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Wear your seatbelt or face a fine
8:50am Saturday 7th September 2013 in Local
MOTORISTS and passengers are being urged to stay safe and use their seatbelts every time they travel in a car as part of a European-wide enforcement campaign or face a fine of up to £500.
The Safer Roads Partnership, Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police are taking part in the campaign from September 9 to 15 to encourage motorists to belt up, through a combination of awareness-raising and enforcement activity.
According to a Department for Transport study into the use of seatbelts, journeys taken late at night, early in the morning or within low speed limit areas are other occasions where low seatbelt use is typically found.
It is the law for the driver and all passengers in the vehicle to wear their seatbelt and national research has shown that seatbelts are around 60 per cent effective at preventing fatal injuries and 32 per cent effective at preventing serious injuries.
If everyone in the UK wore a seatbelt, it is estimated that over 350 lives and 1,000 serious casualties could be saved every year.
Once a passenger reaches the age of 14 – the responsibility for wearing their seatbelt is their own and not the driver’s.
Anna Higgins, Communications Manager at the Safer Roads Partnership, said “Although many 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 is £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 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.”
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