Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) is reminding road users of the dangers of not belting up in their cars. This comes following data showing an estimated two million drivers in the UK still not wearing a seatbelt when they’re driving.
Along with colleagues at Surrey and Sussex Police’s Roads Policing Unit (RPU) and Surrey’s DriveSMART, SSRP want to reach the last 5% of drivers who do not see the benefits of seatbelts. There is a week dedicated to this, running from March 12-18, which has been implemented by TISPOL, the European Traffic Policing Network.
Although this week is still very much business as usual and enforcing this law is a daily occurrence for RPU, it does give an opportunity to raise awareness to a demographic of ignorant drivers.
The standard three-point seatbelt that we know today was first introduced in Sweden in 1959. The design by Volvo innovatively spread the energy of an impact over more parts of the body to lessen the severity. It was never patented and was subsequently offered to other manufacturers for free, so more lives could be saved. Since 1959, laws surrounding seatbelt use have been introduced into more and more countries and it is estimated that 95% of UK drivers wear theirs – but there is still work to be done.
“drivers and passengers aged 17–34 have the lowest compliance rates”
Under the Motor Vehicles (Wearing of Seatbelts) Regulation 1993, it is required that all passengers in a car wear a belt, with only a handful of exceptions. If there are passengers under 14, it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure they are wearing one. The offence is non-endorsable, as not all passengers necessarily have driving licences, but you can still get fined up to £500 if you commit an offence.
As well as RPU catching offenders during patrols (431 in Sussex in 2017), the Sussex safety camera team is also able to capture offences as part of their day-to-day work. They caught 653 last year, on top of their work for speeding and mobile phone offences, including one driver who received a £120 seatbelt fine, ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £700 in costs after maintaining his innocence all the way to court.
Chief Inspector Warren Franklin explained the reasons behind the enforcement week:
“National statistics suggest that drivers and passengers aged 17–34 have the lowest compliance rates, combined with the highest collision rates and you are twice as likely to die in a collision if you are not wearing your belt. Whatever your motivation to wear one – either to save you money from a fine, or to save your life – we are urging drivers to strap in this week and every week. You may think it’s just a short journey home, but it could be a long recovery if you are injured in a collision through not wearing a belt.
“All vehicle occupants must strap in to save lives. An unbelted passenger could become an in-car missile in a collision, ricocheting around the vehicle at 30-60 times their body weight in a 30mph crash, so do not drive off until everyone is wearing their belt.”
For more information on the law when it comes to wearing a seatbelt, click here.
There have also been changes recently to the child car seat regulations. If these affect you, make sure you know the law.
Keep up to date with all the latest news.
Follow us on:
Crawley now has even more electric charging points
In a bid to encourage more people to move away from petrol and diesel Crawley Borough Council has added more charging points in the town.
Electric and hybrid car owners in Crawley can now charge their vehicles easier than ever, thanks to new rapid charging points in the town centre.
Crawley Borough Council has installed four 22kw charging points on level two of the Town Hall multi-storey car park.
The charge points are free to use (parking charges apply) and it is hoped that they will further encourage a shift away from petrol and diesel use.
In 2017 more than 1,000 vehicles made use of the charge point at the front of the Town Hall and numbers are rapidly increasing.
Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, Councillor Geraint Thomas, said:
“More and more people are switching over to electric and hybrid vehicles in an effort to be more environmentally-friendly and bring down the cost of motoring.
“These charging points are a great addition to the town centre and I have no doubt that they will be very popular with the town’s electric vehicle users.”
For more information about Crawley’s electric car charging points www.crawley.gov.uk/electricvehicles