Wairarapa Road Safety manager Bruce Pauling said drivers caught should be embarrassed. PHOTO/ELI HILL

‘Belt up … every trip … every time’

ELI HILL
eli.hill@age.co.nz

Police handed out fines to 113 people not wearing seatbelts in Wairarapa over a five-day period.

The seatbelt campaign was made up of a combination of mobile patrols and spotter check points right across Wairarapa from November 19-24.

Wairarapa Road Safety Council manager Bruce Pauling said the 113 infringements for seatbelt offences were a damning indictment on the attitude of drivers.

“Drivers caught should take these results as embarrassing. Who doesn’t know that seatbelts save lives?

“The week’s weather closed in for the worse, which made the operation challenging, and kept traffic flows to a minimum in some areas. One wonders what the numbers would have been if the weather had been good.”

He said that police would stop and fine people until they decided to do the right thing.

“Whether locals think they won’t be stopped by police, or it’s just a short trip, or just plain laziness, the reply is always the same.

“’Belt up everybody, every trip, every time.”

The campaign involved officers from Wairarapa and the greater Wellington road policing team.

Wellington Road Policing Senior Sergeant Simon De Witt said the seatbelt issue had been highlighted in September when 18 drivers were stopped in Masterton for not wearing seatbelts in just over an hour.

“Poor restraint compliance has been a focus across the country as over a third of those who died in fatal vehicle collisions last year were not wearing their seatbelt.”

While police also dished out infringement notices for other offences including out-of-date car registrations and warrant of fitness’, the numbers had not been collated.