Sussex Safer Roads Partnership are taking part in the national NPCC seatbelt campaign to raise awareness of the importance of keeping drivers and passengers safe and secure on every journey.
In the past five years, the proportion of car occupants killed who were not wearing a seat belt has remained consistently above 20%. Belts are least likely to worn by people driving short distances on familiar roads, despite statistics that demonstrate collisions are most likely to occur close to home.
Sergeant Richard Hornsey, of the SSRP Casualty Reduction Team, said: “Seatbelts are designed to work as an important life-saving and injury prevention measure within vehicles. The risk of being killed or seriously injured is significantly increased if you are involved in a collision and are not wearing a seatbelt. It has been a legal requirement since 1983 for drivers to wear a seatbelt. For adult passengers in the rear of vehicles, this has been the case since 1991 so there is no excuse. If you are travelling in a car or a van, you must wear a seatbelt unless you hold an exemption certificate; it is also the responsibility of the driver to ensure that any children travelling in the vehicle are using the correct safety restraints for their age and size. If found not wearing a seatbelt, individuals could face a fine of £100. If taken to court, this could be increased up to £500.
It is particularly relevant now, as we continue to see more drivers on our roads, that we make wearing a seatbelt part of our start up procedure before heading out on the roads. We encourage all road users to think about their behaviour and how it could affect themselves and others. This includes the ‘fatal five’ offences – speeding, drink and drug-driving, mobile phone use, not wearing a seatbelt and careless driving. These are the most common causes of serious injury and fatal collisions on our roads. Remember, no matter how long or short your journey, a seatbelt could save your life.”
To find out more about the campaign and keep up with the work of the SSRP team here