Will Champion, PCSO for Woodfield and Bilton
Will Champion, PCSO for Woodfield and Bilton outside Bilton Grange School

North Yorkshire Police encouraging drivers to belt up and stay safe

17 March 2017

This week (13-19 March 2017) sees officers from North Yorkshire Police supporting a European-wide TISPOL seatbelt and child car seat safety campaign.

Through a mixture of local engagement and enforcement, officers will be out and about across the region supporting the week of activity and advising people on seatbelt and child car seat safety.

Local policing teams, officers from the roads policing group and the forces safety camera vans will be working together to ensure that the public of North Yorkshire are using seatbelts and car seats correctly, to further improve safety on our roads.

Even though seatbelts have been mandatory for nearly 35 years, officers and the safety camera vans regularly see drivers driving on our roads who have set off on their journey without belting up.

The facts around seatbelt safety are stark. The Depart for Transport Think! campaign state that in a crash you’re twice as likely to die if you don’t wear a seatbelt. Drivers and passengers aged 17-34 have the lowest seatbelt-wearing rates combined with the highest accident rate and it seems that people are less likely to use seatbelts on short or familiar journeys – which puts them at serious risk of injury in a crash. You can be fined up to £500 if you don’t wear a seat belt when you’re supposed to.

Local teams will also be patrolling in and around communities and schools at drop-off and pick-up times. They’ll will be speaking to parents about car seat safety and the new legislation that came into action in March 2017. Under current UK law, all children travelling in a car must use the correct car seat until 12 years old or 135cm tall.

Under the new rules, backless booster seats will only be approved for use for children taller than 125cm and weighing more than 22kg. The new ruling applies to new  car seat purchases, existing models of seats or cushions are not affected. However parents and carers are encouraged to ensure that their child’s car seat is fitted correctly at all times.

With recent reports finding that two out of every three car seats being not properly fitted and the very sad fact that 54 children died on the UK’s roads in 2015, it’s well worth double checking the fitting of your child’s seat, to ensure they are safe and secure for every trip you make.

Speaking about the week of action, TS John Lumbard said:

It is essential that all occupants carried in vehicles are appropriately restrained, particularly children, as a driver can never predict when and where a collision may occur. Seatbelts and child restraints are a vital safety feature in reducing the risk of injuries occurring to the occupants of a vehicle involved in a collision.

Drivers should ask themselves a very simple question “ How would I feel if my child was badly hurt because I didn’t ensure they were safely secured in a child restraint?

Help and guidance is readily available either on line or at retailers of child restraints and booster cushions, to assist parents in ensuring children are safe to travel.

For more information about seatbelt and child seat safety, you can visit the 95 Alive York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership website – Roadwise at http://www.roadwise.co.uk/in-car-safety/

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