1 in 4 Vehicle Occupants Killed
Did Not Buckle Up
13 MAR - Over a quarter of drivers and passengers killed in road traffic collisions were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, show provisional Garda statistics for 2020, published by Ireland's Road Safety Authority.
In nominal figures this is 22 car occupants without a seat belt of a total of 85 killed in 2020, or 26%. The statistics come against the backdrop of ROADPOL Operation Seat Belt carried out across Europe last week (8-14 March), results of which are further to be published.
“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 due to them not wearing a seat belt. 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 seat belt, 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 seat belt”, Assistant Commissioner, Paula Hilman, Roads Policing and Community Engagement at An Garda Síochána, informed.
According to Officer Hilman despite the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on traffic volumes, between November 2019 and November 2020, An Garda Síochána issued 8,770 Fixed Charge Notices for seat belt offences. “Seat belt compliance will be one of the priority lifesaver enforcement areas for 2021. Our message from An Garda Síochána is clear – Seat belts save lives.”, Hilman reiterated.
The most recent observational study, conducted by the RSA, shows that while seat belt wearing rates overall are high, 94% for drivers and front seat passengers, only 89% of rear seat passengers wear a seat belt.