Why would you want to double the chances of dying in a car crash? That is the question being asked by Roads Policing officers as they take part in a national week of action around seatbelt enforcement.
Police across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will carrying out dedicated operations this week, targeting those who refuse to wear a seatbelt despite the clear dangers.
Since 2010, 26 people have been killed in Hampshire because they were not wearing a seatbelt when they were involved in a collision.
The facts are indisputable – you are twice as likely to die in a collision if you are not wearing a seatbelt. The force you will hit the windscreen, or the front seat if you are travelling in the back of a car, is 30 to 60 times your own body weight.
Sgt Rob Heard, Road Safety Sergeant for Hampshire and Thames Valley, said:
“The vast majority of people are wearing their seatbelts, unfortunately we are still finding people who decide to take the risk and travel in a vehicle without wearing a seatbelt.
“Unfortunately some people are becoming complacent and feel a collision will never happen to them.
“People sometimes feel I am only driving locally and at a low speed so I will be ok.
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“However research has shown that many collisions occur at low speed and within in few miles of home.
“It’s not worth the risk and not wearing your seatbelt means you are breaking the law.”
As well as operations, officers will also be checking child seats to make sure they are fitted correctly. It has been identified that the majority of car seats across the UK are incorrectly fitted, where 2 in every 3 are not fitted properly.
Last year in Hampshire 1,129 seatbelt offences were recorded and 650 of those stopped were ordered to carrying out an online diversion course, Your Belt, Your Life.
Hampshire Constabulary’s Fatal Four campaign aims to reduce the number of deaths on our roads by highlighting inappropriate speed, seatbelts, drink/drugs and mobiles, encouraging drivers to think about the impact and avoid committing any of these offences.