Seatbelt plea to Shropshire drivers ahead of police crackdown
Drivers in the region are being urged to wear a seatbelt every time they travel, as a European-wide enforcement campaign gets under way.
Over the past two years, 12 people have been killed and 25 seriously injury in collisions in the West Mercia region because of a seat belt not being worn.
Now police bosses are pleading with the region's drivers to buckle up before they drive, ahead of an enforcement campaign that begins today and runs through to March 18.
While the majority of people habitually belt up every time they get into a car, many people, especially those travelling in the back of vehicles, admit that they sometimes don’t for short journeys.
Nationally, drivers and passengers aged between 17 and 34 have the lowest seatbelt wearing rates combined with the highest collision rate.
West Mercia Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans has warned of the dangers and consequences of not wearing a seatbelt.
He said: “Sadly, I have seen the aftermath of far too many collisions where people have been killed as a result of not wearing a seatbelt and where serious injuries could’ve been avoided.
"Although the vast majority of people do wear their seatbelt, there are still some who either choose not to or simply forget.
What are the penalties?
"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.
"It takes just a couple of seconds to put your seatbelt on and many vehicles now have Seatbelt Reminder devices, so there really isn’t any excuse.
"Making sure children are restrained in correctly-fitted car seats is just as vital."
In the UK it is a legal requirement for drivers and passengers to wear a seatbelt, 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 seatbelt.
Research shows that people of 14 and older sitting in the rear seats were only found to be wearing a seat belt on 70 per cent of occasions.