The number of deaths involving drivers and passengers not wearing a seat belt on Victoria roads is at its highest since 2012.

Latest data has revealed nearly 30 percent of all road fatalities in 2019 were the result of people not wearing a seat belt and so far this year not wearing a seat belt has been a factor in 11 of the 99 road fatalities recorded.

The alarming rise has prompted the Transport Accident Commission to announce the return of a compelling 1992 seatbelt TV ad that implores Victorians to buckle-up.

The ad, dubbed “Bend your knees, Katie”, depicts a collision and emotional aftermath as a young woman learns to walk again following a crash.

The move to revive the campaign coincides with the 50th anniversary year of seat belts becoming mandatory in Victoria – the first jurisdiction in the world to do so.

“It is staggering that 50 years since seat belts were made mandatory in Victoria, we are still seeing far too many people die our roads by failing to buckle up,” said  Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC, Jaala Pulford.

“This campaign is a powerful and emotional reminder of the devastating consequences of failing to do something as simple as taking a few seconds to belt up before you hit the road.”

The TAC’s latest Road Safety Monitor survey into driver behaviour indicates that potentially 170,000 Victorian drivers do not always wear a seat belt when they get in the car.

The four-week campaign also includes new outdoor, digital, print and social media content, headlined with the message, “Seat belts. What’s stopping you?”