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Northern Constabulary announces Day of Action against those who fail to wear seatbelts

Issued: 31 Aug 2010

Tomorrow (Wednesday 1 September 2010), Northern Constabulary officers will be focusing their attention on vehicle occupants who fail to wear a seat belt or suitable restraint.

The 24 hour 'Day of Action', co-ordinated by the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS), is part of the Scottish Police Service¿s year-round commitment to reduce the number of casualties on our roads.

The campaign follows the launch of the Have You Clicked campaign in April this year and also coincides with the 21st anniversary of legislation coming into force in relation to children wearing seat belts in the rear of cars.

Seatbelts are critical in reducing serious injury for vehicle occupants and can reduce the risk of fatal injury by about 50%. Additionally, modern vehicle safety features, such as airbags, are only designed to work if the occupant is suitably restrained.

Children are particularly at risk in vehicles when they are not properly restrained. In Scotland, it is estimated that 1 in 3 people who are killed in vehicles in are not wearing seatbelts, and half of those people could have been saved had they worn a seatbelt.

Despite the obvious risk, police figures show that on average 27,000 drivers and passengers are caught every year in Scotland not wearing a seatbelt.

In 1983 regulations were brought in under the Transport Act which made it mandatory for front seat passengers to wear seatbelts. In 1989 it became compulsory for children (under 14) to wear rear seatbelts. Then in 1991 the rear seat belts law was extended to adults.

Head of the Force's Road Policing Unit, Inspector John Smith said: "We have run a number of campaigns already this year highlighting the non wearing of seatbelt and we are still finding people who are not wearing a seatbelt.

"This is totally unacceptable behaviour and highlights that vehicle occupants are continuing to show a complete disregard for their own safety.

"Of particular concern to us are drivers who put the lives of children at risk by allowing them to travel unrestrained. Children should never be allowed to travel in a vehicle without being properly restrained and the driver is responsible."

He added: "These actions are unacceptable and officers will be targeting vehicle occupants who continue to break the law. We will be utilising marked and unmarked police vehicles."

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme