10 May 2019

Calls for Tougher Seat Belt Punishment

A recent report has recommended upping the punishment for failure to wear a seat belt, when in a vehicle, to three penalty points.

A study conducted by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), in conjunction with Direct Line, has made the attention-grabbing statement after shocking statistics revealed one in four of those who died in cars on the roads in 2017 were not wearing a seat belt. More than 1,000 individuals were seriously injured because they hadn’t worn a seat belt.

The invention of the seat belt has been revolutionary in helping to raise safety when in vehicles. Yet, the use of them is still being ignored by a minority. The issue is highlighted in Bulgaria, where, reports Sofia Globe, 3402 cases of people not wearing seat belts were uncovered in a single operation by police in a country which has the second highest road fatality rate in the European Union.

Whereas the UK has a much better track record in terms of road safety, sitting 27th in the road fatalities per million inhabitants in Europe table, there are still calls for the punishments to fall in line with Northern Ireland, who already reprimand people with three points on their licence for failing to wear a seat belt rather than the current punishment in England which is a Fixed Penalty Notice and a £100 fine.

With an overwhelming 72% of the survey backing a change to the law, it seems a focus on the use of seat belts will become inevitable on a national scale.

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