FOR most people in 2019, buckling up when they get in the car is an automatic response. Decades of education and enforcement means most reach for the seatbelt the moment their backside hits the seat ... but not for all.
The latest figures from the Office of State Revenue show that after several years of fairly stagnant seatbelt offences on local roads, the 2018-19 financial year actually recorded a 200 per cent hike in offences.
That's triple the number issued in 2017-18, and that's just for the first 10 months of the 2018-19 financial year.
Between July 2018 and July April 2019, officers attached to Chifley Highway Patrol issued 323 fines for seatbelt offences.
The penalties include drivers not wearing their seatbelts and passengers - including children - not buckling up.
How silly or careless can people be?
While there's no condoning any driving infringement, sometimes motorists speed without meaning to, or quickly peak at a vibrating mobile phone to see who's contacting them. These can be acts of impulsive human nature, but failing to buckle your seatbelt is sheer stupidity.
It is about self-preservation for drivers and caring for the welfare of loved ones, passengers, work colleagues or anyone else taking a drive with them.
There is simply no earthly reason why a driver or passengers shouldn't buckle up ... so why don't they get it?
The police and road safety organisations have been running campaigns urging drivers and passengers to buckle up - not for years, but for decades.
Everybody should know the rules.
Among the offenders were drivers caught while driving children aged from under six months to 16 years old who were not wearing seatbelts.
That is not just deserving of a fine ... it is downright criminal. Surely, we should do everything we can to protect the young.
Police and road safety organisations cannot comprehend why people would choose not to wear seatbelts when they save lives and point out that not wearing them is a significant factor in Western NSW's high fatality and serious injury rates in crashes.
It is not rocket science. There is that simple "click every trip" message. It should be followed every time someone is travelling in a vehicle.
The few seconds spent buckling up could save people from harm or even death.
No excuses, just do it.