Overweight woman says seatbelt laws 'racist to the fat people'

An Auckland woman filmed driving without a seatbelt says she wasn't wearing it because she is too overweight to fit one.

A video filmed by her sister and posted to Facebook shows the woman in her car complaining about the small seatbelt size - saying that a police fine would be discriminatory.

"I can't fit it, so what's the point in wearing it if I can't fit it. If they're going to give me a fine for not fitting my seatbelt, that's just being racist, to the fat people," she says.

"They're just being racist, like what do they think the whole world is skinny or something? What about the big people?

"I could actually sue, like what if I crash, and something happens to me because the seatbelt couldn't go around me."

Her companions find the conversation hilarious, but wrong.

"No one told you to go and eat like that," one says.

Senior Sergeant Jan Craig, acting road policing manager in Wellington, told Newshub that wearing a seatbelt is important.

"Not wearing a seatbelt is now a contributing factor to fatal injuries on a similar level to speed and alcohol. That is unacceptable. It only takes a couple of seconds to buckle up which could potentially save your life in a crash, so why are people choosing not to do it?" she says.

"The latest study that looked at the injury risk reduction effects of seatbelts found the that front seat occupants have 60 percent reduction in the risk of sustaining a fatal or serious injury if they crash while wearing their seatbelt, and for rear seat passengers a 44 percent reduction in risk."

The video began circulating on Facebook in February and was also picked up by The Daily Mail, but the woman who filmed it told Fairfax it was first uploaded in June 2016.