Chifley police: 328 fines for seatbelt offences in just 11 months

BELT UP: Officers attached to Chifley Highway Patrol wrote 328 fines for seatbelt infringements in the first 11 months of the 2019-20 financial year.
BELT UP: Officers attached to Chifley Highway Patrol wrote 328 fines for seatbelt infringements in the first 11 months of the 2019-20 financial year.

Motorists in the Chifley Police District, which includes Cowra, remain on track for an unwanted record - the region's highest number of fines for seatbelt offences in a single financial year.

In the 11 months to May, Chifley Highway Patrol officers had written an average of one fine a day for drivers and passengers failing to wear a seatbelt as the message to "click, clack, front and back" continued to fall on deaf ears.

And even though the number of fines written in March, April and May fell slightly as coronavirus shutdowns greatly reduced the number of car trips in the region, the 11-month total of 328 fines remained in striking distance of the annual record of 360 fines.

Those fines have boosted the state's coffers by $112,832, with figures for the final month of the 2019-20 financial year not yet recorded on the NSW Office of State Revenue website.

In April, as many Bathurst residents worked from home, school students learned remotely and even Easter holiday road trips were banned by the state government to slow the spread of the virus, Chifley police wrote just 16 fines for seatbelt infringements - the lowest monthly total in two years.

But, worryingly, officers in May issued six infringements to drivers who had unrestrained children aged between six months and four years in the car with them.

Another driver in May was fined for not adequately restraining a baby aged under six months who was in the car with them.

Over the same 11-month period, officers attached to Canobolas Highway Patrol wrote just 31 fines for seatbelt offences, worth a total of $10,664 to the state's coffers, while officers from Orana Highway Patrol wrote 294 fines for seatbelt offences ($101,136).

Fine times, 2019-20

  • July: 9 fines .............. $3096
  • August: 38 ............. $13,072
  • September: 26 ......... $8944
  • October: 31 ............ $10,664
  • November: 40 ....... $13,760
  • December: 46 ........ $15,824
  • January: 34 ............ $11,696
  • February: 35 .......... $12,040
  • March: 26 ................. $8944
  • April: 16 .................... $5504
  • May: 27 ..................... $9288
  • Total: 328 ............. $112,832

Source: revenue.nsw.gov.au

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