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policeaccidentsignresizedPolice across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are this week focusing on those flouting seatbelt laws as part of the a nationwide enforcement week that runs until the end of Sunday.

Officers from Hampshire’s and the Isle of Wight’s Roads Policing Units will be out each day looking for those failing to comply with the seatbelt law.

Hampshire’s Road Safety Officer, Sergeant Rob Heard said:

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“It has been surprising how many people are still not wearing their seatbelts and not really understanding the risks they are putting themselves under. The devastating injuries or possible fatal injuries you can receive from not wearing a seat belt really should encourage everyone to belt up, is just not worth risking your life and the heartache your family will feel from your loss.

“European research suggests that’s shown that about 50% of all car occupants that die in a fatal accidents in the EU could have survived of they had worn a seatbelt.

“I noted from the checks I attended in March this year, that many offenders are van drivers who state they wear the belts in there cars but forget to wear them in there vans when at work, sometimes because they are only travelling short distances.

“The law states you must wear a seatbelt unless you are driving a goods vehicle on deliveries and are travelling no more than 50 metres between stops.

“Forgetting to wear the belt is the biggest excuse we found. In March we have had some interesting excuses, like one man did not want to ruin his tan. Due to the recent sunny weather he had caught a tan to his chest and felt the belt would wear some of the tan away. A couple of people stated they never wore a seat belt as they felt that was their right. Others complained that there seat belt did not fit them.

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“Since 1983 it’s been law to wear a seatbelt in a vehicle expect in a few rare exceptions. Those who were caught may face a fine of up to £500 or being offered the chance to go on an awareness course as an alternative.

“More importantly officers hope by stopping them they have highlighted the danger they are putting themselves in if their vehicle is involved in a crash. It would appear that the majority of people do wear seatbelts, but we still need to encourage everyone to do so. This campaign has been good at raising awareness and we will continue to stop anyone who is seen not wearing a seat belt. Remember ‘Clunk Click’ every trip.

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