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Eighth death from not wearing a seatbelt - Waikato

Title: Eighth death through not wearing a seatbelt recorded in the Waikato

The fatal five factors of road safety, keep them in mind and you'll be driving and surviving, ignore them and you take a gamble with not only your own life but those of other road users as well.

That's the message from Waikato Police contemplating the eighth death of a person thrown from a vehicle while not wearing a seatbelt on the District's roads this year.

Waikato Road Policing Manager, Inspector Leo Tooman, said the factors, known as the 'fatal five' are speed, alcohol, restraints, dangerous driving and high-risk drivers.

"Yesterday the body of a 35-year-old Coroglen man was found lying near the wreckage of crashed silver Toyota Hi-lux utility off SH25 near the intersection with the 309 Rd.

"The man wasn't wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from his vehicle as it rolled. This avoidable death is particularly disappointing given the high profile we've been assigned the issue of car restraints in the media in the Waikato over recent weeks."

Mr Tooman said the driver gave himself little chance of survival when he breached two other categories in the fatal five.

"The utility failed to negotiate a sign-posted left hand 45km/h corner and the driver is known to have been drinking having left the Whitianga Hotel at about 1.30am.

"Not only has this driver paid the ultimate price himself but he has put the lives of other road users seriously at risk which is unacceptable."

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Mr Tooman said if drivers watched their speed, laid off drinking, belted themselves in and exercised caution and patience they stood a good chance of surviving on the roads.

Crash investigators trying to establish the time of the crash are appealing for sightings of the silver Hi-lux as it travelled south from Whitianga on SH25 towards Kaimarama.

Anyone who recalls seeing the vehicle is asked to contact the Whitianaga Police on 07 8664000.

"Given the number of fatalities in our District attributed to people not wearing their seat belts the public can expect a zero tolerance from Police for anyone found unrestrained," said Mr Tooman.

ENDS

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