Belt up – or face a £500 fine

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Hampshire and Thames Valley Police are supporting a national seatbelt campaign.

From Monday 12 – Sunday 18 March, officers from the Joint Roads Policing Unit will stop vehicles where drivers and passengers are not wearing their seatbelt as part of their work carried out by the European traffic police network.

The law states that drivers are responsible to for ensuring that suitable safety restraints are worn by all passengers under 14 years of age. The penalty of being caught not wearing one is an on-the-spot £100 fine, or if prosecuted up to £500.

They are also highlighting seatbelt awareness and informing drivers of the risks associated with not wearing one during a week of enforcement, to encourage drivers to comply with the seatbelt legislation to save lives and prevent injuries.

Failure to wear a seatbelt has been identified as one of the four key causation factors influencing the number of fatalities in road traffic collisions. In the two force regions, 8% of all fatal casualties involved not wearing a seatbelt.

Sergeant Rob Heard from the Joint Roads Policing Unit for Hampshire and Thames Valley Police, said: “The vast majority of people are wearing their seatbelts, unfortunately we are still finding people who decide to take the risk and travel in a vehicle without wearing a seatbelt.

“You are twice as likely to die in a collision if you are not wearing a seatbelt and in the event of an accident if unrestrained, you will hit the windscreen, or the front seat in the case of a rear seat passenger at a force of 30 to 60 times your own body weight.

“Unfortunately some people are becoming complacent and feel a collision will never happen to them. People sometimes feel I am only driving locally and at a low speed so I will be ok.

“However research has shown that many collisions occur at low speed and within in few miles of home. I would always recommend to people to wear a seat belt every time you travel in a vehicle, it's just not worth the risk.

”This operation follows on from the success of the previous TISPOL seatbelt campaign ran nationally in September 2017 where 2422 penalties were issued.

During this campaign a total of 2,472 vehicles were stopped. 

  • 96% of the offences were detected in the front of the vehicle
  • 4% detected in the rear of the vehicle.
  • 82% of the offenders were male.
  • 98% of offenders were adults
  • 2% of offenders were children (not in a child booster seat/or in an incorrect one).
  • 80% of the offences were committed in cars.
  • 98% penalties were given during this operation with 2% verbal warnings.

Police will also be working with partner organisations checking child seats to make sure they are fitted and being used correctly. It has been identified that the majority of car seats across the UK are incorrectly fitted, where two in every three are not fitted properly. If in doubt get your child seats checked by an approved fitter.

Did you know? 

  • You’re twice as likely to die in a crash if you don't wear a seatbelt.
  • Drivers & passengers aged 17-34 have the lowest seatbelt-wearing rates combined with the highest accident rate.
  • There is evidence that people are less likely to use seatbelts on short or familiar journeys - this puts them at serious risk of injury in a crash.
  • The proportion of car drivers observed wearing seatbelts is approximately at 95%.

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