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'Don't forget to wear a seatbelt - or else'

By Western Gazette - North Dorset  |  Posted: September 13, 2012

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POLICE are cracking down on people who are putting their lives at risk by not wearing a seatbelt.

Avon and Somerset police have launched mobile patrols to look out for people flouting the law after issuing more than 1,500 fines last year for seatbelt offences. They are sending out the message that seatbelts should be worn in all vehicles.

According to the Department for Transport (DFT) an average of five people per day die on UK roads, with many more seriously injured.

And in a recent study, 21 per cent of 1,059 car occupants killed in car crashes were not wearing a seatbelt.

The police hope to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the road by enforcing the law through education or more £60 fines.

Chief Inspector John Holt, of the operations and roads policing unit, said: "This seatbelt campaign is part of our ongoing commitment to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on our roads.

"Most people wouldn't dream of driving even a short distance without belting up, but those who do break the law should know that we will take action against them to help make the roads safer for everyone."

Figures from the DFT found that drivers and passengers aged between 17 and 34 have the lowest seatbelt wearing rates, combined with the highest accident rate.

Evidence shows that about one life a day would be saved if all passengers wore a seatbelt or a similar restraint.

It has also been found that people are less likely to use seatbelts on a short or familiar journey.

Not wearing a seatbelt is one of what police call the 'fatal four' driving offences.

The others are speeding, drink and drug driving, and using a mobile phone while driving.

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