Hon Rob Johnson JP MLA

Hon Rob Johnson JP MLA

Former Minister for Police; Road Safety

    Seatbelts have been saving West Australians for 40 years

    26/07/2011 12:00 AM
    More than 1,100 Western Australian lives have been saved on the State’s roads since the introduction 40 years ago of seatbelt legislation.

    Police and Road Safety Minister Rob Johnson said it became compulsory in 1971 to wear a seatbelt and for all seats in motor vehicles to be fitted with seatbelts.

    Mr Johnson said in addition to the significant number of lives saved, the law to make seatbelts compulsory had prevented a further 18,500 people from being seriously injured.

    “Wearing a seatbelt is one of the easiest ways of protecting drivers and passengers when travelling in a vehicle,” he said.

    “You are 10 times more likely to be killed in a road crash if you’re not wearing a seatbelt in a car.

    “Every year, about 40 people are killed in road crashes in WA because they were not wearing a seatbelt.

    “This anniversary is a stark reminder to all drivers and passengers that they need to belt up to prevent further deaths and serious injuries on our roads.”

    The Minister said seatbelts prevented vehicle occupants from being ejected from a vehicle; spread the impact force over a greater area of the body; and minimised contact of occupants with a vehicle’s interior.

    Mr Johnson said the State Government had focused its ‘Belt-Up’ message on country residents as 68 per cent of the fatal and serious injuries caused by non-restraint use occurred in regional WA.

    New laws came into effect on October 1, 2010 which introduced new rules for the restraint of children. 

    Under these amendments, children aged between four and up to seven years are not allowed to sit in the front seat unless all other seating positions are already occupied by children under seven.
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