It may have been the done thing in decades gone by to not wear a seatbelt, but with increasing numbers of vehicles on the road and more distractions than ever, the number of people still opting not to strap themselves in is quite astonishing.
One in four people killed on Queensland roads in the past five years weren’t wearing a seatbelt, according to shocking new data.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads released new figures on the use of seat belts in Queensland and found that motorists are more likely to be killed or hospitalised if they are not wearing their seatbelt in the event of a crash.
The statistics also found during the period of January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2017, more than 65,000 seat belt infringements were recorded, at an average of more than 13,000 a year. The current penalty for not wearing a seat belt is three demerit points and a fine of $391.
Transport and Main Roads Minster Mark Bailey said the figures were shocking, adding the message had to get out to motorists that wearing a seatbelt was essential.
“It almost beggars belief that, decades after the seat belt safety message was first promoted far and wide around Australia, people still fail or forget to make the simple, life-saving choice to buckle up,” he said.
The statistics also found that five per cent of motorists still aren’t wearing a seat belt, and eight per cent drive on public roads without wearing a seatbelt on at least 10 per cent of trips.
He added, in the event of a crash, wearing your seatbelt reduces your risk of fatal or serious injury by 50 per cent. “The message has reached most of us with about 92 per cent of Queensland drivers wearing seat belts, but it’s the remaining eight per cent who are putting themselves at significant risk.
“While the problem is Queensland wide, it is more prevalent in regional Queensland, especially in Mt Isa, South West, Far North, Townsville, Capricornia and Mackay Police Districts.”
The transport department said more than two-thirds of unrestrained casualties were aged 39 or younger. Males were more likely to not wear a seatbelt, with 67 per cent flouting safety rules compared to 33 per cent of women, and the driver was also more likely to not be wearing a seat belt (58 per cent) compared to 42 per cent of passengers.