Police campaign warns of the dangers of not belting up

First published in News

LAST month over 1,500 people in Wales chose not to wear a seatbelt whilst travelling, according an allied police force campaign.

Gwent, South Wales, North Wales and Dyfed Powys Police carried out a two week campaign which enforced the law of wearing a seatbelt in the front and rear of a vehicle and raised awareness of the risks people take by choosing not to belt up.

But in the four force areas Gwent was the lowest in terms of adults not wearing a seatbelt, which was recorded at 78.

Two children were found to not be wearing seatbelts, but this was significantly lower than in the worst offending force area, Dyfed Powys, which had 12 children found not to be wearing a seatbelt. It also had 1027 adults who were found not to be wearing a seatbelt.

The offence of not wearing a seatbelt is said to be one of the five offences that cause the most deaths on roads. The others being careless driving, speeding, drink driving, and driving while on a mobile phone. Drivers or passengers who fail to wear seatbelts could face an on the spot fine of £100 and a maximum fine of £500 if prosecuted.

The campaign ran from March 10 to March 23.

Gwent Police roads policing superintendent Paul Evans said: "This campaign identified a significant number of motorists and passengers in Wales who continue to ignore this simple road safety law and as a result put their lives at risk.

"The action of putting on a seatbelt takes seconds, and its effectiveness should not be underestimated. Even on a short trip and at low speed a seatbelt reduces the likelihood of being seriously injured or even killed on the road, it should be part of every person’s routine before the ignition is turned on."

In the 2013 campaign 1775 people in Wales were found not to be wearing seatbelts, with 131 people guilty of not belting up in Gwent.

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