For years New Zealand drivers have had a simple message to remember before taking to the road: buckle up.
It is accepted by most more or less automatically, but for a number of drivers, passengers and distressingly, infants in others' care, the message is ignored or neglected.
The result can be catastrophic, for individuals, families and communities. It doesn't need to be - as our series Belt Up New Zealand has made clear, many road accident deaths and injuries could have been avoided had the occupants done what the law requires of them and worn a seatbelt.
By far the majority of drivers automatically reach for their seatbelt, and so do passengers. The compliance rate for front-seat occupants is 96 per cent, and a slightly lower 90 per cent for those in rear seats.
But as the series - undertaken with the NZ Police - has illustrated, the small minority of drivers and passengers who fail to wear seatbelts and break the law in the process can run a deadly risk.
A disturbing statistic in the reports was that more than 90 New Zealanders - including babies as young as seven months and drivers aged in their 90s - were not wearing seatbelts when they died in car accidents in each of the last two years. Seatbelt-related fatalities were nearly a third of the total road toll. Besides those who died, many more unrestrained occupants were injured.
Last year alone 404 people - 170 drivers, the rest passengers - were not belted-in when they were injured in crashes.
Some got off with broken bones, cuts and concussions. But 179 casualties were left with brain damage and paralysis. The high figure reflects the fact that without a seatbelt, unrestrained bodies can hit windscreens, steering wheels and door pillars with great force - or as one crash investigator put it "like a pinball."
Behind the deaths and injuries lies a painful reality: many would have been avoided had the driver or passenger taken the trouble to click themselves in.
Crash scene research suggests that wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of injury or death in an accident by 40 per cent.
Transport studies indicate that for every life saved in a crash, or for every injury prevented, immense costs are avoided.
The social cost of a fatal accident - which includes the value of a life, loss of output, medical legal and property costs - is $4.7 million. Serious injuries cause social costs estimated at $912,000.
New Zealand has over 3 million cars and more than 500,000 light commercial vehicles in the national fleet. Ministry of Transport data shows vehicles travel over 40 billion kms a year.
It adds up to a lot of vehicles on the road a lot of the time and means that some of those vehicles will have unrestrained drivers behind the wheel. The size of the fleet means that without a change in behaviour the high cost of seatbelt crashes will persist.
In the three years prior to 2015, seatbelt fatalities were decreasing, in line with international trends and after years of safety messages aimed at influencing driver behaviour.
We have been through two bad years on the roads and the consequences have touched many families.
All it takes is two seconds to attach a buckle. It is a brief moment of time. The message needs reinforcing that it can save a lifetime of pain.