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Warning to wear seatbelts after Northland woman falls from vehicle and dies

Author
Avneesh Vincent,
Publish Date
Sun, 22 Oct 2023, 3:40PM
Emergency services responded to a fatal three-way car crash which claimed the life of an elderly woman on State Highway One, south of Whangārei, on Saturday. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Emergency services responded to a fatal three-way car crash which claimed the life of an elderly woman on State Highway One, south of Whangārei, on Saturday. Photo / Michael Cunningham

Warning to wear seatbelts after Northland woman falls from vehicle and dies

Author
Avneesh Vincent,
Publish Date
Sun, 22 Oct 2023, 3:40PM

Motorists are being urged once again to wear their seatbelts after a woman fell out of a moving vehicle and died on Onekura Rd in Waipapa, Northland, on Saturday.

Police serious crash analyst Jeff Cramp said the woman, believed to be in her 30s, succumbed to her injuries after police were alerted of the crash at 3.35 am.

Cramp said initial investigations revealed that the woman was not wearing her seatbelt when she fell out from the front passenger seat of the moving vehicle.

“Wearing a seatbelt saves lives. Even if you are a passenger, as in this case, had the occupant worn one, she wouldn’t have fallen out of the car when the door came open,” Cramp said.

 “Unfortunately for some people, seatbelts are the last thing they think of putting on when it should be the other way around. It gives you a higher chance of survival if you do make a mistake while driving.”

Earlier this year, Northland Road police manager Anne-Marie Fitchett said that as of this July, police had hit a record high of issuing 376 seatbelt infringements.

Fitchett said that people didn’t seem to understand that the traffic rules were in place to avoid such fatalities.

The current fatality is the second one over the weekend, following the death of an elderly woman in a three-car crash at the intersection of State Highway 1 and Shoemaker Road on Friday around 1.50pm.

The woman in her 70s was believed to be a Bream Bay local who succumbed to her critical injuries just after the crash.

Cramp said driving on New Zealand roads was a privilege and that the public needed to respect and follow the traffic rules around driving.

“Almost 90 per cent of fatal and serious crashes are a result of someone breaking or not following those rules. The rules are there for a reason,” he said.

Avneesh Vincent is the crime and emergency services reporter at the Advocate. He was previously at the Gisborne Herald as the arts and environment reporter and is passionate about covering stories that can make a difference. He joined NZME in July 2023.

 

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