Staffordshire Police are urging motorists to wear a seatbelt after recent statistics revealed that more than 800 people in Staffordshire were caught not wearing one last year.
Officers are gearing up to tackle the issue as part of Operation Lightning and will be proactively stopping people who aren’t wearing seatbelts in a week-long intensification period this month.
From Monday 19th June to Sunday 25th June, they will be reaching out to drivers and passengers to encourage them to wear a seatbelt no matter how short or familiar the trip.
Although the majority of motorists wear a seatbelt for every trip, more than 800 people were found not to be wearing one in Staffordshire in 2022.
The majority of these seatbelt offences, 686, were committed by the driver, and 91% of these drivers were men.
The operation also aims to provide advice to parents and guardians on the type of child seat they need to comply with the law for their child’s height, weight and age. It’s the legal responsibility of the driver to make sure any child in their vehicle is suitably restrained in a child seat or using a seatbelt.
Inspector Mark Joynson, from the force Roads Policing Unit said: “2023 is a special anniversary for seatbelts in the UK, as its 40 years since the first seatbelt law was introduced to make it mandatory for drivers to wear a seatbelt at the wheel.
“It’s really important that every driver and passenger wears their seatbelt as you’re twice as likely to die in a car crash if you’re not wearing one.
“As well as risking your safety, if you’re spotted without a seatbelt you can also face an on-the-spot fine of £100. If prosecuted, this increases up to a maximum of £500.”
Deputy Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, Helen Fisher is Co-Chair of the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership. She said: “Putting on your seat belt every time you get into a car takes seconds but could save your life if you’re involved in a crash, so why wouldn’t you?
“Sadly, too many people are killed or seriously injured on our roads, which is why anything you can do to make travelling safer for you, and your family and friends, has to be a priority for every driver.”
For more information on seatbelts and child car seats, visit: https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/media/downloads/staffordshire/campaigns/op-lightning/child-car-seat-leaflet.pdf