Drivers fail to belt up as police issue tickets

IPSWICH police are shocked at the number of seatbelt offences detected in the first weeks of the holiday road safety campaign.

Since the blitz officially began on December 12, police have issued 920 traffic infringement notices for offences committed on roads across the Ipswich police district, which stretches from Boonah, north to Toogoolawah, west to Marburg and Rosewood and east to Goodna.

Inspector Keith McDonald said while there had already been a wide variety of offences committed, the most disturbing was the number of people not wearing seatbelts. As of Christmas Eve, 42 fines had been issued for the offence.

"How many years now has it been an offence to not wear a seatbelt, yet in the first 12 days of the campaign we have seen 42 tickets," Insp McDonald said.

What is also of concern to us is that 23 tickets have been issued for people using mobile phones while driving.

The State Government has added driver distraction to the Fatal Four, to make it the Fatal Five.

Speeding, another of the Fatal Five, has been prominent so far during the campaign, with 545 offences detected so far - not including those picked up by speed cameras.

From 2700 random breath tests conducted so far, 22 drink drivers have been caught, including one person who allegedly blew 0.21% after being pulled over at Booval on Sunday.

Police have also issued 109 tickets for offences including unregistered, unlicensed or disqualified driving.

Although 26 people have been injured as a result of traffic crashes on Ipswich roads since the campaign began, there has so far been only one fatality - the death of a man, 31, at Redbank Plains on December 14.

Topics:  driver distraction, fatal five, holiday road safety, seat belts



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