A QUARTER of drivers and passengers killed last year were not wearing a seatbelt, according to new data.
Figures published by the Road Safety Authority today also showed that there were 8,770 fixed charge notices issued to people for flouting seat belt regulations in the 12 months between November 2019 and November 2020.
Now, the RSA and gardaí are urging people to wear their seat belts.
Sam Waide, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said: “While it won’t prevent a crash, wearing a seat belt can reduce the severity of injuries, if you are involved in a crash. In fact, wearing one reduces the risk of death among drivers and front seat passengers by half, and the risk of death and serious injuries among rear seat occupants by a quarter.”
Mr Waide added: “For most people, putting on their seat belt has become second nature, but as we can see from our analysis of the casualty statistics from 2020, there is still a percentage who don’t. These deaths could have been prevented if drivers and passengers had been wearing a seatbelt. I’m asking drivers to make sure they, and any passengers in their car, are wearing a seatbelt before starting a journey.”
He said that independent research conducted on behalf of the RSA, shows that the majority of under 35s said they would put on a seat belt if the driver asked them to do so.
Assistant Commissioner, Paula Hilman, Roads Policing and Community Engagement, An Garda Síochána said: “Seat belts save lives. Too often our Gardaí arrive at scenes of traffic collisions and witness first-hand the devastating injuries sustained by drivers and passengers because they were not wearing a seatbelt. All drivers and adult passengers in a vehicle are required by law to wear a seat belt. Drivers are responsible for ensuring any passengers under 17 years of age are appropriately restrained. As a driver, if you do not use a seatbelt, you risk a fine and three penalty points, which remain on your licence for three years. Passengers over 17 can be fined €60 for not wearing a seatbelt.”
She highlighted that gardaí issued a large number of fixed charge notices in the past year despite less traffic volumes because of Covid-19.