Thousands of young and professional West Australian netballers have been recruited to help promote the importance of wearing seatbelts while driving, as part of the State Government's Belt Up campaign.
Visiting the State Netball Centre in Jolimont today, Deputy Premier and Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey and Treasurer Mike Nahan said more than 1,000 community netball teams across WA would join the campaign with the delivery of 6,000 Belt Up-branded netballs.
Netball WA will also name Round 6 of the Smarter than Smoking West Australian Netball League the Belt Up Round, in support of the road safety campaign.
"This partnership between Netball WA and the Insurance Commission of Western Australia is helping save lives and reduce injuries on our roads by promoting the importance of wearing seatbelts among the State's young netballers, who will help spread the word," Dr Nahan said.
"The Belt Up campaign is particularly important in regional WA because country motorists are sadly overrepresented in road fatalities and serious injuries where they were not wearing a seatbelt.
"From July 1 this year, WA's motor vehicle injury insurance will also be expanded to ensure that everyone catastrophically injured in a road crash from that time receives treatment, care and support for the rest of their lives, with vehicle registrations increasing by up to $99."
Mrs Harvey said seatbelts saved lives by protecting motorists from being flung from a vehicle in the event of a crash.
"Yet incredibly, last year alone, 31 of the 119 motor vehicle occupants killed on WA roads weren't wearing a seatbelt," she said.
"In 2014, 36 of the 115 motor vehicle occupants killed weren't properly restrained, including 25 regional WA drivers.
"In those two years, 67 lives in WA may have been saved if people had worn a seatbelt. The issue of not wearing seatbelts is of particular concern in regional WA and this partnership will continue to reinforce the message that this is a senseless and dangerous decision to make."
In 2016, 1,000 netball teams will receive 6,000 Belt Up netballs to help spread the word
Rugby WA and WA country football also take part in the Belt Up campaign
Deputy Premier and Road Safety Minister's office - 6552 5900
Treasurer's office - 6552 5700