Tougher sanctions for seatbelt offences long overdue, says GEM
The introduction of a three-point penalty for not wearing a seatbelt would make a significant contribution to casualty reduction.
The call comes from road safety organisation GEM, which points to analysis showing nearly a third (31%) of all people who died on the UK’s roads in 2018 were not wearing a seat belt and says tougher action is needed.
The figures come from research published earlier this month by PACTS in association with Direct Line Group; both PACTS and GEM say penalty points introduced in 2007 in Northern Ireland have led to an increase in seatbelt wearing rates.
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth added: “We have seen mobile phone penalties for drivers rise in recent years, and if seatbelt offences were made harsher in this way, we believe would see a significant and immediate reduction in the number of drivers and vehicle occupants killed and seriously injured on our roads.
“As the nation gets to grips with the tough sanctions introduced to deal with coronavirus, we are asking everyone who needs to be out on the road to put that seatbelt on, even for the shortest journeys.
“Failure to wear a seatbelt puts you at much greater risk of being seriously hurt in a road collision. That drains NHS resources, which in the current climate is entirely unacceptable.
“Since its launch in 1959, the three-point seatbelt stands as one of the great safety inventions in modern times. We believe the introduction of a three-point penalty for not wearing one would make a significant contribution to casualty reduction.”