ROAD policing crews from Cleveland and Durham Police will be actively targeting any motorists not wearing a seatbelt as part of a week-long casualty reduction campaign.
The initiative, which starts on Monday, March 14 will see officers paying particular attention to vehicles where drivers or passengers are not wearing their seatbelts as part of their normal patrols.
As well as being required by law to ensure they are belted in themselves, drivers are responsible for ensuring that suitable safety restraints are worn by all passengers under 14 years old.
Inspector Wendy TINKLER, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “If you travel in a vehicle and fail to wear a seatbelt you are putting yourself and potentially others at a hugely increased risk of serious injury or death.
“Our aim is to educate motorists and passengers to be as safe as they possibly can.
“All too often our road policing officers have to deal with crashes where the simple act of wearing a seatbelt could have saved a life. This campaign reinforces our ongoing efforts to remind drivers they must belt up at the start of every journey.”
Several hundred drivers each year are caught by police in the two force areas having failed to put their safety belt on.
Ron Hogg, Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I fully support this campaign, as there is simply no excuse for not using a seatbelt. Motorists should be responsible and ensure the safety of themselves and their passengers, to prevent unnecessary and potentially fatal accidents."
Cleveland PCC Barry Coppinger said; “Seatbelts are imperative when it comes to road safety. As one of the ‘fatal four’ factors which kill or seriously injure people on roads up and down the country, this campaign will again raise awareness so that we can do all that we can to prevent more unnecessary and tragic deaths.”
In addition to this being a priority for the road policing unit over the coming week, there is also a dedicated team from the RPU working specifically on the campaign, using unmarked as well as marked vehicles.
Throughout Cleveland and Durham over the past two years (01/01/14 to 31/12/2015) there have been 1,200 fixed penalty notices issued to drivers not wearing a seatbelt. A further 129 were issued to passengers aged 14 and over, and 99 to drivers who failed to ensure their passengers under the age of 14 were buckled up.
- Failing to wear a seatbelt now carries a penalty of £100, should motorists be given an on-the-spot fine. Prosecution can lead to a maximum fine of up to £500.
In reported road traffic accidents across the UK for the year ending September 2015:
- road deaths increased by 3% compared with the year ending September 2014, to 1,780
- there were 23,700 killed or seriously injured (KSI) casualties, a 3% decrease compared with the previous year
- there were 188,830 reported road casualties of all severities, 3% lower than the year ending September 2014
- motor traffic levels rose by 2.2% compared with the 12 month period ending September 2014.
Posted on Friday 11th March 2016