$110,000 paid for seatbelt offences

BUCKLE UP: Western Region Traffic Tactician Inspector Peter McMenamin  … “not wearing a seatbelt is also a significant factor towards our high fatality and serious injury rates in crashes”.

BUCKLE UP: Western Region Traffic Tactician Inspector Peter McMenamin … “not wearing a seatbelt is also a significant factor towards our high fatality and serious injury rates in crashes”.

Seatbelts save lives but motorists continue to flout the law in the Orana region, paying out more than $110,000 in fines last financial year.

On more than 300 occasions up to June 30, 2017, police detected people not buckling up in the local area, Office of State Revenue (OSR) statistics show.

Thirty-six of the 339 offences were committed while driving with children aged under 6 months to 16 years old, flying in the face of the “click clack, front and back” message.

The total fines collected for seatbelt offences was down by more than a fifth on the $140,996 fines levied in 2015-2016 but road safety advocates were dismayed the law was still being disobeyed.

NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said it was always pleasing to see seatbelt offences were falling, but that anyone was getting in the car and not putting on their seatbelt was concerning.

“After decades of education, we hope the first thing people do is put their seatbelts on,” he said.

If people are not doing this, clearly they will get caught. - NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury

Wearing a seatbelt was one action, along with not speeding, not drink-driving and not drug-driving that motorists needed to do to stay alive on the road, he said.

Seatbelts have been compulsory in NSW since 1971.

Mr Khoury said he did not think there would be anyone who did not know they should belt up when getting into a car.

“If people are not doing this, clearly they will get caught,” he said.

“Police are out there in force.

“We support the work they’re doing.”

Education campaigns and appeals from police have been frequent over the years.

Mr Khoury said people knew the rules.

“It’s really important people take responsibility not only for themselves, but also others in the car, especially when there’s children in the car,” he said.

There were a total of seven seatbelt offences committed while driving from one to more than four passengers, the OSR data shows.

Twenty-three of the 339 seatbelt offences committed in the past year were with learners or provisional licence holders driving.

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