Over 100 drivers refuse to buckle up during seatbelt traffic operation, South Australia

Despite wearing a seatbelt being one of the first things you’re taught during driving lessons, over 100 motorists were still caught not using one during Operation Belt Up.

The state-wide traffic operation ran from 12:01am on Wednesday 27 May and ended at 11:59pm on Friday 29 May 2020. It targeted drivers and passengers who fail to wear a seatbelt.

A total of 113 people were detected for a seatbelt offence during the operation, with 52 people receiving an expiation notice.

There were 89 motorists detected for a seatbelt offence when the operation ran earlier this year in March.

Not wearing a seatbelt is one of the fatal five causes of trauma on South Australian roads.

In 2019 there were 16 lives lost while not wearing a seatbelt.

In 2020, a total of six people have lost their lives in crashes while not wearing a seatbelt. This represents 22% of the current fatalities where the restraint status is known.

A seatbelt is worn correctly if the sash part of the seatbelt sits flat on the shoulder without touching the face or neck, the lap part of the seatbelt crosses low over the hips, not the abdomen, and if the seatbelt is not twisted.

In conjunction with recent road policing efforts, South Australia Police are also currently running a media campaign which highlights how nonsensical it is to not wear a seatbelt. The “Smarten Up, Buckle Up” campaign is airing on screens across the state. All of the commercials, which were filmed locally with actors under controlled circumstances, can be viewed here.

Superintendent Bob Gray, Officer in Charge of the Traffic Services Branch, believes there is no excuse for failing to wear a seatbelt.

“When you get in a car with a parent, a guardian or driving instructor, the first thing they tell you is to buckle up,” he said.

“It should be instinct for any driver to pull that seatbelt across and make sure it’s worn correctly.

“Outside of driving lessons, police consistently publicise the fact that wearing a seatbelt is a vital part of keeping yourself and your passengers safe. There’s just no excuse for not knowing how important it is.

“Whether you’re in the backseat or in the driver’s seat, remember that you must buckle up.”

/Public Release. View in full here.