03 Aug 2010
MEDIA RELEASE: 3 August 2010
The Transport Accident Commission will mark 40 years since Victoria became the first jurisdiction in the world to make it mandatory to wear a seatbelt, by renewing calls for people to wear a seatbelt every time they get in the car.
TAC Minister Tim Holding launched a month-long TAC campaign commemorating the landmark decision.
"Victoria has led the world on road safety measures and the introduction of mandatory seatbelt wearing has undoubtedly saved thousands of lives on Victorian roads over the past 40 years," Mr Holding said.
"The campaign is a reminder that 40 years of seatbelts has saved thousands of lives and that if you don't belt up you will suffer the pain.
"A quarter of car drivers and passengers killed each year in Victoria are not wearing seatbelts so people need to remember to wear a seatbelt every time they get in the car."
Wearing a seatbelt became mandatory in 1970 after a community and media campaign amid concerns over the high road toll of the time.
Mr Holding said the legislation was followed by an immediate reduction in the road toll, from 1,061 in 1970 to 923 in 1971- a drop of 13 per cent.
"Victoria's decision was followed by the other Australian states within two years and has since been emulated around the world," he said.
"International research shows that seatbelts reduce the risk of a crash or serious injury by up to 50 per cent."
The TAC has rejuvenated effective TAC campaigns which have been used over the past 18 years.
The television, print, radio and online campaign will run throughout August and will include a new advertisement aimed at young children and a viral advertisement targeted at young drivers.
"The powerful messages of these graphic advertisements still apply today. Many people will recall the words 'hold on Katie, bend your knee' from the first advertisement, created in 1992," Mr Holding said.
"A new generation will see these advertisements and we will be reminded of the consequences of not wearing a seatbelt."
Victoria's road toll at midnight on Monday 2 August is 194 - 20 more than at the same time last year.