Drivers fail to belt up
ALMOST one quarter of drivers do not wear their seatbelts while behind the wheel, according to a Comet survey. Out of 100 vehicles we looked at, 24 were being driven by people not wearing their belts. Another three were using mobile phones while their veh
ALMOST one quarter of drivers do not wear their seatbelts while behind the wheel, according to a Comet survey.
Out of 100 vehicles we looked at, 24 were being driven by people not wearing their belts. Another three were using mobile phones while their vehicles were moving.
Two of those caught out not wearing belts were driving vehicles belonging to Hertfordshire County Council.
The council does insist that all drivers "wear a seatbelt for all journeys regardless of length and type of road they are on. In a collision, a seatbelt can save lives."
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A council spokesman said the two vehicles were fitted with standard seatbelts and drivers are required to wear them at all times, unless the vehicle is stationary.
She said: "Unfor-tunately, while we can advise our drivers to wear a seatbelt, we cannot monitor them at all times to ensure they do so.
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"We will however be speaking to the relevant drivers to try to establish whether or not their seatbelts were in use."
The council had planned to hold its own seatbelt checks later this month and the spokesman said: "The seatbelt checks that are taking place in September are random and county council vehicles will not be exempt."
Front seatbelt wearing laws for drivers and passengers came into force in 1983. For back seat child passengers it was 1989 and for back seat adult passengers it was 1991. However it is evident that the laws are still being ignored by a high number of drivers.
Keith Tilley, an inspector from the strategic road policing unit of Hertfordshire Police, said people not wearing seatbelts, and those using mobile phones, increase their chances of being involved in a serious road traffic collision.
He said: "A seatbelt is fitted for a reason and that reason is to minimise injury should a collision occur. Many fatal or serious injury collisions could have resulted in more minor injuries had a seatbelt been worn."
He also said that using mobile phones can impact on drivers' concentration and restricts the amount of control they have of their vehicles.
He said: "This could cause injury not just to yourself but to other innocent drivers should you be involved in a collision."
* During police seatbelt checks last Friday morning on Broadhall Way, Stevenage, 52 vehicles were stopped and 38 people were given Fixed Penalty Notices of £30 for failing to wear a seat belt.
One driver was fined for talking on their mobile phone.
Similar checks yesterday (Wednesday) resulted in 30 vehicles being stopped and 17 people given fines for not wearing seat belts.
A further eight people were fined £30 for talking on their mobile phones while driving.