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New Cross-Border Seatbelts Campaign Launched

Ministers from Northern Ireland and the Republic Of Ireland launched the new Seatbelts campaign in Belfast on Tuesday 3rd October. The two commercials were created and produced by Lyle Bailie International Limited.

Seatbelts Campaign Seatbelts Campaign
Seatbelts Campaign Seatbelts Campaign

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WITHOUT A SEATBELT YOU COULD BECOME A KILLER

That is the startling message from DOE Road Safety Minister David Cairns and his counterpart in the Republic, Pat the Cope Gallagher.

The ministers were speaking in Belfast today at the launch of a new hard-hitting advertising campaign to drive home the message that seatbelts and child restraints save lives. The TV adverts, which are being screened across the island of Ireland, demonstrate the horrendous consequence of being involved in a collision while not safely belted in.

Launching the campaign, David Cairns said: “Most people in Northern Ireland now wear seatbelts because they know it could save their lives. In fact each time you travel in a car with someone who is not wearing a seat belt you are gambling with your life.”

Backseat passengers aged 14-29 are the group least likely to use seatbelts. In fact, one in four does not, and while almost all children under five are appropriately restrained, fewer older children are.

David Cairns added: “Some young people think seatbelts aren’t cool. Not true Seatbelts are this year’s and every year’s coolest car essential, because in a collision, seatbelts can keep you and your friends safe.

“Almost all parents use child restraints for babies and children under five. But as children get older, some parents don’t realise that booster seats and cushions are needed.


“A child who is not appropriately restrained is a child at risk. In a collision, that child could be thrown with lethal force, and could kill herself and others in the car.”

Jointly launching the new campaign Mr Pat The Cope Gallagher, T.D., Minister of State for Transport, said: “Children whose parents insist they wear seat belts as back seat passengers are more likely to continue the practice of wearing seat belts as adults thus saving lives".

"Seat belts are proven lifesavers and have been shown to reduce the severity of injuries in the event of a collision. It is essential that they are worn front and rear on every journey no matter how long or short. While surveys conducted show increasing seat belt usage, there is scope for improvement, particularly with rear seat passengers".

The Minister said that his central message was that everyone, simply making it a habit to belt up and taking the responsibility to ensure everyone else does likewise each and every time they get into a car, can prevent deaths and injuries.

Speaking at the launch Mr. Gay Byrne, Chairman, Road Safety Authority said, “Four out of every five people who die because they weren’t wearing a belt are young men. And at least a third of them are under twenty four. “All the evidence tells us that they don’t wear their belts because they want personal freedom. They get to make the choices. But at the moment those choices are killing them. And they’re killing other people too. “But at least they get to make their own decisions. What about the ones who don’t get to make their own decisions? Children. “Every day in the south, two out of every five parents put their children into the car unrestrained. Parents prepared to gamble a lifetime of grief for one hassle-free journey. That is why we are launching our ad campaign today. To save lives. To save the lives of young men. To save the lives of children.”

Assistant Chief Constable Roy Toner, who heads up the Police Service's Operational Support Department, said: "Seatbelts save lives. They can also help reduce serious injury. Fastening your seatbelt, and making sure others in your vehicle do the same, or in the case of children are safely restrained, should be the first thing you do. As far back as 2001 police moved from the position where issuing advice was the usual response to people not wearing seatbelts to a situation where issuing a fixed penalty notice became the norm. That resulted in a rise in the number of fixed penalties from around 8,500 a year to over 20,000 a year.

"We make no apology for taking a robust approach. It continues to amaze and sadden officers that some people still fail to wear their seatbelts. It is even more serious - and potentially more tragic - when it is an adult who is driving around with a child unrestrained. If everyone slowed down, did not drive after drinking, drove more carefully and always wore a seatbelt then the roads of Northern Ireland would be much safer for everyone."

Chief Superintendent John Farrelly, An Garda Síochána said "The risk of detection, as perceived by road users, is regarded as being one of the most important factors in determining the overall effectiveness of traffic law enforcement as a means of deterring illegal road user behaviour. I can assure you here today, the risk of detection is significant. Members of An Garda Síochána are making in the region of 1,500 seatbelt detections per month. Those who are detected are issued with a fixed charge notice and are liable for penalty points, which could see them off the road for 6 months."

Tim Scott, General Manager Northern Ireland of AXA Insurance, said: “As a major insurance company we are very aware of the human suffering that results from road collisions. This forceful campaign is not just a reminder to parents and young people of the awful consequences of not wearing seatbelts, it also makes it clear that the responsibility is on us, the road users, to ensure that everyone who travels in a car is properly restrained.”




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