The most important belt you’ll ever wear – that’s the message from Nottinghamshire County Council which has launched a summer campaign reminding motorists and their passengers to wear their seatbelts.
The campaign – which launched this week – coincides with the 25th anniversary of the use of seatbelts in the rear of cars becoming law in 1991. It became law to use a belt in the front in 1983.
Research shows that motorists are twice as likely to die in an accident if they do not buckle up and drivers are also responsible for ensuring that children up to the age of 14 are belted up, using the appropriate restraint.
The council is focusing its attention on three major roads in the county:
• The A60, Nottingham Knight to Rempstone
• The A617, Kelham to its junction with the A614
• The A616 / B6034 Ollerton roundabout to Worksop
A roadside survey carried out on these roads earlier this month found that, on average, 5.5 per cent of drivers were not wearing a seatbelt.
The results for the A616, however, were above the national average for drivers NOT wearing a belt.
The figure is expected to be similar, if not higher, for rear seat passengers and the county council is carrying out further observations across the county to capture that information.
Councillor Kevin Greaves, Chairman of the Council’s Transport and Highways Committee, said: “The survey showed that on one of the routes monitored the number of drivers not wearing a seatbelt was as high as 7.5 per cent, which was very disappointing.
“The last seatbelt campaign we held three years ago helped to hammer home the message that every driver needs to buckle up and I hope that this latest one will do the same.
“You never know what each journey could bring so it’s vital that every driver – and passenger – wears a seatbelt to reduce their chances of death or serious injury in the event of an accident.”
The three-point seat belt, with which we’re all so familiar, was invented by Nils Bohlin, an engineer at Volvo, in 1959.
Volvo decided that the invention was so significant that it opened up the patent so that any car manufacturer could use it in their design, believing that it had more value as a free, life-saving tool than something to profit from.
It has been estimated that Bohlin’s invention has saved over one million lives worldwide.
Seat belts became compulsory in the UK in 1983 and since then they have saved between 35,000 and 50,000 lives.
As a driver you may get a fine of £500 and three penalty points for not wearing your seat belt. If you are carrying a child under 14 without the proper restraint you are liable for a fine of £500 and three penalty points.
For passengers 14 years old and over, it is their own responsibility to ensure that they wear a seat belt if there is one available. As a passenger you may get a fine of £500 for not wearing a seat belt and can be awarded two penalty points.
For more information on wearing a seatbelt visit the council’s website at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/roadsafety