In the last five years, more than 300 people who died in New Zealand crashes were not wearing their seatbelt.
Most of those deaths were in 2016.
The Herald, partnered with the New Zealand Police, has launched Belt Up - a four-day series about seatbelt safety aiming to raise awareness and improve safety for all Kiwis on our roads.
Police say many of the 93 people who died in crashes last year while not properly restrained, could have survived had they been wearing a seatbelt.
Today we find out who they were.
Our message is simple.
Seatbelts save lives - Belt Up New Zealand.
The government has vowed to do what it can to bring down the number of seatbelt deaths on New Zealand roads - but will not consider demerit points as an incentive for driver to make sure they and their passengers are belted in.
Currently in New Zealand the penalty for not wearing a seatbelt is $150 for drivers and all passengers over 15.
Any driver found with passengers under 15 who are not restrained is also eligible for the fine.
However that is where the consequences stop.
A road safety expert told the Herald that issuing demerits for seatbelt non-compliance would have a bigger impact than a fine alone.
The expert, who did not want to be named, said most people "could not believe" seatbelts were not included on the list of demerit offences.
"So many people can afford a fine, so it doesn't worry them if they get caught," he said.
"But they can't afford to lose their licence so if there were demerit points attached, that would be a good starting point to getting people to wear seatbelts."
Most states in Australia hand down demerit points for failing to wear a seatbelt.
But there is no plan to introduce a similar system here.
The expert said it was appalling that a driver could get demerit points for not having a current registration, not wearing a helmet, failing to display an L plate or driving without a licence plate - but seatbelts were not on the list.
"It beggars belief, really," he said.
"It's a life-saving thing and I'm absolutely dumbfounded by the fact it's not there (no the list of demerit offences."
Demerit points are set by the Ministry of Transport and cover a number of driving offences including speeding, breaching licence conditions, and breaking the road rules - for example failing to stop or give way.
A full list of demerit offences can be found here:
Read more: Demerit offences
If you accumulate 100 or more demerit points in any two-year period, your licence can be suspended for three months.
While they were designed to penalise drivers for unsafe behaviour on the roads, seatbelts are not included.
In 2016, 93 people died in crashes where they were either not restrained or not properly restrained.
They could have survived if they had been wearing a seatbelt correctly, or in an appropriate child restraint.
Associate Transport Minister Tim Macindoe said he was "deeply concerned" by the death rate, which has almost doubled in the last two years, but had no intention of introducing demerits.
"Generally, demerit points are issued to drivers for driving offences," he said.
"Not wearing a seatbelt is not considered to be a driving offence."
Macindoe said any change to the penalty for an infringement - whether these are fees or demerit points - requires a legislative change that is agreed to by the Government.
"The government is not currently considering introducing demerit points for seatbelt offences," he said.
"The government already has a number of initiatives underway or in train to target seatbelt use, including advertising, enforcement and vehicle requirements.
"Police data indicates that there has been a general improvement in seatbelt use over time, and seatbelt offences are declining.
"Recent statistics indicate 96.5 percent of adults in front seats and 92 percent of adults in rear seats are regularly wearing seatbelts."
Macindoe said New Zealand would not follow Australia's lead with demerits unless it was deemed locally beneficial.
"There are differences in the level of penalties for not wearing a seatbelt, including fine levels internationally, and within jurisdictions -for example across Australia," he said.
"When offences and penalties are set - and during any review process - the Ministry looks at penalty levels and approaches in overseas jurisdiction including relevant research.
"However, the benefits to society of different types of intervention, including penalty levels, may vary from country to country."
Macindoe said figures showed that between January and June this year, at least 31 unrestrained occupants were fatally injured in car crashes.
"The AA, Ministry of Transport, New Zealand Transport Agency, ACC and police are collaborating on a research project to analyse the increased levels of fatal and serious injuries among unrestrained vehicle occupants," he said.
"This research will give us a deeper understanding of which segments of NZ's population do not wear a seatbelt, giving us the information needed to better understand why.
"This will help us to target our policies, enforcement, and campaigns more constructively."
Earlier this year the Ministry of Transport also started a wider review of offences and penalties for land transport.
Macindoe said the Offences and Penalties Review was part of the Ministry's wider regulatory stewardship role.
"As part of the Ministry's regulatory programme, they work across the transport sector to consider whether the regulatory system is fit-for-purpose.
"This includes periodically reviewing transport legislation and subordinate regulation - including offences and penalty regimes."
• Safety belts save lives.
• They support you if you're in a crash or when a vehicle stops suddenly.
• The force on safety belts can be as much as 20 times your weight - this is how hard you'd hit the inside of your vehicle without restraint.
• Wearing a safety belt reduces your chance of death or serious injury in a crash by 40 per cent.
• Whether you sit in the front or the back seat, the risk of serious or fatal injury is virtually the same.
• NZ law requires drivers and passengers in cars and other motor vehicles to wear seat belts and child restraints.
• In the past five years, more than 300 people who died in NZ crashes were not wearing their seatbelt.
• Police say many of these people would still be alive today if they were safely wearing their seat belt.
(Source NZTA, MOT, NZ Police)