ROAD SAFETY and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging all drivers to ensure they and their passengers use seatbelts on every journey. The call comes in support of the latest week-long seatbelt enforcement operation which starts today (Monday 11 March).
According to GEM road safety officer Neil Worth, wearing a seatbelt is not only a legal requirement (with a £100 penalty for non-compliance), it’s also your number one lifesaver in the event of a collision.
“Seatbelts reduce the risk of death by 45 per cent for drivers and front seat occupants. They also reduce the risk of serious injury by 50 per cent,” he said.
“If you’re not wearing a seatbelt and your vehicle is involved in a crash, you will simply become a projectile. That means you are likely to be flung at high speed – most probably against the front, side or rear windows. If your head hits the glass and it holds, you will sustain some sort of head injury. If it breaks, you will go through the window, almost certainly resulting in death or serious injury.
“If you’re wearing a seatbelt in the same situation, you would stay in your seat and hit nothing. You might have walked away unscathed.
“That’s why we urge all drivers to ensure that they – and their passengers – wear a seatbelt on every journey, and that any children travelling with you are using an appropriate child restraint.”
The week-long seatbelt enforcement operation commences Monday 11 March. Similar operations are taking place at the same time in 27 other countries across Europe.
UK law states you do not need to wear a seatbelt if you are:
Driving a car that is reversing, or supervising a learner driver who is reversing
A licensed taxi driver currently “plying for hire” or carrying passengers
Driving a goods vehicles making deliveries, travelling no more than 50 metres between stops
Rarely, doctors may also issue exemptions from wearing a seatbelt for medical reasons.
For all other vehicle occupants, there are no exemptions and no excuses for not wearing a seatbelt on every journey.