• Community RoadSafe Mildura’s Tressna Martin.

TOO many people are choosing not to belt up when they get in the car, according to Community RoadSafe Mildura’s Tressna Martin.

She says that while roads may be quieter during COVID-19 restrictions, drivers and passengers must not forget their safety on the roads.

“We don’t want people taking risks,’’ Tressna said.

“In 2019, 31 people who died on Victorian roads were not wearing seatbelt. This is 31 too many. Most of the drivers that were killed were men, who were over 30.

“The trend is unfortunately continuing, and in 2020 there have been 11 drivers that have died while not wearing a seatbelt. Again, most of those that have died have been men, and all that have died were the driver. Every single one of these deaths has happened on a regional road.’’

Tressna said seatbelts reduced the level of injuries a person might experience in a road crash, as most injuries to drivers and passengers were caused by contact with the steering wheel, dashboard, windscreen or the sides and roof of a vehicle.

“All drivers and passengers must wear a seatbelt or appropriate restraint (including children, elderly and pregnant women). Drivers must ensure all passengers are properly restrained. Seatbelts must be securely fastened and properly adjusted and there must be only one person for each seating position and seatbelt.’’

Seatbelts have been compulsory in Victorian cars since 1970 but in recent years nearly 20 per cent of fatalities on Australian roads involved no seat belt being worn.