Taking a few seconds to buckle up or put away mobile phone distractions appears to be a life-saving message still being missed by many during a recent national road safety operation.
Operation Habit, which ran from 25th July to 7th August, focused on getting people into the habit of putting on their seatbelt and putting their mobile phone away while driving.
“While many of the thousands of drivers stopped by Police across the country were found doing the right thing, which is fantastic, offsetting this was a significant and disappointing number of drivers still not doing the basics to keep themselves and others safe,” says National Road Policing Manager, Superintendent Steve Greally.
“Putting on your seatbelt and removing the distraction of your mobile phone only takes seconds and could save yours and someone else’s life, so really should be a no-brainer,” Mr Greally says.
Despite this, 2,727 people were issued notices for wearing no restraint – while another 1,162 people were ticketed for using their mobile phone while driving.
Police consider the number of notices issued disappointing.
“It shows that some people still aren’t taking seriously the real risks associated with making these potentially life-altering choices behind the wheel.
“If you crash while not wearing your seatbelt, you are at far greater risk of death or serious injury – or, if you crash and kill or injure someone else because you are looking at your phone and not at the road, imagine how it would feel to have to live with that,” Mr Greally says.
From January to July this year, 50 people killed in crashes were not wearing a seatbelt.
“That’s a shocking statistic but this isn’t about numbers, it’s about people. This includes the grieving families and friends left behind,” says Superintendent Greally.
“It takes two seconds to put on a seatbelt and that simple act can save your life. We want our roads to be a safe place for everyone, but we all need to work together to make it happen.”