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A third of motorists caught without seatbelts didn't pay their fine last year

Some of the offences related to under-17s passengers.

Image: Shutterstock/thodonal88

ALMOST 10,000 IRISH drivers were fined last year for not wearing seatbelts – and a third of them didn’t pay.

Of the 9,816 notices issued for this offence last year, only 67.2% were paid within the 56-day limit. There were over 10,000 FCNs (fixed charge notices) – 10,182 – issued to motorists for themselves or their passengers not wearing seatbelts in 2015. That year, again over one-third of the offenders didn’t end up paying the fine.

As of 12 May this year, over 3,000 notices have been sent out with only 47.2% having been paid (although some may not yet have reached deadline).

The offences included both drivers and passengers under 17 not wearing seatbelts.

Independent TD Tommy Broughan was provided with the information by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

He noted that already this year 70 people had lost their lives to road traffic accidents. While that’s down from 84 at the same time last year he says the number is still “devastating”.

He said:

It’s heading in a positive direction but it’s still outrageously high. If the same number had happened with an airplane crash there would be outrage. But because these happen in smaller numbers spread out it doesn’t get as much attention.

Broughan cited stats from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) which states that one in five of the people who died on our roads in 2016 were not wearing a seatbelt.

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He said: “While it is not always possible to determine whether wearing a seatbelt could have saved a life or prevented a serious injury, it is an important preventative measure in road safety.”

The fine for not wearing a seat belt is three penalty points, with five being issued if related to a conviction. Payment ranges between €60-90 depending on latency of payment within the 56-day limit.

In February this year the RSA launched a digital road safety campaign entitled ‘Get This Season’s Killer Look’ aimed at discouraging women from wearing seat belts under their arms in an effort to avoid terrible injuries in the event of a collision.

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