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Update - Northern Constabulary reveals many motorists are still failing to heed seatbelt laws

Issued: 2 Sep 2010

Police say there are still too many motorists who are failing to belt up inside their vehicles following the latest Day of Action against offenders.

Officers across the Force took part in yesterday's ACPOS-led campaign, which was aimed at improving road safety across the Highlands and Islands.

The enforcement day, which took place across Scotland, saw 15 motorists pick up fixed penalty notices for failing to wear a seatbelt.

Disappointingly 11 of them were drivers (all male), three were front seat passengers and one was a rear seat passenger. Three of those detected were female. Encouragingly no children were found to be unrestrained within a vehicle.

The Force's Road Safety Officer, Laura Fisher, said: "Every time we carry out these checks we are disappointed to find people who are still failing to wear seatbelts.

"Seatbelts are one of the main safety features within a vehicle and could save someone's life, whether it be a front or rear seat passenger."

She added: "There have been countless road deaths across Scotland which could have been prevented had the occupants been wearing seatbelts at the time.

"The Have You Clicked campaign has been running since April this year and we will continue to raise awareness about the importance of being properly restrained within a vehicle."

This campaign 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.

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