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Belt up in case you crash

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The fundamental reason to wear a seatbelt is to protect you in a crash.

That’s the message Police, the NZ Transport Agency, and the Automobile Association want people to understand.

“You can’t hit pause in a crash and quickly put your seatbelt on,” says Superintendent Steve Greally, National Manager of Road Policing.

“The time to do that is when you first get in the car. Seatbelts are not optional, people shouldn’t treat them like they are.

“Quite simply, they are insurance on your life. If you end up in a crash, that seatbelt is your lifesaver.

“Sadly, we know almost a third of people who die on our roads are unrestrained vehicle occupants. The tragic thing is, these deaths are preventable.

Police focus on seatbelt wearing because it’s one of the four main behaviours that contribute to death and serious injury on the road. This July, Police will have an increased focus on seatbelt wearing.

“If people buckle up because they’re scared of getting a ticket, that’s the win of a life potentially saved for us.”

NZ Transport Agency General Manager Safety, Health and Environment Greg Lazzaro says every year around 90 people die on our roads because they weren’t wearing a seatbelt in a crash.

“Every one of those deaths is a tragedy, and many of those tragedies could have been prevented if the person had buckled up. Wearing a seatbelt increases the chances of surviving a crash by around 40 per cent. The simple fact is that seatbelts save lives.”

AA spokesperson Simon Douglas says that it’s not just extreme or reckless drivers that aren’t buckling up.

“An AA Research Foundation study showed that the most common groups not wearing a seatbelt and dying included people in rural areas, people driving for work, and the elderly.

“If you know someone who doesn’t always buckle up, say something to them. A few words from a family member, friend or workmate might make the difference.

“No matter when or where you are driving, everyone needs to be wearing a seatbelt.”

Remember the take home message – buckle up, it could save your life.

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