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Over 1,400 stopped across Wales for not wearing a seatbelt

More than 1,400 people across Wales have been caught for not wearing their seatbelt during a two-week campaign.

Between 7th and 21st March all four Welsh police forces, led by North Wales Police, carried out their Seatbelt Campaign to raise awareness amongst drivers and passengers of the dangers of not wearing seatbelts in the event of a collision.

The results were as follows:

North Wales – 146 Dyfed Powys Police – 958 South Wales Police – 347 Gwent Police - 46

Sergeant Alun Davies from North Wales Police’s Roads Policing Unit said: “Wearing a seatbelt when driving or as a passenger can save lives, but it is disappointing that 1,497 people still chose not to buckle up and put themselves and others at risk.

“Not wearing a seatbelt is considered one of the ‘Fatal 5’ – we have a robust strategy around enforcing the ‘Fatal 5’ offences which are failing to wear a seat belt, drink and drug driving, dangerous and careless driving including unnecessary risk taking, speeding and using a mobile phone while driving

“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.

Sergeant 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.

“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.

“Seatbelts are vital to the safety of you and your passengers and we will continue to take a pro-active approach all year round to educate motorists and enforce seatbelt laws.”

“Please always wear your seatbelt – it’s not worth the risk.”

Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales said: “Putting on your seatbelt is such a simple act to carry out before your journey, especially when you’re twice as likely to die in a crash if you don’t. Road Safety Wales will continue to work with partners to educate the public that failing to wear a seatbelt can be a fatal decision even on short, familiar trips and those at low speeds.”

For further information on how to keep you and your family safe, please visit http://think.direct.gov.uk/seat-belts.html Notes: • The law requiring all drivers to wear their seatbelts came in to force over 30 years ago on 31 January 1983 • 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 • During the 2014 campaign, 1,524 motorists were caught not wearing their seatbelt. 141 of those were in the North Wales area. 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.