Police plea to drivers; Seatbelts Save Lives

ACT Fire & Rescue and ACT Ambulance Service attend a collision. Car roof has been removed.

ACT Policing today joined with KidSafe ACT to make a public appeal for Canberra drivers to ensure everyone in their car has buckled up as police target seatbelt offences during August.

Traffic Operations Officer In Charge Station Sergeant Susan Ball said the fact that 170 drivers were caught for seatbelt offences this year is difficult to understand.

“Seatbelts and seatbelt laws have been in Australia since the early 70’s, almost 45 years. That is two generations of Canberra drivers which have grown up knowing about this proven safety device. Also, all modern vehicles are now fitted with reminder devices to put a seatbelt on, there are simply no excuses left not to wear one.”

“It’s well known that people who don’t wear seatbelts receive injuries in a collision which are dramatically worse than those who do wear a seatbelt. If you don’t wear a seatbelt you can be flung from the vehicle or thrown around inside a vehicle and you won’t benefit from safety features like air bags.”

“No police officer, paramedic or fire fighter wants to arrive at a car crash and find drivers or passengers – especially children - that weren’t restrained.”

The plea to drivers comes as police reflect on a recent crash on the Monaro Highway in which seatbelts saved the lives of two young passengers.

About 11.30am on Sunday 17 May 2015, police and emergency services arrived at a head-on two-car collision on the Monaro Highway. There was a single female driver in one car, a silver Toyota Aurion, and a father and his two children in the second, a black Mazda CX7.

While the two drivers and two young passengers were all transported to The Canberra Hospital, none suffered life-threatening injuries. The ACT Policing Collision Investigation and Reconstruction Team determined that all occupants of both vehicles had been properly restrained with seatbelts and the appropriate child restraints.

“This was a terrifying experience for a father and his two children. Police and KidSafe ACT agree that is was the father’s decision to ensure his children were in the correct child restraints which saved their lives.”

“Whether you’re on a long trip or a short trip, a parent dropping the kids to school, a tradie going from site to site or just someone ducking down to the shops – you and everyone in your car must wear a seatbelt,” Station Sergeant Ball said.

Eric Chalmers Kidsafe CEO encouraged parents to make sure their children are properly buckled up in the best child car restraint of them. If in doubt have a free restraint check at Kidsafe at Collett Place Pearce, or visit them on www.kidsafeact.com.au

Seatbelt targeting comes after police caught 585 drivers speeding during targeting in July.