Heading out on a short, familiar journey? Belt up
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We’re joining the national road safety campaign and urging all drivers to wear a seatbelt.
One of the simplest things everyone can do to increase their safety when on the road is to wear a seatbelt. It’s something we’ve all done so many times, has become second nature and we hardly think about it.
But that small, simple task at the start of every journey can make a big difference.
In 2019, 23% of car occupants killed were not wearing a seatbelt.
Seatbelts are highly effective in protecting vehicle occupants and, when used in conjunction with other in-vehicle safety systems, significantly reduce the risk of being fatally or seriously injured in a crash.
Car manufacturers have had to install seatbelts since 1965 but the law requiring drivers and front seat passengers to wear them did not come in to force until the 31st January, 1983.
The law changed again in 1989, making it a legal requirement for children travelling in the back of cars to wear seat belts, before a further change to the law (in 1991) made it a legal requirement for adults to wear seatbelts in the back of cars.
Seatbelt laws increased seatbelt use and although seatbelt wearing rates are high, not everyone wears one all the time and seatbelt use in the rear of a vehicle is consistently lower than in the front.
Gwent Police, GoSafe and colleagues and partners across all Welsh police forces will be taking part in the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) Seatbelt campaign, which will be taking place across the UK between May 31st – June 17th.
The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness and reduce death and injury caused by not wearing seatbelts on the roads of Wales.
Drivers caught not wearing a seatbelt face an on-the-spot fine of £100, or, if prosecuted, could face a maximum fine of £500.
During the campaign road users will informed of the importance of seatbelts, encouraging them to change their behaviour and attitude towards wearing them.
Enforcement action will also be taken against the minority who put others at risk by refusing to comply with seatbelt laws.
Superintendent Glyn Fernquest said:
“We’re committed to increasing the safety of all road users in Gwent, including motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders.
“As national Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease and the weather improves, we expect more people to be out on our roads.
“We’ll be engaging with residents throughout Road Safety Week and the coming months to talk about what they can do to minimise risk.
“Things like making essential vehicle checks, riding within the legal speed limit, wearing a seatbelt and not using a mobile phone can help keep road users and pedestrians safe.”
So, before you turn the engine of your car on, make sure you and your passengers wear your seatbelts.
The smallest thing can have the biggest impact and really could mean the difference between life and death.
Belt up and keep safe on the roads of Wales.