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Author Topic: BELT UP OR BE BELTED WITH A FINE  (Read 40 times)
« on: March 02, 2009, 10:05:47 am »

New Zealand Police National News Release
9:55am 2 March 2009

02 March 2009

Belt up or be belted with a fine is the message from Waikato Police this month as they work to reverse a trend that has seen eight avoidable deaths on Hamilton streets over the past three years.

Operation Strapped Up sees Highway Patrol staff combining with their city Strategic Traffic Unit colleagues focusing on seatbelt compliance in and around Hamilton.

Waikato Road Policing Manager, Inspector Leo Tooman, said often, something as simple as making your belt click could mean the difference between life and death.

"In 2006 20 people died in the Waikato in circumstances where if they were wearing a seatbelt they may have survived, three of those deaths were in the city. In 2007 the figure was 15 deaths in the Waikato and five within the city.

"Last year in the same circumstances there were five deaths in the District, while none occurred in the City eight people suffered serious injury and only last month a man died near Taupiri when he was thrown out of his rolling 4x4 not wearing a seatbelt."

Mr Tooman said a major driver of the campaign was results from the Ministry of Transport's Driver Perception Survey which showed Waikato seatbelt compliance was below the national average.

"The results showed only 35 per cent of Waikato respondents believe they are likely to be caught not wearing a seatbelt when driving while a dismal 13 per cent believe they are likely to be caught not belted in while travelling as a back seat passenger.

"Our campaign is designed to compliment the Police National Restraint Week that kicks off next Sunday but locally we're also working towards our own goal of a crash free Black Friday."

Mr Tooman said research showed the worst day for road crashes in Hamilton is Friday with the mid afternoon to early evening the most at risk period.

"So again, drivers can expect to encounter a highly visible Police presence on Hamilton streets as our staff work to reduce levels of road trauma in our District."

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