Week-long campaign to get us to buckle up

Sgt James Farrar, of the Safer Roads and Neighbourhood Support Team East.
Sgt James Farrar, of the Safer Roads and Neighbourhood Support Team East.
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West Yorkshire Police are backing a Europe wide crackdown on seat belt enforcement this week.

The March 13 to 19 initiative seeks to remind us of the dangers of not buckling up.

Sgt James Farrar, of the Safer Roads and Neighbourhood Support Team East, said: “If you are in a collision you are twice as likely to die if you are not wearing your seat belt. Often people not wearing a seat belt could be thrown from a vehicle during a collision and receive serious or fatal injuries.”

Wearing seat belts have been compulsory for all passengers in a car since 1991 but last year West Yorkshire Police issued 4,835 tickets to people for seat belt offences - 600 were in Leeds.

The campaign is being led by TISPOL, the network of European traffic police forces.

Sgt Farrah added: “It seems like the most natural thing to most people, when you get in a vehicle to put on your seat belt but there are still people who don’t. We see people every day driving around West Yorkshire not wearing a seat belt. In some cases, these people also aren’t buckling up their children too which is a huge cause for concern.”

“Last year over 300 drivers were stopped by officers for offences where children were not wearing one. If you have a child under 14 in your vehicle, and they are not in the correct child seat or not wearing seat belt that is breaking the law. Ultimately, you could receive a £500 fine if prosecuted for not wearing your seat belt. Criminalising people isn’t our aim, we want people to understand the danger they are putting themselves and their passengers in by not wearing a seatbelt. These passengers are often your friends and family, can you imagine the consequences if you were involved in an accident?”

Not wearing a seat belt is one of the ‘fatal four’ of the most common circumstances leading to road deaths. These include speeding, using a mobile phone and drink/drug driving.

Stephen Byrne.

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