50 years of mandatory seatbelts saving lives in NSW
This week marks 50 years since NSW made history, becoming one of the first states to introduce legislation to make seatbelts mandatory.
Minister for Transport and Roads Rob Stokes said the landmark law, introduced in 1971, had played a key role in saving lives.
“In 1970, the year before it became mandatory to wear a seatbelt, 1,309 people were killed on NSW roads, the highest number ever recorded,” Mr Stokes said.
“By 1993 it had more than halved to 581, and last year it was 284, an overall reduction of 78 per cent since seatbelts were introduced.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said it was a timely reminder to wear a seatbelt at all times, especially on country roads.
“One in six people are killed on country roads because they’re not wearing a seatbelt, so every time you get in the car, even if you’re only travelling a short distance or on a familiar road, make sure you’re wearing one,” Mr Toole said.
Paralympian Christie Dawes said wearing a seatbelt saved her life when she was in a car crash at the age of 10.
“It saved my life, but unfortunately I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt properly which led me to be a full-time wheelchair user,” Ms Dawes said.
“This anniversary serves as a timely reminder for drivers and their passengers to always buckle up and buckle up properly.”
To commemorate 50 years of mandatory seatbelt wear, Transport for NSW is sharing some iconic seatbelt TV ads including the Eggmobile seatbelt safety campaign from the 1960’s, which uses eggs in toy cars to simulate how a seatbelt can decrease a wearer's chance of death or serious injury in the case of a car crash, and a 1980’s Road Safety TV ad aimed at parents to ensure their children are safe in cars.