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Bank Holiday Appeal to Road Users - October 2015

Bank Holiday Appeal to Road Users - October 2015 • Almost 8,000 fixed charge notices issued in 2015 for not wearing safety belts • 20-39 age groups issued the most fixed charge notices for not wearing safety belts • One third of vehicular fatalities in 2015 were not wearing a safety belt at the time of the collision • The use of a safety belt is the most basic form of road safety

As we head into the October bank holiday weekend, An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) are sending out a very special appeal to drivers and passengers to ensure they use a safety belt at all times. A review of fixed charge notices issued for this offence so far in 2015 reveals that the 20-39 age groups are the ones that are failing most to use the most basic form of road safety – the safety belt. More than half (56%) of all fixed charge notices were issued to people aged 20-39.
In addition, concern is also being expressed over the number of fatal incidents where it has been found that the driver or passenger had not been wearing a safety belt at the time of the collision. No safety belt was worn at the time of collision for 1 in 3 of the driver or passenger road deaths so far in 2015, significantly higher than in previous years. Nearly half of these (48%) were aged 20-39.
Chief Superintendent Mark Curran, Garda National Traffic Bureau said today:-
"Of the nearly 8000 fixed charge notices that have been issued to drivers and passengers for not wearing a safety belt, we have found that our younger drivers and passengers are the ones failing to wear a safety belt the most often. Whilst we know that the vast majority of people wear a safety belt, it is startling to think in this day and age, anyone, especially the 20-39 age groups who have been exposed to huge road safety education over the past few years are choosing not to wear this simple but life saving device. Safety belts work in conjunction with every other safety feature in cars, in particular airbags, and not using a safety belt renders them all virtually useless. Please see the merit in using your safety belt at all times. It saves lives and we cannot put it anymore simply.”

Chief Superintendent Curran continued:-
"It is tragic to think that one third of drivers and passengers, who have lost their lives in road traffic collisions, were not wearing a safety belt at the time of the collision, and this figure could rise as investigations progress. We cannot say for definite, but things could have been very different in some of these collisions. Don’t let a simple mistake change your life, belt up every time.” 
Moyagh Murdock, CEO of the RSA added:-
"Seatbelts are proven lifesavers. Without a seatbelt 3 out of 4 people will be killed or seriously injured in a 50 km/h head on crash. By not wearing a seatbelt you also risk becoming a killer yourself, because in a crash you will be thrown about inside the car, injuring or possibly killing others. It only takes seconds to put a seatbelt on, when you get into the car it should be automatic that you put it on. Don’t take your life or those of the other passengers in the car for granted by not wearing a seatbelt, belt up and do your part to reduce the needless carnage on our roads.”
She added that if detected without a seatbelt, "you risk getting penalty points and are putting your driving licence at risk, and also your employment prospects.”
The offence of not wearing a seatbelt attracts 3 penalty points and a €60 fine. Any driver who accumulates 12 penalty points in three year period will be disqualified from driving for six month. Since 1st August 2014 all new first time Learner Permit (who then become Novice driver licence holders) are subject to a lower points threshold of 7 penalty points after which they face a six month disqualification.
Notes to Editor

Chief Superintendent Curran is available from 3.30pm until 4.30pm today (20/10/2015) to facilitate media interviews. Please email pressoffice@garda.ie to arrange same.
As of the 20th October there have been 126 road deaths, 25 fewer than this date in 2014.
13 of the 55 driver road deaths to date were in the 21-25 age groups.
10 of the 22 passenger road deaths to date were in the 16-20 age groups.
There have been 8693 fixed charge notices for safety belt offences issued to date in 2015.
October bank holiday 2010-2014
Year Fatal collisions Fatalities Serious Injuries DUI Detections
2010               4             5         10                    254
2011               3             3         13                    179
2012               1             1          8                     163
2013               1             1          2                     144
2014               1             1          5                     117
2014 October bank holiday enforcement figures
Offence type   Fixed Charge Notices
Mobile Phone         212
SEAT BELT            103
Speed                  3218