Pjanoo Eric Prydz
30 September 2014, 05:00
The number of drivers being pulled over for not wearing seatbelts is on the increase.
Nearly 180,000 fixed penalty notices were issued for seatbelt offences last year - a 17% increase on the figure for 2009.
The data was gathered from a Freedom of Information Act request, with the figures for 2009 and 2013 compiled from replies from 28 of the 45 police forces in England, Wales and Scotland.
It seems that so far this year, more than 80,000 drivers had been stopped by police and had been charged a total of £8.2 million in fines for seatbelt offences.
Insureance firm LV= also released details of a survey of 2,016 adults, including 1,578 drivers, which showed that:
:: 6% of drivers do not wear a seatbelt when driving and 9% do not wear one when they are a front-seat passenger
:: 47% of motorists were unaware they can be fined for not wearing a seatbelt
:: 24% of drivers do not always wear a belt when sitting in the back
:: 42% of drivers do not belt up when travelling by taxi
:: Among those not wearing belts, older drivers said they were too restricting while younger ones said they sometimes did not comply on short journeys
A third of drivers aged 65 or more who did not wear seatbelts said they were afraid of getting stuck in the car if they had an accident.
But LV= said Government figures showed that 19% of people killed in car accidents last year were not wearing seatbelts. It added that of these, safety experts estimated that 50% would have survived if they had been restrained.
LV= car insurance managing director John O'Roarke said: "Wearing a seatbelt can drastically improve your chances of survival in an accident, even if it's just for a short journey.
"The research shows that too many people are still taking unnecessary risks when driving or travelling as a passenger. There is only so much you can do to prevent being in a car accident but wearing a seatbelt costs nothing and it may save your life one day.''