The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána urge drivers and passengers to always wear a seat belt on every journey. The appeal comes as an analysis by the RSA of provisional Garda statistics from 2021 shows that 27% of drivers and passengers killed in road traffic collisions were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident. Analysis of preliminary crash data from 2017 to 2020 shows that 10% of seriously injured vehicle occupants were not wearing seat belts.
Separately, results of new research into driver attitudes and behavior released in February by the RSA found that while 96% of motorists say they always use a seatbelt while driving, that figure drops to 83% when people travel in the back. car seat.
Minister of State for the Ministry of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton TD: “If you are over 17, you are legally responsible for wearing your seat belt in a vehicle. Although a seat belt will not prevent an accident, it could save your life if you are involved in a collision. That should be reason enough to wear one. No matter how long your trip, always wear a seat belt because, as we have heard too often from crash survivors, it only takes a fraction of a second for an accident to happen.
RSA CEO Sam Waide said: “Seatbelts are proven lifesavers and putting one on before starting a journey is second nature to most of us. Unfortunately, crash data and our recent attitudinal study show that some take huge risks by not wearing one. I’m concerned that only 83% of rear seat passengers tell us they always use a seat belt.
“Not being restrained in the back seat of a car means that in the event of a collision, you will be thrown around the vehicle with extremely high force, risking serious injury to yourself and others in the car.
“Failing to wear a seatbelt not only increases the likelihood of being killed or seriously injured, it is life-threatening behavior.
“I would say that not wearing a seat belt is not only dangerous but also selfish. I would ask drivers to always ensure that they and their passengers are wearing their seat belts before starting a journey.
Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, Road Policing and Community Engagement, An Garda Síochána, added: “Seat belts save lives. Sadly, emergency service personnel, including the gardaí, continue to arrive at the scene of road accidents and witness firsthand the devastating injuries sustained by drivers and passengers from not wearing no seat belt.
“Provisional data from 2021 shows that 27% of drivers and passengers killed in traffic collisions were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. Last year, Gardaí issued 7,248 fixed fee penalty notices for seat belt violations. This figure shows that a high number of people continue to take unnecessary risks on our roads, do not listen to advice or change their behavior.
“Every vehicle occupant is required by law to wear a seat belt and it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that all persons under the age of 17 wear a seat belt or have a child restraint suitable child. If a driver is detected not wearing his seat belt, he incurs a penalty of three points and a fine of €60. Passengers over the age of 17 can be fined €60 for not wearing seat belts.
“Compliance with seat belts is one of our priority application areas for 2022. Our message from An Garda Síochána is clear: seat belts save lives, please wear them.”
Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of death for drivers and front seat passengers by half and the risk of death and serious injury for rear seat occupants by a quarter.