Northamptonshire Police supports annual national seat belt campaign
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This year marks the 40th anniversary of when wearing a seat belt became compulsory in the UK, yet there are still drivers who unnecessarily choose to put their lives at risk by not belting up!
From Monday (June 12), Northamptonshire Police will be joining colleagues from across the UK to support the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) annual seat belt operation to help drive the message home.
This campaign, which runs until Sunday, June 25, aims to raise awareness of the dangers of not wearing a seat belt whilst driving, which can increase the chances of being involved in a fatal or serious collision.
Not wearing a seat belt is one of the main contributors in collisions and is one of the fatal five driving offences alongside careless driving, drink and drug driving, excessive speed, and using a mobile phone whilst behind the wheel.
In 2022, Northamptonshire Police recorded 1,376 seat belt offences, and during the first six months of this year, a further 525 road users have been caught driving on the county’s road network without buckling up.
Northamptonshire Police Safer Roads Operations Manager Matthew O’Connell said: “Along with our partners from the Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance, our priority continues to be to reduce the number of casualties on our roads.
“Wearing a seat belt is not only compulsory the UK, it could be the difference between life or death in a road collision. All vehicles are fitted with seat belts, and it literally takes seconds to put on.
“With all the educational road safety campaigns, there is absolutely no excuse for not wearing a seat belt, and it is extremely disappointing that some people still fail to belt up or wear their seat belts incorrectly.
“For the next two weeks, we will be out and about across the county looking for people not wearing a seat belt. The penalties people may face can include a fixed penalty fine and in some cases a court appearance.”
The first week of the campaign focuses on educating motorists on the consequences of not wearing a seat belt, followed by a further seven days of enforcement when anyone caught not strapped in will face further action.
Anyone caught not wearing a seat belt can take an online education course or receive a fixed penalty fine of £100. If they elect to go to court, the fine increases to a maximum £500.
Tragically in 2022, after being involved in a road collision in Northamptonshire, 36 people never returned home safely to their loved ones, and 347 required urgent medical assistance for serious and life-changing injuries.