By Cronan Scanlon
DONEGAL’S top traffic Garda has described as a huge concern the fact that the non-wearing of seat belts was a factor in more than half the deaths on the county’s roads this year.
Traffic Inspector for Donegal, Michael Harrison, confirmed to the Donegal News yesterday that the failure to belt-up was a contributing factor in four of the seven fatal crashes on our roads in 2012.
“The number of people killed or injured in collisions in Donegal because they were not wearing a seat belt is a major cause for concern,” Inspector Harrison said.
A clearly frustrated Inspector Harrison pointed out that seat belt wearing has been legally compulsory for both motorists and passengers since 1993.
“I find it both shocking and worrying that, in this day and age, people are getting into cars and driving off without putting on their seat belts. And it’s drivers, not passengers, who are the main culprits.
This is basic stuff were talking about here,” Insp Harrison said.
He added that, clearly, people are putting their lives at risk and that they will not be saved by airbags or other hi-tech devices.
“If people want to stay alive and avoid getting serious injuries, they will have to wear a seat belt, it’s as simple as that.
It is the first thing one should do when they get into a car, whether they are a driver or passenger. People assume that an airbag will save them in a collision.
However, the truth is quite the opposite. If an airbag is activated and you do not have your seat belt on, you will be killed or left with serious head injuries,” he warned.
“I would appeal to both drivers and passengers to please put on your seat belts once you get into a car,” Insp Harrison concluded.