A total of 475 people, some 30 percent of the 1'640 who lost their lives in road accidents in cars or vans between January and October, were not wearing a seat belt. This is a basic road safety measure which reduces by half the risk of being killed in an accident.
These figures were announced by the director general of the Traffic Department, Pere Navarro, pictured,during the presentation of the awareness campaign for the use of seat belts which started on Monday and will run until November 19. The aim of the campaign is to make people aware of the importance of using this safety device.
The campaign, with the slogan “The seat belt saves lives: everyone needs to use it, always”, will be publicised in the press, radio and television, where an advert will be broadcast like the one in Austria in 2005, which had a great effect on the use of seat belts because of the images it showed. In this advert, a couple are seen driving in their car, both wearing seat belts. However, their little girl, who is sitting in the back seat, but between them and talking to them, is not wearing a seat belt. When the car crashes, the girl is thrown forward and through the windscreen. While this is happening, a voiceover says “their daughter is the centre of their lives; they would do anything for her but they have forgotten to do the most important thing; there are too many unnecessary deaths caused by not using a seat belt; the seat belt saves lives, everyone needs to use it, always”. The director general justified the choice of this advert because of “the clarity of the message”, “the impact of the images” and, mainly, because in Austria it increased the use of seat belts from 75 to 92 percent.

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