Police urge motorists to 'belt up'


As the national seat belt enforcement campaign gets underway, police are reminding motorists of the importance of 'belting up.'

The campaign, which will run until March 24, urges motorists to use their seat belts and child restraints correctly, and aims to crack down on offenders who continue to break the law.

Seat belt use is a significant contributory factor in road collisions and the resulting injuries.

In the UK it is a legal requirement for drivers and passengers to wear a seat belt, unless they have an exemption.

It is the driver's legal responsibility to ensure that any passenger under 14-years-old is using the appropriate child restraint or an adult seat belt.

West Mercia Police is one of the many forces taking part in the national campaign, which is being run across the UK and co-ordinated by the National Police Chiefs' Council.

Over the past 2 years in West Mercia, 9 people have been killed and 14 seriously injured in collisions where a seat belt has not been worn.

Throughout the campaign, officers will be out and about in local communities taking part in a mixture of enforcement and educational initiatives.

Superintendent Melanie Crowther for West Mercia Police comments: "Supporting this national campaign with local activities and increased enforcement is an important way of raising the issue and highlighting the dangers of not wearing a seat belt.

"National studies have shown that drivers and passengers aged 17-34 have the lowest seat belt-wearing rates, combined with the highest collision rate, which is of great concern to us.

"Apart from the obvious consequences if you are involved in a collision and not wearing a seat belt correctly, drivers and passengers who fail to wear seatbelts in the front and back of vehicles are breaking the law and face an on-the-spot fine of £100.

"If prosecuted, the maximum fine can be up to £500 so we're urging all motorists to take our advice and 'belt up'."

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