Our Say: Ignoring the simplest measure to stay safe

It is hard to imagine why, in 2017, anyone would travel in a motor vehicle without buckling up their seatbelt.

But on 339 occasions in the year up to June 30, people travelling in the Orana region did exactly that.

How silly or careless can a person be?

It has nothing to do with avoiding being caught. Nor does it have anything to do with the money they had to shell out.

Those 339 offences generated fines to the perpetrators of $110,000.

It is about self-preservation for drivers and caring for the welfare of loved ones, passengers, work colleagues or anyone else taking a drive with them.

Why don’t they get it?

The police and road safety organisations have been running campaigns urging drivers and passengers to buckle up – not for years, but for decades. Everybody should know the rules.

Yet among the offenders were 36 drivers caught while driving children aged from under six months to 16 years old who were not wearing seatbelts. That is not just deserving of a fine … it is downright criminal. Surely, we should do everything we can to protect the young.

Seven seatbelt offences were committed while driving a vehicle with between one and more than four passengers. While the number of offences was small, it is alarming anyone would put up to a car load of passengers at risk of serious injury or worse if there was an accident.

Police also caught 23 learner drivers or provisional licence holders for seatbelt offences.

The lack of safety concern was further demonstrated in a one-day, statewide police operation last week.

Police caught 26 people in Dubbo for seatbelt offences – around seven per cent of the day’s total for the offence. Dubbo doesn’t account for seven per cent of NSW’s population.

Police and road safety organisations cannot comprehend why people would choose not to wear seatbelts when they save lives and point out that not wearing them is a significant factor in Western NSW’s high fatality and serious injury rates in crashes.

It is not rocket science.

There is that simple “click clack, front and back” message.

It should be followed every time someone is travelling in a vehicle.

The few seconds spent buckling up could save people from harm or even death.

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