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JAFA - Just Another Fastened Aucklander?

LTSA online
The Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA) says all Kiwis should try to be more like Aucklanders – at least in terms of wearing our safety belts.

The LTSA's latest national survey of front seat safety belt use by adults showed that 99 percent of drivers and front seat passengers in Auckland City were buckled up – an eight percent increase from last year's survey and one of the highest wearing rates ever recorded.

Front seat safety belt use rose to 92 percent on a national basis, up from 90 percent in 2000 and continuing a steady rise since 1995, when the national wearing rate was 86 percent.

Director of Land Transport Safety David Wright said it was encouraging to see more and more people buckling up, and he challenged the rest of the country to match the results in Auckland.

"This survey shows there is at least one area where the rest of us would do well to emulate Aucklanders. If we had 99 percent wearing rates nation-wide, at least 35 fewer lives would be lost in crashes each year," he said.

Mr Wright also reminded drivers of the need to look out for their back seat passengers and young children.

"It's great that over 90 percent of adults are buckling up in the front seat, but our surveys show that only 76 percent are wearing safety belts in the back, and more than 20 percent of children aren't properly secured in child restraints.

"There is still a lot of room for improvement. People need to make sure that everyone in the vehicle is safely restrained."

Police National Road Safety Manager Superintendent Steve Fitzgerald said the survey results would be used to help target enforcement activity.

“Motorists needed to take responsibility for their own actions – or inaction.

“We are tired of scraping up the mess left by those who flout the law and ignore good advice. We have given plenty of warnings and now have a zero tolerance attitude towards motorists who don’t buckle up,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

Vehicle occupants face a fine of $150 each if caught not wearing a safety belt, and drivers failing to properly restrain children face an additional $150 fine per child.

This year's national survey of safety belt use by adults in the front seat was carried out in March and early April at 114 sites around the country. More than 43,500 drivers and passengers were surveyed.

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