Buckle up on your way to the beach this Auckland Anniversary Weekend

Monday, 23 January 2017 - 10:22am
Waitemata
With beaches in Waitemata District being a popular destination for all during the summer months and Auckland Anniversary Day ahead, Waitemata Police will be continuing to focus on common routes to the beaches and those who chose not to buckle up.

Historically, traffic congestion and crashes associated with speed, alcohol and risky driving behaviours linked to impatience have commonly featured over the summer months.

Inspector Trevor Beggs, Waitemata Road Policing Manager, says 100 deaths in 2016 associated with people not wearing seatbelts, and 92 the previous year, is very disappointing.

“We’re so much more aware these days of how a seatbelt can prevent serious injury or death in a crash – so why are we not using them?” Inspector Beggs says.

Front seat occupants have a 60 percent reduction in the risk of sustaining a fatal or serious injury if they crash while wearing their seatbelt, and rear seat passengers have a 44 percent reduction.

“We had an incident recently where one of our officers pulled over a vehicle which had 13 occupants in the car, made up of five adults and eight children. There were two adults sitting in the front. They were the only occupants wearing seatbelts. I don’t even want to think what the outcome would have been if they had been involved in a crash.

“No one gets into a vehicle expecting to crash. But we know people make mistakes, so why would you not take all steps possible to prevent harm coming to yourself and passengers in your vehicle? It takes two seconds to buckle up, and it could save your life in a crash.” Inspector Beggs says.

Auckland Transport who are supporting the campaign by reminding people to “buckle up buttercup” through radio advertising and giveaways, wants the increase in deaths associated with non-restraint use to stop: “From 2012 to 2016 there has been 61 unrestrained vehicle deaths. That is far too many,” says Walking, Cycling and Safety Manager Kathryn King.

“Putting on your seatbelt, and ensuring all of those in your vehicle do too, is a simple thing you can do to keep yourself and those you love safe,” she says.

“Drivers make mistakes, a seatbelt could be the difference between surviving that mistake and not, so buckle up buttercup!”

AA spokesman Barney Irvine says recent signs that seatbelt non-compliance is on the rise are alarming: “We thought the issue of seatbelt use was largely done and dusted, but recent data suggests we’ve got a way to go yet,” he says.

“Buckling up is one of the simplest things drivers can do to keep themselves and their families safe, and we strongly support this effort to get the message out there.”

ENDS

Issued by the Police Media Centre

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