Drivers in Hertfordshire warned to belt up

AS part of a major road safety crackdown, Hertfordshire County Council s road safety unit is warning that motorists caught without a seatbelt will now face on-the-spot fines of �60. Fixed penalty notices for failing to wear a seatbelt have been doubled fr

AS part of a major road safety crackdown, Hertfordshire County Council's road safety unit is warning that motorists caught without a seatbelt will now face on-the-spot fines of �60.

Fixed penalty notices for failing to wear a seatbelt have been doubled from �30.

The increase follows a public consultation by the Government seeking views on how to tackle the fact that many motorists still don't comply with seatbelt laws.

Another change in the law is that the number of passengers (including children) must not exceed the number of seats fitted with seatbelts.

The same seat belt should never be put round two children or around an adult and child.

Every year the county council's road safety unit and police carry out roadside campaigns across Hertfordshire in which they stop a large number of vehicles containing people who haven't bothered to put their seatbelts on.

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The unit's most recent publicity campaign, No Excuses - Wear a Seatbelt, is based on the excuses that people have given when they were stopped for not wearing a seatbelt.

The most common excuses were:

I forgot

I only wear it on the motorway

It's only a short journey

It's uncomfortable

And in the case of children:

They took it off

They don't like wearing it

Stuart Pile, executive member for highways and transport, said: "The excuses some people make - like saying that seatbelts are only needed on the motorway - are extraordinary.

"It is of real concern that some car occupants in Herts are still ignoring the fact that seatbelts reduce the risk of dying in a 30mph crash by 60 per cent.

"We will continue to work with out partners at the police to do all we can to raise awareness of the importance of belting up."

Copies of the new seatbelt and child restraint leaflet can be obtained free from Hertfordshire County Council's road safety team. Contact Barbara Crane on 01992 556814 or email barbara.crane@hertscc.gov.uk

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