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The Capital Weekender with Charlie Powell 1:30am - 5am
20 March 2015, 08:12 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
Nearly 400 people in Hampshire - including two children - were caught not wearing their seatbelts last week.
A total of 392 people including two children were caught in the county as part of a Europe wide crackdown.
Hampshire’s Road Safety Officer, Sergeant Rob Heard said:
"Over the last week we have been targeting those people who still fail to wear a seat belt.
"We have been using a number of methods to do this, from unmarked car and bikes, safer camera vehicles to identify and film those failing to wear a seatbelt and road side checks with a spotter.
"The Commercial Vehicle Unit has also been working with officers patrolling the main roads and catching offenders by using an unmarked LGV tractor unit.
"This vehicle is driven by an RPU officer whilst another officer films the offenders. The offending vehicles are then stopped by other marked stopping vehicles in the area.
"Figures from previous campaigns show that numbers are remaining the same, as in March 2014, 441 were caught and in September 2014, 372 people were caught without a seatbelt on.
"Failing to wear a seatbelt is one of the fatal 4 offences which has been shown to be the main causes for death and serious injuries on our roads.
"By targeting these offences we know it will save lives and prevent injury. You are twice as likely to die in a collision if you are not wearing a seatbelt. Not wearing a seatbelt can be a fatal decision even on short, familiar journey and at low speeds.
"98% of the people we caught were front seat drivers or passengers. Research has shown that in a collision if you are unrestrained, you will hit the windscreen at a force of 30 to 60 times your own body weight. Please always wear your seatbelt, it's not worth the risk!"
Tthe offenders were:
83% male drivers
98% were front seat drivers
64% were car drivers
34% were van or lorry drivers
86% offences occurred on Urban roads
11% offences occurred on motorways or dual carriageways
Some interesting excuses given were:
"It hurts, I just had a piercing!" - By a woman who was wearing the belt under her arm.
"I was just putting it on" - The driver had driven down three roads and past junctions for 300 metres.
"I'm a taxi driver so I'm used to not wearing one"
"I normally wear it"
"I heard you were doing a campaign this week"