regional areas
“Western Australia was one of the first jurisdictions in the world to mandate the wearing of seatbelts in motor vehicles,” said Mr Cameron.
“Yet, nearly half a century later, people still lose their lives in road crashes because they can’t be bothered to belt up. Even a relatively low-speed impact can have devastating consequences for those in a vehicle not wearing a seatbelt.”
Mr Cameron said there were heavy penalties for drivers not wearing seatbelts
but the law also applied to passengers and children, who must be in approved restraints.
“And I remind people that it’s the driver who is responsible for ensuring his or her passengers – and children – are safely seated.”
Supt. Clarke added: “A seatbelt may give you a second chance in a road crash; don’t gamble with your life.”