Police and partners urge public to always wear a seatbelt - it could save your life
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Warwickshire Police and partners are asking the public to always wear a seatbelt as part of a national campaign starting on Monday 24 May 2021.
Officers are also asking drivers and passengers to please all make it a habit to check everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seatbelt as it could save a life.
Whilst most people wear a seatbelt every trip, during 2020, Warwickshire Police issued 237 fixed penalty notices to drivers and passengers for failing to wear a seat belt. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Shockingly, 25 drivers had children in the car not appropriately restrained. Ten children were under 3 years old.
As a driver you are responsible for ensuring that anyone under the age of 14 wears a seat belt or uses an appropriate child restraint as required by law. If you are over the age of 14 it is your responsibility to wear a seatbelt and last year (2020) in Warwickshire, 12 rear seat passengers and 16 front seat passengers received fixed penalty notices for not wearing a seatbelt.
Sergeant Bridle said “Whilst the driver is legally responsible the majority of the time, it is so important for friends and family to look out for each other too by checking each other’s seatbelts. Please make this a habit. National statistics tell us you are twice as likely to die in a collision if you are not wearing your seatbelt so you really could be saving a life.
“This is why during the campaign increased numbers of officers will be out on Warwickshire’s roads looking for drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts. We will be proactively patrolling Warwickshire’s roads over the coming weeks to both educate car occupants and enforce the legislation.“
“If you don’t always wear a seatbelt, please use this as an opportunity to change your habits for good.”
Short and familiar journeys can be the most dangerous if you choose not to wear a seatbelt because the risks you are taking are the same however long the journey. Unfortunately even at slow speeds you can be seriously injured or killed and collisions are just as likely to happen in areas you know well or near your home.
If you are a delivery driver jumping in and out of your van, it is even more important to wear your seatbelt because you spend more of your time on the roads.
Those twenty and thirty year olds going out at night are particularly at risk. Drugs and alcohol can be a factor.
Also don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by your vehicle’s safety features. Airbags are supposed to work WITH seatbelts not instead of them and can actually inflict injuries on a person not also wearing a seatbelt.
If a vehicle suddenly stops due to a collision, your body wants to continue at the same speed it was going before. A seatbelt not only reduces your risk of death or serious injury in a collision by reducing your impact with the vehicle interior, but it also keeps you positioned correctly for the maximum effectiveness of the airbag and prevents you from being ejected from your vehicle in a collision or if your vehicle rolls.
Officers are always on the lookout for people not wearing seatbelts because drivers and passengers who fail to wear seat belts in the front and back of vehicles are breaking the law and putting lives at risk.
As a driver you may get a fine of £500 and three penalty points for not wearing your seat belt. If you are carrying a child under 14 without the proper restraint you are liable for a fine of £500 and three penalty points.
For passengers 14 years old and over, it is their own responsibility to make sure that they wear a seat belt if there is one available. As a passenger you may get a fine of £500 for not wearing a seat belt and can be awarded two penalty points.
You can follow the campaign on social media using the hashtag #StandingUpForBeltingUp on @WarksPolice and @OPUWarks
Full details of the UK legal requirements for seat belts can be found at https://www.gov.uk/seat-belts-law/overview.