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Buckle up your seatbelts: police

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/10/2016

Police are urging Labour Weekend road users to buckle up, citing a sharp rise in the number of people killed while not using seatbelts.

Assistant Commissioner Dave Cliff says about 60 people not wearing seatbelts are killed in crashes in a typical year. That number jumped to more than 90 in 2015.

As of October 12, the figure for this year was 71, "which is a real concern with over two months left".

Mr Cliff also pointed to a Ministry of Transport survey that showed a reduction in the national rates for wearing seatbelts.

"Sadly, the wearing of a seatbelt for some is not a habit and as a consequence far too many people are being needlessly killed and injured in crashes," he said.

To coincide with the long weekend, police are launching a "Buckle up, Buttercup" campaign.

Mr Cliff said police would have a highly visible presence on the road over the long weekend and would focus on high risk driving behaviour.

As with previous holiday weekends, speed cameras would be placed in high risk crash areas to enforce a reduced speed threshold of 4km/h.

Last year, five people died during the Labour Weekend period, which runs from 4pm on Friday to 6am on Tuesday.

The buckle up message has been backed by the AA, with spokesman Simon Douglas saying it's hard to believe people still need to be reminded.

"No one knows why we are seeing an increase in the number of people not wearing their seatbelts, but the power to turn it around is literally in everyone's own hands."

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