It’s an almost unbelievable statistic in 2018: one in four people killed in vehicles on Queensland roads aren’t wearing seatbelts.
A closer look at the statistics shows regional Queenslanders are more likely to be killed or hospitalised from not wearing their seatbelt in a crash.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the figures were shocking.
“It almost beggars belief that, decades after the seatbelt safety message was first promoted far and wide around Australia, people still fail or forget to make the simple, life-saving choice to buckle up,” Mr Bailey said.
“In the event of a crash, wearing your seatbelt reduces your risk of fatal or serious injury by 50 per cent.
“The message has reached most of us with about 92 percent of Queensland drivers wearing seatbelts, but it’s the remaining eight per cent who are putting themselves at significant risk.
“While the problem is Queensland wide, it is more prevalent in regional Queensland, especially in Mt Isa, South West, Far North, Townsville, Capricornia and Mackay Police Districts.”
Finding the right way to see the seatbelt message sink in is the principal aim of a Townsville forum being held as part of Queensland Road Safety Week.
The ‘Seatbelts: How do we make it click?’ forum will bring together community leaders, road safety experts and other stakeholders to generate ideas for practical solutions to encourage more people to buckle up, more often.
Mr Bailey said forgetfulness, low awareness of the risks and deliberate risk taking were some of the reasons cited in research commissioned by Transport and Main Roads for why people didn’t click with seatbelts.
“Recent research has shown many people choose not to wear it except when travelling at high speeds on the highway or over long distances,” Mr Bailey said.
“We hope the Townsville forum can generate some practical ideas to reach that last portion of the population to change their seatbelt behaviour every time they are in a vehicle, no matter how short the distance.”
Queensland Road Safety Week which runs from Monday 27 August to Friday 31 August.
Seatbelt stats and facts:
Survey of 3090 Queensland Drivers (March 2018):
- 8% drive on a public road without wearing a seatbelt on at least 10% of trips
- 5% do not wear a seatbelt on most or all trips
- Twice as many males do not wear a seatbelt, compared to females (as a driver)
- Incidence is highest for 25-39 year olds, followed by 18-24 year olds
- About one in four people killed in vehicles on Queensland roads still aren’t wearing seatbelts* (where restraint use was known).
In the past 5 years 2013-2017, more than half of the unrestrained serious casualties on Queensland roads were aged 29 or younger.
- 10% were aged under 16
- 43% were aged 17-29
More than two-thirds of unrestrained serious casualties were aged 39 or younger.
Unrestrained serious casualties were more often male (67% male compared to 33% female), and usually the driver (58% were drivers compared to 42% passengers).
During the five year period 2013 – 2017, there were more than 65,000 seatbelt infringements at an average of over 13,000 per year.
Drivers account for more than half (52%) of the total. Note that infringements for unrestrained passengers aged under 16 years are issued to the driver. Just over one in four infringements were issued to other passengers (aged 16 years and older).
The current penalty for not wearing a seatbelt is three demerit points and a fine of $391 applicable to the driver and passengers aged 16 years or older. The driver is responsible for ensuring all passengers are wearing a seatbelt or are in an approved child restraint. Non-compliance can result in the driver being fined for each unrestrained passenger.
Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey