Despite their proven safety value, SA Police have identified that an average of 18 motorists per day do not fasten their seatbelts during a targeted operation.
Operation Belt Up 2017 began on Saturday morning, November 11 and will run until Sunday, November 19.
Failure to wear a seatbelt is one of the leading causes of death and serious injury in motor vehicle collisions, with vehicle occupants 10 times more likely to be killed in a crash if they are not properly belted up.
Sadly, so far this year, there have been at least 19 people killed in crashes while not wearing a seatbelt, the acting officer in charge of the SA Police traffic support branch, Inspector Ben Spencer said.
“That is a terrible toll for their families and the wider community,” he said.
“Operation Belt Up has been a regular part of the regional road safety campaigns over the last year while Operation Distraction has been run in the metropolitan area.
“However, this operation is being run statewide due to police concerns that the wider community needs to be reminded of the importance of not just doing up your own seatbelt, but making sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up tight.”
Preliminary data shows that in the first two days, Operation Belt Up detected 36 motorists or passengers who were not wearing their seatbelt. Those caught doing the wrong thing can be issued with an expiation notice or cautioned.
The expiation for a driver who fails to wear seatbelt properly adjusted and fastened is $355 (plus a $60 Victims of Crime Levy) and three demerit points.
A similar fine applies to passengers aged 16 or over, while the driver can be fined for not ensuring children are correctly belted up.