A European campaign begins today (11 March 2013) which aims to ensure that people who are in vehicles are belting up and wearing their seat belts.
Police officers in Cumbria are supporting this annual campaign and will proactively seeking those who are putting their lives in danger by not wearing a seatbelt.
The campaign begins on Monday 11th March and will run until the 17th March. The aim will be to educate people about the importance of wearing a seat belt and ensuring that the correct child seats are used to make children as safe as possible.
During the campaign in 2012, there were 170 fixed penalty tickets issued, which carried a £60 fine and 29 vehicle occupants were verbally warned. Other offences were also detected, including eleven drivers using a mobile phone, thirteen drivers speeding, one vehicle seized for having no insurance and three drivers arrested on suspicion of drink driving.
Police officers will be going into schools throughout the week to highlight the importance of wearing a seat belt to the children. The aim in speaking to children is to highlight how not wearing a seat belt or by not wearing it correctly can put people’s lives in danger.
PC Lee Hill, who was the lead for Cumbria Constabulary on this campaign, said “It is important that we highlight the importance of wearing a seat belt, no matter what the age, recent statistics show that in a serious accident you are twice as likely to survive if you are wearing a seatbelt. However, a number of children are not being restrained correctly when in a car.
“By educating children at a young age about the importance of wearing a seat belt, we hope that it will become second nature just to automatically put it on when in a vehicle and this will continue throughout their life. Also we hope that adults will take notice and be responsible by wearing a seat belt, no matter if they are in the front or back of a vehicle.
“We will also be checking on child car seats, which can be expensive but it is a small cost to give a child the most protection when in a car. We will be handing out leaflets to people to provide more information on the correct child seat to use.
“We will be focusing on educating drivers, but those who drivers and passengers who fail to wear seatbelts in the front and back of vehicles are breaking the law and face on-the-spot fines of £60. If prosecuted, the maximum fine is £500.
“One thing that came out of last year’s campaign was the fact that many people were stopped for failing to wear seatbelts correctly and were tucking the chest strap under their arm. This is not using the seat belt as it was intended and will not protect them in the event of an accident. People will be stopped if they are seen wearing the belt in this way and appropriate action will be taken.”
For more information about wearing a seat belt, please visit the Government website at the link below: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Roadsafetyadvice/DG_4022064