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9 March 2015, 07:19
Hampshire Police will be watching out for anyone not wearing their seatbelt all this week - to help cut the number of deaths and injuries.
As officers take part in the Europe-wide seatbelt enforcement campaign this week (March 9-15), a report into road safety shows that the number of people killed or seriously injured would reduce substantially if they recognised the risks.
The review was collated by the Joint Thames Valley and Hampshire Roads Policing Unit, and the enforcement week focuses on one of the 'fatal four' the non-wearing of seat belts, and the devastating effect it has on lives.
Hampshire's Road Safety Officer, Sergeant Rob Heard said:
"Evidence from this report shows that there is still a need for us to crackdown on those who don't wear their seatbelt when travelling in a vehicle.
Whilst the vast majority of people are wearing their seatbelts; unfortunately some people are becoming complacent and feel a collision will never happen to them.
In some cases they feel that because they are driving locally and at a low speed they will be ok. However research has shown that many collisions occur at low speed and within in few miles of home.
"You are twice as likely to die in a collision if you are not wearing a seatbelt and in the event of an accident if unrestrained, you will hit the windscreen, or the front seat in the case of a rear seat passenger at a force of 30 to 60 times your own body weight.
"We prosecuted 770 people last year for failing to wear seat belts, and whilst the stats show that is down on figures from 2013, serious and in some cases fatal injuries would have been prevented if they had had theirs on.
"However the number of people reported killed or seriously injured on Britain's roads has increased by 4% to 24,360 in 2014 from 23,439 in 2013. Worryingly the KSI child causalities (0 - 15 years) has increased by 3% to 2060 in year ending September 2014.
"This is the first time this has happened in two decades. It has been identified that the majority of car seats across the UK are incorrectly fitted, where two in every three are not fitted properly. This may be contributing to the sharp rise in child road death and injuries.
"I would always recommend to people to wear a seat belt every time you travel in a vehicle, it's just not worth the risk."
The enforcement week will run in the UK until the end of Sunday and officers from Hampshire's Roads Policing Unit will be out each day looking for those failing to comply with the seatbelt law.
Injury collisions in Hampshire where it has been proven that failing to wear a seatbelt was the reason for the injury are as follows:
Fatal - 3
Serious - 0
Slight - 5
Fatal - 5
Serious - 2
Slight - 0
Fatal - 4
Serious - 0
Slight - 0
Since 1983 it's been law to wear a seatbelt in a vehicle expect in a few rare exceptions. You can find out more about Seatbelts and the Facts on the THINK campaign web site at http://think.direct.gov.uk/seat-belts.html
For advice on the law with Child seatbelts and fitting see http://think.direct.gov.uk/education/early-years-and-primary/parents/3-to-5s/child-car-seats-and-safety-belts/