Police warn: buckle up or pay the price

ACT Policing is warning the community to buckle-up their seatbelts or risk hefty fines, loss of demerit points and the increased risk of serious injury or fatality.

During March, ACT Policing is targeting seatbelt infringements as part of its ongoing traffic enforcement campaign to increase road safety in the ACT. 

Traffic Operations Sergeant Craig McPherson believes while most Canberrans are buckling up, some are still not getting the message. 

“Seatbelts are a proven safety feature and there’s no excuse for not wearing one. You greatly reduce the chances of being killed or seriously injured in a collision if you’re wearing a seat belt and that belt is properly adjusted,” Sergeant McPherson said.

“If you don’t wear a seatbelt while driving, you are not only risking your personal safety, you also risk a hefty fine of $353 and the loss of three demerit points. As the driver of the vehicle, you are also responsible for your passengers wearing belts.”

Of the 430 seatbelt traffic infringement notices issued during 2013, 372 were for drivers and 58 were for passengers and 10 of those passengers were under the age of 16.

“Drivers need to know that it is an offence to permit passengers of any age to travel in your car without seatbelts. Importantly, children travelling in vehicles need to be safely belted into a child restraint that is suitable for their height and age, and is correctly fitted and adjusted.”

More information, including a guide to appropriate child restraints for different weights and age ranges, is available from Territory and Municipal Services at tams.act.gov.au. For more information about the different types of child restraining devices visit the Kidsafe website at kidsafeact.com.au. For further information about the safe driving, visit the ACT Policing website at police.act.gov.au