K&MSCP Mobile Units Support National Seat Belt Campaign

03/03/2016 09:13:00

‘Belt Up to Stay Safer’

Startling data shows that in 2015 one in three vehicle occupant fatalities on Kent roads were not a wearing seatbelt; it’s likely that some of these deaths may have been avoided had belts been used. 

With this in mind, the Kent & Medway Safety Camera Partnership is supporting Kent Police and Kent County Council Road Safety Teams launch their Seatbelt campaign throughout March 2016.  The campaign aims to remind drivers and passengers of the simple choice they can make to wear a seatbelt which could enhance their safety and, quite simply, that seatbelts save lives. 

The first seatbelt law was introduced in 1983, and since then it has been compulsory for front seat passengers wear a seatbelt.  In 1991, it became compulsory for all car occupants to wear a seatbelt. Failing to wear a seatbelt can lead to a fine of £100 or the offer of a driver improvement course.  Despite this legal requirement, recent research suggests that as many as 27% of motorists may not wear a seat belt on some journeys.  The vast majority of drivers and passengers in Kent are aware of the benefits of wearing a seatbelt, so this year the Kent & Medway Safety Camera Partnership, Kent County Council, and Kent Police will be focusing on that minority group of individuals who feel there are occasions when seatbelts are not necessary.

 

The campaign highlights a number of myths and the fact that there is never a right time to not wear a seatbelt.   These myths include:

• “I’m in a big vehicle with lots of safety features, so I won’t need a seatbelt.”

• “It’s only a short journey around town, so I won’t need my seatbelt.”

• “I’ve got an air bag, so I don’t need a seatbelt.”

• “In a crash, being thrown out of the vehicle would be better than staying in it.”

 

Matthew Balfour, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, and Waste said:  “It’s not difficult to see why seatbelts are so important when you understand that in a crash at 30mph the occupants are thrown forward with a force equal to 25 times their body weight, and within half a second. No one could react quickly enough to protect themselves, and even if they could their strength wouldn’t be sufficient to hold back 25 times their weight.  It’s vital everybody belts-up – it’s a simple but life-saving precaution.”

For more information on the campaign please visit www.kentroadsafety.info/whenwillitclick/.

 


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