Force to Take Part in NPCC Seatbelt Campaign
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Officers will take part in a two-week educational campaign which will begin next week to raise awareness of the importance of wearing a seatbelt.
The National Police Chief's Council (NPCC) campaign begins on Monday 29th June across the UK.
As part of their daily patrols officers will particularly focus on drivers and their passengers who are not wearing seatbelts.
The aim of the campaign is to educate people on the dangers of ignoring the law, and where police think it appropriate they will take enforcement action.
Legislation states that drivers are responsible for ensuring that suitable safety restraints are worn by all passengers under 14 years old. Passengers over 14 years old are responsible for wearing their own seatbelt and can therefore face prosecution.
Children must use an appropriate child car restraint for their weight until they are 135cm tall, or their 12th birthday, whichever is first.
Failure to wear a seatbelt carries a fine of £100. If prosecuted, the maximum fine could be anything up to £500.
Inspector Catherine Iley, from Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “Seatbelts are invaluable. Their importance cannot be stressed enough; just taking 30 seconds to put on a seatbelt can be the difference between life or death in the event of a collision.
“All too often our roads policing officer’s deal with collisions where seatbelts have not been worn, and they have to deliver the horrendous news to a family that their loved one has been killed. The fact that their life may well have been saved had they been wearing a seatbelt causes further heartbreak.
“In a crash you would be twice as likely to die without wearing a seatbelt and not doing so not only puts you at risk, but your passengers and other road users as well.
“Children are particularly vulnerable, so please ensure that they are appropriately restrained whilst travelling. This campaign is primarily about education, but we will not hesitate to take enforcement action where it is appropriate.”