People who put their lives at risk by failing to do the straightforward task of securing their seatbelt will find themselves the focus of a 24-hour Police Scotland initiative on Wednesday, September 11.
Police officers across the country will be involved in the day of action aimed at Keeping People Safe on Scotland’s roads by targeting offences related to the use of seat belts and child restraints.
The initiative is part of Police Scotland’s year-round commitment to reducing the number of casualties on our roads and supports a wider pan-European seat belt campaign.
Seatbelts save lives. Indeed, it is estimated that one in three people killed as a result of their vehicle being involved in a collision were not wearing a seat belt and that half of those people could have been saved if they had worn one.
Since April 1 this year, Police Scotland has detected more than 18,000 people who were not wearing a seatbelt or who failed to properly restrain a child in a vehicle.
Inspector Grant Edward, Head of Road Policing Unit in Tayside Division, said: “It’s disappointing that there are still high numbers of people who choose to take unacceptable risks and endanger their lives by not wearing a seat belt.
“It’s easy to get the impression that you are travelling safely when you are sitting comfortably inside a moving vehicle. That’s an illusion that is instantly shattered if for whatever reason the vehicle stops sharply and you are not wearing a seatbelt.
“You will be left in no doubt as to how absolutely independent from the vehicle you really are as you continue to travel at around the speed the vehicle was travelling before it came to a halt. You will come to a sudden stop but only as a result of impacting with what is in front of you - be it the steering wheel, the dashboard or the windscreen.
”The consequences could be fatal and certainly far more serious than if you were wearing a seatbelt.”
According to Road Safety Scotland:
· Your risk of a fatal injury is reduced by 50% when you wear a seatbelt. They are described as ‘the single most effective feature in the car to fulfil this role.’
· All other safety features in cars, such as airbags, are only designed to work when the occupant is wearing a seatbelt.
· £100 is the cost of the conditional offer fixed penalty ticket you will be issued if you are caught not wearing your seatbelt. A driver is also responsible for children aged less than 14 years who are not properly restrained.
Inspector Edward added: “It could not be clearer - seat belts save lives. Wearing one in a crash will reduce the risk of a fatal injury by 50%. Wear a seat belt and ensure all passengers and children carried in the vehicle are properly restrained. Keep them safe - Don’t Risk It!”