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Partnership Urges Motorists To ‘Belt Up’

Published: 6th March 2013 23:28

Belt Up!

For most of us the legal requirement to wear seatbelts has just been something we have all grown up with. It has been the law for drivers and front seat passengers to wear their seat belts since 1983, with rear passengers under 14 being required to wear them by law since 1989 and adult rear passengers since 1991.

The Safer Roads Partnership and Warwickshire and West Mercia Police are taking part in a Europe-wide campaign from 11-17th March to encourage motorists to belt up. The vast majority of people habitually ‘belt-up' as soon as they get into a car but many people, especially those travelling in the back, admit that they sometimes don't for short journeys.

According to a recent Dept for Transport study into the use of seatbelts the broad characteristics that relate to non seat belt use are; young men, rear seat passengers, goods vehicle drivers and company car drivers. Journeys taken late at night, early in the morning or within low speed limit areas are situations where low seat belt use is typically seen.

Recent analysis has shown that nationally seat belts were found to be about 60% effective at preventing fatal injuries and about 32% effective at preventing serious injuries. If everyone in the UK wore a seat belt it is estimated that over 350 lives and 1,000 serious casualties could be saved a year. Further research reveals that three in ten motorists (30%) claim to know someone who doesn't use a seatbelt in the back of the car with one in five (19%) in the front.

The campaign will be a combination of raising awareness and enforcement and is being co-ordinated nationally by TISPOL (the European Traffic Police Network).

Vicki Bristow, Communications Manager for the Safer Roads Partnership said:
"Although most people do wear their seat belts there are still a few that either choose not to or simply forget. We're urging both drivers and passengers to ensure they wear their seat belt at all times, other than this being a legal requirement, it may just give them the added protection they need if involved in a collision. We're also encouraging parents, carers and professional childcare establishments to check the children they are carrying in their cars are travelling in the correct size car seat and that it is correctly fitted".

Superintendent Lee Davenport of Warwickshire and West Mercia Police comments:
"Enforcing the law on seat belt use will be the primary focus for this campaign and our officers are fully committed to supporting this throughout all areas in Warwickshire and West Mercia. Seat belts 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".
For more information or advice about car seats and seat belt use visit http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/http://think.direct.gov.uk/seat-belts.html

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