Seatbelt On? It could save your life.
Today marks the start of Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership’s autumn Seatbelt On? campaign in Gloucestershire.
The partnership will be out in force on the county’s roads over the next week, driving home the message that motorists need to belt up.
As well as the normal enforcement activity that takes place around Gloucestershire each and every day, the Gloucestershire Police force operations team are conducting high profile stop checks in a different part of the county on each day of the campaign, running from September 9 to September 15.
The week of roadside enforcement activity is in response to the 543 drivers and passengers in Gloucestershire who were reported for not belting up last year.
Drivers and passengers who fail to wear seatbelts in the front and back of vehicles are breaking the law, and drivers caught without a seatbelt are liable to receive a £100 fixed penalty notice.
But it could cost much more than this. It could cost you your life.
It is estimated 300 lives are lost – almost a life a day – in the UK every year, lives that could almost certainly have been saved if seatbelts had been worn.
Younger drivers are more at risk too. Research shows that drivers (link to driver section) and passengers aged 17 to 34 have the lowest seatbelt-wearing rates combined with the highest accident rate.
Further research shows people are less likely to use seatbelts on short or familiar journeys too, putting people at serious risk of injury or even death in a crash.
Jon Hall, Head of Operations for the Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership said, “There is absolutely no excuse for not wearing a seatbelt.
“There is nothing more tragic for my firefighters to deal with than an incident on the road where someone is seriously injured or even killed because they failed to take the simple step of putting on their seatbelt before they set off.”
“Our message is clear and simple. Always wear a seatbelt on every journey they make. It could save your life.”
Chief Constable Suzette Davenport said: “Seatbelts save lives. It really is that simple.
“You are twice as likely to die in a car crash if you are not wearing a seatbelt – odds which should make you think twice before you get behind the wheel without belting up.
“The law requiring all drivers to wear a seatbelt came in to force 30 years ago now so there’s really no excuse for not wearing one, and wearing it properly so it can be the most effective.
“As a driver you also have a duty of care to ensure your passengers wear their seatbelts, especially young passengers who may not be old enough to take responsibility for themselves.
“Sadly as police officers, we know all too well the consequences of not taking seatbelts seriously. And to have to tell a grieving person that their loved one was not wearing their seatbelt which may have contributed to their death.
“It takes two seconds to put on a seatbelt, but it could add years to your life. Please be safe, be secure, be sensible – and belt up!”
Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl, who has made safe and social driving one of the main priorities of time in office said, “People should be able to move around our communities in safety and with as much ease and convenience as possible.
“The police will enforce law when necessary but we should all recognise the responsibility we all have to reduce offending and anti-social driving”.