Taken from the Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS) newsletter.

Paramedics have urged Territorians to buckle up and be sensible after the latest figures reveal they are the most likely in the country to drive drunk and not wear a seatbelt.

The Productivity Commission report found 8.5 per cent of respondents indicated they had not worn a seat belt while driving in the previous six months of being asked. The figure has increased by 1.2 per cent from 7.3 per cent in the financial year 2017-2018.

In the Northern Territory, 41 per cent of fatalities are related to a driver and or passenger not following a simple law requiring them to wear a seatbelt. The Territory has the highest road deaths per 100,000 people in the country with on average 22.9 deaths, compared to the national average of 6.2 per 100,000.

St John Ambulance chief executive Judith Barker said there was a toll on first responders in dealing with a car crashes.  “The last thing our paramedics want is to respond to a vehicle crash and to find they can do nothing to help,” she said. “Too often on Territory roads we see the effects of people not driving to conditions, not wearing seatbelts or drink driving. We appeal to all Territorians to take care on the roads as we would prefer not to be faced with such tragic circumstances.”

Drink driving also appears to be on the rise, with 12.4 per cent of respondents in 2018-2019 indicating they had driven while possibly drunk in the six months prior to being surveyed. In 2017-2018, 11 per cent of Territorians indicated they had driven while over the blood alcohol limit. The figure is the highest percentage in the past five years of data and one and a half times the national average of 8 per cent. It’s the highest figure in the country, with the lowest being 6 per cent in Queensland.

In the NT, alcohol is a factor in about 45 per cent of fatalities and 20 per cent of serious crash injuries.

Read the Full Article here.