Do you need to wear a seatbelt all the time?
A long, long time ago, on a road not so far from where you are currently driving, the wearing of a seatbelt was not mandatory.
Back in those carefree days, petrol cost 52c, and a loaf of bread 21c. But times change. Petrol is $1.15 on a good day, a loaf of bread is about $2.80 and the wearing of seatbelt is the law.
The introduction of legislation for wearing seatbelts in vehicles in the mid-seventies was to save lives. Research prior and after the introduction of legislation has proven that correctly wearing a seatbelt can save your life.
Yet, into today's age, where wearing a seatbelt is or should be a habitual process for people when travelling in a vehicle, there are still too many people who aren't wearing a seatbelt and they are risking death or serious injury.
Up to 40 deaths per year (28% of all fatalities) on Queensland Roads are due to them not wearing a seatbelt; 250 plus are hospitalised with serious injury. Fatalities by failing to wear a seatbelt is considered by the Queensland Police Service as one of the fatal five.
Gladstone Police fined over 332 people last year for not wearing a seatbelt - that's nearly one a day. Already, it looks like it's going to be similar to last year. It appears that the attitude of not wearing a seatbelt has not changed for some.
If a driver or passengers who is aged over 16 is not wearing a seatbelt, they can be subject to a $353 fine and the loss of three demerit points.
A driver can also be issued the same fine for failing to ensure their passenger is wearing a seatbelt.
Adults should ensure all children are restrained correctly in approved booster seats or capsules. If children are not restrained correctly and are not utilising an approved booster seat or capsule, the driver of the vehicle is subject to the $353 and 3 demerit point penalty.
Not only should seatbelts be worn while the car is moving forward, but they need to be fitted correctly. Wearing a seatbelt under the arm is deemed to be incorrectly fitted and adjusted and the same penalty applies as if the person were not wearing the seatbelt at all.
I believe that the driver is ultimately responsible for the passengers in the vehicle -- this includes those who are 16 years old and under. Just remember to ensure everyone in your car buckles up.
But there are some seatbelt exceptions:
A driver who is engaged in door-to-door deliver or collection of goods, waste or garbage and that person is required to get in or out of the vehicle at frequent intervals does not need to wear a seatbelt.
The vehicle must not be travelling at more than 25kmh. Taxi drivers are exempt from wearing a seatbelt while they are carrying one or more passengers.