Belt up – and save a life
Police across Wales have vowed to crack down on motorists and passengers not wearing seatbelts as part of an All Wales Seatbelt Campaign which begins today (Monday 7th March).
Officers are warning that ‘belting up can save a life’ and they will be monitoring the roads for those ignoring the law.
The first week of the campaign will also coincide with a similar Europe-wide campaign by TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network.
Temporary Inspector Alun Davies from North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit said: “Motorists and their passengers who fail to wear their seatbelts whilst driving will be targeted during the two-week campaign.
“Failing to wear a seatbelt is still apparent on the roads of Wales, and it is disappointing to see that people are still choosing to risk their lives and the lives of others.
“It is also one of our ‘Fatal 5’ offences, of which we have a robust strategy around enforcing. Police are committed to assisting in reducing casualties on the road through the use of targeted enforcement operations around high risk groups of people and locations while enforcing the ‘Fatal 5’ offences.
“The risk of being seriously injured or killed rises dramatically if a decision is taken to commit a ‘Fatal 5’ offence and I want people to be aware of the devastating affect it can have and make a conscious decision not to take any chances.”
During the 2015 campaign 1,257 people across Wales were stopped by police for not wearing their seatbelt. There were 140 in North Wales, 360 in the South Wales Police area, 41 in Gwent and 724 in the Dyfed Powys Police area.
Both drivers and passengers can be fined £100 for not wearing a seatbelt and can be prosecuted. Any child under the age of 14 who is not wearing a seatbelt is the responsibility of the driver and the driver can be fined.
Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales said: "Wearing a seatbelt and using the correct child restraints is a fundamental part of road safety. Anyone flouting the law is taking an enormous and potentially fatal risk. Partners in Road Safety Wales continue to educate and encourage the public to adhere to the law and we fully support our Police partners in this vitally important all Wales enforcement campaign”.
Inspector Davies added: “It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that everyone being carried in the vehicle is correctly restrained so please ensure that everyone who gets into your vehicle is belted up safely. “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. “Our aim is to save lives and prevent families from having to deal with the aftermath of a collision in which someone is not wearing a seatbelt.”
- The enforcement campaign will run from Monday March 7th until Sunday March 21st.
- The law requiring all drivers to wear their seatbelts came into force on January 31st 1983.
- The Fatal 5 is a collective term that describes the five most significant contributory factors in death and serious injury collisions. These are: drink driving, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone whilst driving and dangerous driving.