Seatbelts would have saved 20 people killed last year
Motorists and their passengers have been warned to buckle up after new figures showed that 20 people who lost their lives on Irish roads last year would still be alive had they been wearing their seatbelt.
The new safety warning was issued ahead of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend when tens of thousands of people will take to the country's roads.
In 2015, one in four drivers and one in three passengers who lost their lives were not wearing their seatbelt at the time of the collision.
However, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) said two out of three people will survive a crash if they are wearing a seatbelt.
Of the nine passengers killed who were not wearing a seatbelt last year, six were sitting in the back of the car.
In a plea to motorists to drive carefully over the Bank Holiday weekend, the RSA said 17 people were killed and 47 were seriously injured in collisions during the Easter Bank Holiday period between 2009 and 2015.
Garda Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid said: "It really is incredible to believe that, even in this day and age, so many drivers and passengers are not wearing their seatbelt.
"They are proven life savers...without one, you could suffer horrendous or even fatal injuries in even a low speed collision," he said, adding seatbelts are the "most basic form of road safety".