Police campaign urges motorists to ‘belt up’

Warwickshire Police
Warwickshire Police

The Safer Roads Partnership is urging drivers and passengers to belt up as part of a European-wide seatbelt enforcement campaign which takes place next week.

Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police are taking part in the campaign from September 8 - 14 to encourage motorists to use their seatbelt through a combination of awareness-raising and enforcement activity.

According to European research nearly 50% of all car occupants that die in fatal accidents in the EU could have survived if they had been wearing their seatbelt.

In the UK drivers and passengers in cars must wear a seat belt, unless they have a medical exemption certificate. Children, with few exceptions, must use an appropriate child restraint, until they are either 12 years old or 135 cm in height, at which point they must use the car’s seat belts.

It is the driver’s legal responsibility to ensure that any passenger under 14 years old is using the appropriate child restraint or an adult seat belt. Passengers 14 years old or over are legally responsible for wearing a seat belt.

Vicki Bristow, communications manager at the Safer Roads Partnership, said: “Although the vast majority of people do wear their seatbelt, there are still some who either choose not to or simply forget.

“Nationally and locally, there are collisions occurring where people haven’t worn their seatbelt and the injuries sustained could have been avoided if seatbelts were used.

“Drivers and passengers who fail to wear seatbelts in the front and back of vehicles are breaking the law and now face an increased on-the-spot fine of £100.

“If prosecuted, the maximum fine can be up to £500. It takes just a couple of seconds to put your seatbelt on, so there really isn’t any excuse not to use it and it could save your life if you’re involved in a collision.”

Superintendent Lee Davenport, head of force operations for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia, said: “Enforcing the law on seatbelt use will be the primary focus for this campaign and our officers are fully committed to supporting this issue throughout all areas of Warwickshire and West Mercia.

“Seatbelts are an effective means of reducing serious injuries and fatalities and anything we can do to increase their use has got to be a positive step.”