Shocking Number Of Victorians Caught Not Wearing Seatbelts

More people are being caught for not buckling up than using their mobile phones on the roads, police say.

Victoria Police said at a parliamentary inquiry addressing road safety that new cameras introduced to catch illegal use of mobile phones had also caught many people not wearing seatbelts.

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The cameras, set up at 122 Victorian locations in the trial from March to June spotted over 5,000 people using their mobile phones.

Most surprisingly, the cameras nabbed over 7,000 people not wearing seatbelts who were later issued advisory letters.

Assistant Commissioner, Road Policing Command Glenn Weir said drivers were going to great lengths to not wear seatbelts.

“The trend we are seeing is not that people are just not wearing it, because as the car fleet matures most cars yell at you if you don’t have your seatbelt on,” he said.

“People actually go to the trouble of clicking it in behind them, or not wearing it properly fitted across the body.”

Police, Racing and Victims and Co-ordination deputy secretary Bill Kyriakopoulos said the number of people using their devices wasn’t a surprise, but the amount of people not buckling up was “very, very concerning”.

The cameras came into official implementation on July 1, and have issued motorists with fines.

Motorists not wearing seatbelts face a fine of $385 and three demerit points, while those caught using their phones face a $577 fine and four demerit points.

With the shocking number of people being seatbelt non-compliant, it is unsure if the state government will align the fines for the offences.

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