Risk to Lives Highlighted by Seatbelt Campaign

Over 100 motorists were found to be risking their lives by not wearing their seatbelts during a recent week-long campaign.

From Monday 13th March, roads policing officers from across Cleveland and Durham carried out enforcement action as part of a national campaign to target those not wearing their seatbelt and to educate them on the dangers of not doing so.

Of the 127 motorists found not wearing their seatbelt, 104 of those were male and 22 were female. A young child who was being driven to school was also found without their seatbelt. 

Inspector Ed Turner, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “It is unacceptable that even one motorist should choose to risk their life by not wearing a seatbelt. It is something that takes just seconds to do.

“As roads policing officers we see the devastating aftermath that the death of a loved one has on families, and this is all the more tragic if the death could have been easily prevented by something as simple as putting on a seatbelt. 

 “We will continue with our warnings in order to try to educate people on the dangers of not wearing seatbelts and we will also continue with our enforcement action to try to keep people as safe as we possibly can on our road networks across Cleveland and Durham.”

Legislation states that drivers are responsible for ensuring that suitable safety restraints are worn by all passengers under 14 years old. Children must use an appropriate child car restraint for their weight until they are 135cm tall or their 12th birthday, whichever is first.

As seatbelts do not fit children correctly, an appropriate child car restraint is needed to offer the same level of protection as a seatbelt does for adults. Passengers over 14 years are responsible for wearing their own seatbelt and can therefore face prosecution.

A recent amendment to current legislation around child car restraints now means that backless booster seats will only be approved for older children. The new regulations only apply to new models, meaning parents can legally continue to use backless booster seats they already own.

Under the new rules, backless booster seats or booster cushions will only be approved for use by children taller than 125cm and weighing more than 22kg. Currently children as young as three, or 15kg, are able to use a backless booster seat.