Drivers still not getting the message

By Online News - Rereātea

Drivers still aren't getting the message when it comes to wearing safety belts and putting away mobile phones, results show.

A recent national road safety initiative, Operation Habit, ran from 25 July to 7 August and focussed on getting people into the habit of putting away mobile phones and wearing a seatbelt while on the road. 

National Road Policing Manager, Superintendent Steve Greally says, “While many of the thousands of drivers stopped by Police across the country were found doing the right thing, which is fantastic, offsetting this was a significant and disappointing number of drivers still not doing the basics to keep themselves and others safe.

Putting on your seatbelt and removing the distraction of your mobile phone only takes seconds and could save yours and someone else’s life, so really should be a no-brainer."

Despite this, 2,727 people were issued notices for wearing no restraint – while another 1,162 people were ticketed for using their mobile phone while driving.

“Police considers the number of notices issued disappointing.

We’d be delighted not to have to issue any notices at all, as it would show everyone was driving safely and responsibly, and deaths and injuries on our roads would fall.

Unfortunately it shows that some people still aren’t taking seriously the real risks associated with making these potentially life-altering choices behind the wheel.

If you crash while not wearing your seatbelt, you are at far greater risk of death or serious injury – or, if you crash and kill or injure someone else because you are looking at your phone and not at the road, imagine how it would feel to have to live with that,” Mr Greally says.

From January to July this year, 50 people killed in crashes were not wearing a seatbelt.

“It takes two seconds to put on a seatbelt and that simple act can save your life.

Likewise, other good driving habits like putting mobile phones away where they cannot distract your focus from the road are really simple to get into.

“We want our roads to be a safe place for everyone, but we all need to work together to make it happen,” Greally adds.