Police scorn seatbelt shirking in Dubbo

Not good enough: Western Region Traffic Tactician Inspector Peter McMenamin is disheartened by the behaviour of local motorists. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
Not good enough: Western Region Traffic Tactician Inspector Peter McMenamin is disheartened by the behaviour of local motorists. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Police are concerned about seatbelt compliance in Dubbo after 26 people were caught during a one-day operation on Wednesday.

Across NSW during Operation Compliance 3, a total of 376 people were caught not wearing their seatbelt properly, meaning Dubbo made up almost seven per cent of the state’s offences.

Police were also targeting mobile phone use while driving and vehicle compliance, including tyre condition, malfunction lights and any mechanical issues that could make a car unsafe.

Five people in the city were caught using their mobile, while nine infringements for vehicles were issued.

Western Region Traffic Tactician Inspector Peter McMenamin said it was “disheartening” people were still choosing to break basic road rules.

“The Western Region has always had a higher number of seatbelt compliance infringements than the metropolitan areas but Dubbo was definitely the worst in the western region yesterday [Wednesday],” he said.

Inspector McMenamin said it was hard to comprehend why people would ignore such a simple, but potentially life-saving task.

“Seatbelts save lives, yet people still choose not to wear them” he said.

“Unfortunately in the Western Region, not wearing a seatbelt is also a significant factor towards our high fatality and serious injury rates in crashes.”

Inspector McMenamin said mobile phone offences were more common in metropolitan areas, with a total of 1277 offences across NSW, but said five people being detected was still too many.

When it came to vehicle defects, a total of 546 infringements were issued across the state, and again Inspector McMenamin emphasised the importance of complying with road rules.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith of the state's Traffic & Highway Patrol Command said Wednesday’s operation should serve as a warning for all drivers of the risks on our roads. 

“Using a phone while driving, not wearing a seatbelt, or driving a defective car not only puts a driver at risk, it puts their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians at risk of death or serious injury,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Smith said.

"It is disappointing to see so many people disobeying these simple road rules. Hopefully all 2199 people learned a valuable lesson yesterday; a lesson that could stop someone from being seriously injured or killed in the future.”