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04 Nov 2021
50 Years of Mandatory Seatbelts Saving Lives in NSW

This week marks 50 years since NSW made history, becoming one of the first states to introduce legislation to make seatbelts mandatory.

The landmark law, introduced in 1971, has played a key role in saving lives.

In 1970, the year before it became mandatory to wear a seatbelt, 1,309 people were killed on NSW roads, the highest number ever recorded.

By 1993 it had more than halved to 581, and last year it was 284, an overall reduction of 78 percent since seatbelts were introduced.

It’s a timely reminder to wear a seatbelt at all times, especially on country roads with one in six people killed on country roads because they’re not wearing a seatbelt.

Paralympian Christie Dawes said wearing a seatbelt saved her life when she was in a car crash at the age of 10.

“It saved my life, but unfortunately I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt properly which led me to be a fulltime wheelchair user,” Ms Dawes said.

“This anniversary serves as a timely reminder for drivers and their passengers to always buckle up and buckle up properly.”

To commemorate 50 years of mandatory seatbelt wear, Transport for NSW is sharing some iconic seatbelt TV ads including the Eggmobile seatbelt safety campaign from the 1960’s, which uses eggs in toy cars to simulate how a seatbelt can decrease a wearer's chance of death or serious injury in the case of a car crash, and a 1980’s Road Safety TV ad aimed at parents to ensure their children are safe in cars.