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Staffs Police supporting national seatbelt campaign

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When you get into a vehicle you never know when an accident might happen. If you sometimes don't wear a seatbelt for routine journeys, or for any reason, you are exposing yourself to the risk that you may be involved in an accident, and the consequences can be far worse.

That's why Staffordshire Police, along with other forces across the UK, are supporting the national seat belt enforcement campaign, which runs for two weeks until 24 March.

The latest published figures from the Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2017 Annual Report show that of the 787 vehicle occupants who died in 2017, 212 were not wearing seat belts. This represents a seven per cent rise on 2016 figures and indicates that non-seat belt use is increasing. In Staffordshire we had 34 fatal collisions in the last 12 months and some of them may have been prevented if a seatbelt was worn.

In Staffordshire our officers have been focusing on this offence in the last week, dedicating two days of our Road Crime Team's general patrol to catch those travelling unsafely. Across those two days officers found 13 people not travelling with a seatbelt, along with five of those also seeing their vehicles seized for either no insurance or driving licence offences. Fortunately none of these included any children, but the consequences are severe if you're involved in a collision no matter how old you are.

In a crash at 30mph, if you are unrestrained, your body will hit anything in front of you, including another passenger or driver, with a force of between 30 and 60 times your own body weight.

It's dangerous not to wear your seatbelt and it's also illegal.

If caught not wearing a seatbelt you will be given a £100 fixed penalty notice but could be fined up to £500. The driver is also responsible for anyone under 14 not wearing a seatbelt, and liable for the £100 penalty for each unrestrained child.

PC Michael Rushton, from our Road Crime Team, said: "All too often officers are attending collisions where the simple act of wearing a seatbelt or using and securing the correct child restraint could of avoided injury or even saved someone's life.

"Reducing injury and death on our roads is one of our priorities and the key thing to remember is that seatbelts do save lives.

"The aim of this campaign is ultimately to keep people safe, especially on Staffordshire's roads. It's also to engage with road users to raise awareness of the need for seatbelts and appropriate child restraint."

For more information go to http://www.brake.org.uk/facts-resources/1631-seat-belt-reminders

15 Mar 2019 14:30:24 GMT
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