Police 'at a loss' to explain dip in seatbelt use

  • 12/01/2017
Seatbelt (Getty)
In 2016, the seatbelt wearing rate for drivers and adult front seat passengers was 96.5 percent (Getty)

Police say they are putting extra focus on ensuring seatbelts are used after a hike in the numbers killed on New Zealand roads while not wearing restraints.

Deaths involving people who weren't buckled up has nearly doubled in the past two years, a statistic Assistant Commissioner Dave Cliff describes as unacceptable.

"Almost a third of people who die on our roads are unrestrained vehicle occupants and these are all deaths which are entirely preventable," he said.

"We are at a loss to understand why there has been such a massive increase in people not wearing their seatbelts."

In 2016, the seatbelt wearing rate for drivers and adult front seat passengers was 96.5 percent.

This is a drop from the 97.1 percent observed in 2014 and is the first time there has been a reduction in wearing rate since 1996.

Assistant Commissioner Cliff said it was also a concern that the number of females killed in crashes while not wearing a seatbelt had increased substantially in the last five years.

"All this can be prevented by taking two seconds to put on your seatbelt - it's that easy."

He said a seatbelt reduced the risk of death risk by 50 percent for those in the front seats and by 75 percent for back seat passengers.

NZN

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