‘Belt up Wairarapa wide’ - Everybody-every trip-every time
“Safety belts save lives-there can be no argument”, says Bruce Pauling, Manager of Wairarapa Road Safety Council.
As part of national Road Safety Week 16 – 22 May, the council is highlighting the absolute necessity of everyone travelling on our Wairarapa roads being restrained in the appropriate manner.
‘Everybody, every trip, every time! There are no excuses for drivers or their passengers to be in a vehicle unrestrained.” Mr Pauling, who saw the tragic results of crashes time and again over 30 years of road Policing, still cannot get his head around people risking personal injury, by ignoring the quickest and easiest safety action they can take, after hopping into their cars.
“People make mistakes and crashes happen, but we know that by simply wearing a safety belt, your chance of death or serious injury reduces by over 40%, no matter where you are seated in the vehicle.
Occupants sustain horrendous injuries from impacting the inside of their vehicles with crash forces more than 20 times their weight. It doesn’t have to happen.”
2015 saw 92 deaths associated with non-restraint use in NZ. This is a tragic ‘spike’ from the previous 5 years and preventable Pauling says:
“The national front seat restraint compliance rate is around 98%, but appears to be much lower in Wairarapa after recent local surveys. Of more concern are children not properly restrained in restraints appropriate to their age and size.”
A 2013 law change means all children up to 7 yrs have to be in an approved child restraint.
“Drivers are responsible for ensuring all passengers under 15 yrs are restrained in a seatbelt or approved child restraint. The little ones are entitled to be safe and not become missiles in the event of a crash which can happen even at low speeds.”
The Road Safety Council invited Police and Wellington Free Ambulance to reinforce the safety belt messages.
Nigel Watson, Wairarapa paramedic and field operations Manager stated “A lot of injuries from crashes we attend are preventable….a simple mistake can change a life forever. We want you to see your family every night. Please drive carefully and ALWAYS wear your safety belts.”
Acting Sergeant of Wairarapa Road Policing Shayne Nolan stated “ It’s more about having fewer crash victims from no restraints being worn, than more tickets. However, we will be issuing notices for $150 per restraint breach whenever we stop a vehicle.”
For further information on child restraints contact Wairarapa Road Safety Council -and remember:
‘Belt up-Wairarapa wide……...everbody-every trip-every time’.
Friday 27th of May 2016