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Cumbria Police join European seatbelt campaign
12:25pm Monday 11th March 2013 in News
CUMBRIA Police will be making sure drivers and passengers are belting up as they join a week-long European seatbelt campaign from today.
The force said officers would be ‘proactively seeking’ people who are putting their lives in danger by not wearing a seatbelt.
Police will also visit schools throughout the week to highlight the importance of wearing a seatbelt to children.
The campaign aims to educate people about seatbelt safety and ensure correct child seats are being used.
During last year’s campaign, 170 people were given £60 fixed penalty tickets and a further 29 received verbal warnings.
Road users were also caught flouting other laws with 11 drivers seen using their mobile phones, 13 people stopped for speeding, three suspected drink drivers arrested and one vehicle being seized for having no insurance.
PC Lee Hill, who is leading the campaign for Cumbria Police, said: “It is important that we highlight the importance of wearing a seatbelt, no matter what the age.
“Recent statistics show that in a serious accident you are twice as likely to survive if you are wearing a seatbelt. However, a number of children are not being restrained correctly when in a car.
“By educating children at a young age about the importance of wearing a seatbelt, we hope it will become second nature just to automatically put it on when in a vehicle and this will continue throughout their life.
“Also, we hope that adults will take notice and be responsible by wearing a seatbelt, no matter if they are in the front or back of a vehicle.
“We will also be checking on child car seats, which can be expensive but it is a small cost to give a child the most protection when in a car.
“We will be handing out leaflets to people to provide more information on the correct child seat to use.
“We will be focusing on educating drivers, but those drivers and passengers who fail to wear seatbelts in the front and back of vehicles are breaking the law and face on-the-spot fines of £60. If prosecuted, the maximum fine is £500.
“One thing that came out of last year’s campaign was the fact that many people were stopped for failing to wear seatbelts correctly and were tucking the chest strap under their arm.
“This is not using the seat belt as it was intended and will not protect them in the event of an accident.
“People will be stopped if they are seen wearing the belt in this way and appropriate action will be taken.”
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes added: “It is up to each and every one of us to take responsibility for ensuring our own safety whilst using the roads and not take any unnecessary risk such as driving without a seatbelt or a child seat not being fitted properly.
“I welcome the campaign and would ask that it reminds us all to check what we are doing to ensure our safety and the safety of others.”
For more information about wearing a seatbelt, visit www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Roadsafetyadvice/DG_4022064