Limestone Coast Police to target road users not wearing seat belts

Limestone Police will carry out three-day operation to target motorists not wearing seatbelts. Photo: Web
Limestone Police will carry out three-day operation to target motorists not wearing seatbelts. Photo: Web

South East's road users who risk their lives by not wearing a seatbelt will be the target of police this weekend during Operation Belt Up.

Sadly, eight of the lives lost on South Australian roads this year have involved a person not wearing seatbelt.

In the past five years, 71 (16 per cent) of the lives lost were reported without a seatbelt

Attitudinal studies commissioned by SA Police's Media Road Safety Unit indicate that forces of habit or a lapse in judgment are not the most common reasons for failing to belt up.

Alarmingly, research gathered over a 10 year period reveals that not wearing a seatbelt is largely an active choice and a decision motivated by feelings of freedom, control and enjoyment.

Superintendent Bob Gray, Officer in Charge of SAPOL's Traffic Services Branch says it is extremely disappointing that some motorists still choose not to use the proven life-saving device.

"Vehicle occupants are 10 times more likely to be killed in a crash if they're not wearing a seatbelt," he said.

"Travelling a short distance, being close to home, time of day and light traffic conditions are amongst the reasons cited for choosing not to wear a seatbelt but none of these justify the decision to risk lives on our roads."

Operation Belt Up is a three-day statewide operation and Superintendent Gray says road users in regional areas will be as much a focus as those in metropolitan areas.

"Research shows that regional drivers are more likely to choose not to wear a seatbelt when they are transitioning from a private property to a public road," Superintendent Gray said.

"With nearly 70% of South Australian road deaths occurring in rural areas, choosing not to secure a seatbelt before leaving a rural residential property significantly increases the risk of injury and death to drivers and passengers in regional areas."

Operation Belt Up will begin at 12.01am on Saturday, August 1 and will conclude at 11.59pm on Monday, August 3.

Operation Belt Up was last held in May this year when a total of 113 detections were recorded across the state through a combination of traffic reports and cautions.

This represents a seven per cent decrease in detections from the same operation in September 2019.