The Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership has announced the results of a campaign which ran from June 6-26 to urge all drivers and passengers to always wear a seatbelt.
During the campaign led by the National Police Chief Council, Warwickshire Police stopped a total of 194 vehicles whose driver or passenger was not wearing a seatbelt. This included 82 cars (42.3%), 65 van drivers (33.5%) and 47 heavy goods vehicles (24.2%).
As a result, 192 offenses relating to wearing a seat belt were recorded. During enforcement activities, 174 drivers and 17 passengers were arrested by officers for not wearing seat belts. A driver had also committed a child restraint violation.
87% of those who did not wear a seatbelt were men and 88% of those who did not wear a seatbelt were over 25 years old.
Sergeant Bridle said:
“Most drivers understand that wearing a seatbelt is really important because in a collision you are twice as likely to die if you are not wearing a seatbelt. It is one of the top 4 contributing factors to death and injury on our roads, alongside drunk driving, cell phones and speeding.
Excuses given to our officers include ‘sorry, I forgot’ and on the whole those who don’t wear seat belts seem to be just lazy or indifferent. This prompts us to conduct more seat belt enforcement operations over the coming months to help educate drivers that wearing a seat belt could save their lives.
The Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Chairman of WRSP said:
“We need drivers and passengers to take responsibility for their own safety on the roads by always wearing a seatbelt. We also ask families and partners to ensure their loved ones always buckle up. Please tell them that it is important to you that they stay safe.
We are looking at all aspects of road safety, but we need the public to play their part to help us reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 50% by 2030.”
To help get this message across, during the campaign daily information and facts were shared on social media about seat belts and how to transport children safely.
Free child car seat checks were offered to parents, grandparents and those responsible for the safe transport of children and young people at Elliots Field in Rugby on Friday June 17 by staff from the Warwickshire trained to nationally accredited standards.
Having your child car seat checked is also very important, as checks carried out by Warwickshire Police in November 2021 revealed that 69% of child car seats were not fitted correctly.
During the campaign, 20 child car seats were checked and 10 were installed correctly and no adjustment was necessary.
But during checks, a child car seat fell into the hands of the PCSO as she was checking it because it was not installed correctly at all. The parent was very grateful for potentially saving his child’s life.
Other issues found ranged from loose objects in the back seat, including an unsecured booster seat when the child was not seated. Booster seats should be secured at all times and loose objects placed in the trunk, as they could all fly towards other children or passengers and cause injury.
Some belts and harnesses were too loose and some children got out of the rear-facing seats too soon because parents felt they didn’t want their child to have their legs crossed, the headrests holding the seats back and tips had been given around the seat belt v harness in relation to the age and size of the child.
More child car seat checks are planned and these will be promoted through local media and social media. Please follow us on Facebook @WarwickshireRoadSafety and Twitter @WarksRoadSafety for road safety information and advice.