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Belt up One in four people killed in road crashes in 2020 were not wearing a seatbelt

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"

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Seatbelt (stock photo)

Seatbelt (stock photo)

Seatbelt (stock photo)

One in four people killed on our roads last year were not wearing a seatbelt, shocking new statistics reveal. 

According to the Road Safety Authority (RSA), who analysed provisional garda statistics from 2020, a quarter of all drivers and passengers killed in road traffic collisions were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

The RSA and Gardai are now urging everyone who gets into a car to wear a seat belt on every journey.

“While it won’t prevent a crash, wearing a seat belt can reduce the severity of injuries, if you are involved in a crash,” Sam Waide, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority, said.

“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.”

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,” she said.

“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.”

There were 8,770 Fixed Charge Notices issued by Gardai for seat belt offences between November 2019 and November 2020.

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