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Police Focus On Seat Belts On Wednesday 11th September 2013

10th September 2013

People who put their lives at risk by failing to do the straightforward task of securing their seat belt will find themselves the focus of a 24-hour Police Scotland initiative on Wednesday 11 September 2013.

Police officers across Highland and Islands Division will be involved in the national 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.

Seat belts 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 seat belt or who failed to properly restrain a child in a vehicle.

Inspector Neil Lumsden, Head of the Highland and Islands Divisional Road Policing Unit said:"It is encouraging to note that the vast majority of both driver and passengers in the Highland and Islands area wear a seat belt. There is however, a minority who choose to risk their lives and endanger that of others by simply not wearing a seat belt.

"Already this year there has been collisions in the Highlands and Islands where the failure to wear a seat belt has contributed to the fatal outcome of the crash."

"When involved in a collision the resulting impact has an immediate effect on the speed of the vehicle. Any person who is not wearing a seat belt will continue to travel at the vehicle's original speed, only stopping due to what is in front of them, be it the steering wheel, the dashboard, the windscreen, or for those seated in the back seats, the seat in front.

"The consequences of not wearing a seat belt could be fatal andthe focus of this day of action is to deter and detect the minority who continue to travel in a vehicle whilst not wearing a seat belt."

According to Road Safety Scotland:

Your risk of a fatal injury is reduced by 50% when you wear a seat belt. 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 seat belt.

100 is the cost of the conditional offer fixed penalty ticket you will be issued if you are caught not wearing your seat belt. A driver is also responsible for children aged less than 14 years who are not properly restrained.

Inspector Lumsden added:

"It has been proven upon numerous occassions that seat belts do 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!"