Strap in to save lives – it is Seatbelt Week in Sussex

An estimated two million drivers in the UK are still not wearing a seatbelt when they are driving.

That is according to Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) who are reminding local road users of the dangers of not belting up.

SSRP want to reach the last 5% of drivers who do not see the benefits of seatbelts.

This week, March 12-18, is Seatbelt Week, and is being implemented by TISPOL, the European Traffic Policing Network.

SSRP are teaming up with Surrey and Sussex Police’s Roads Policing Unit (RPU) and Surrey’s DriveSMART.

Seatbelt related offences carry fines of up to £500, 431 offenders were caught during RPU patrols in 2017.

The Sussex safety camera team is also able to capture offences, catching 653 last year.

One driver received a £120 seatbelt fine, was ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £700 in costs after maintaining his innocence all the way to court.

Under the Motor Vehicles Regulation 1993, all passengers in a car are required to wear a belt.

If there are passengers under 14, it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure they are wearing one.

Chief Inspector Warren Franklin explained the reasons behind the enforcement week:

“National statistics suggest that drivers and passengers aged 17–34 have the lowest compliance rates, combined with the highest collision rates and you are twice as likely to die in a collision if you are not wearing your belt.

“Whatever your motivation to wear one – either to save you money from a fine, or to save your life – we are urging drivers to strap in this week and every week.”

Did you know?
The standard three-point seatbelt that we know today was first introduced in Sweden in 1959.

The design by Volvo spread the energy of an impact over more parts of the body to lessen the severity.

It was never patented and was subsequently offered to other manufacturers for free, so more lives could be saved.

West Sussex County Council road safety experts invited Horsham college students to try out the infamous seatbelt sled.

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