A Staffordshire road safety campaign is reminding drivers and their passengers to protect themselves and others by wearing a seatbelt.

Operation Lightning is focussing on the issue from 6th to 26th June. 

The campaign will see police officers advising drivers, after figures show that from 2017 to 2021 more than 3,600 incidents were recorded in Staffordshire where an adult driver was not wearing a seatbelt.

Sergeant Tom Watson said:

“Seatbelts are designed to keep you in your seat, and prevent or reduce injuries suffered in a crash. They ensure that as little contact as possible is made between you and vehicle interior and significantly reduce the risk of you being thrown from a vehicle. 

“You’re twice as likely to die in a car crash if you’re not wearing a seatbelt – we think that is a reason enough to belt up when driving.”

Sgt Tom Watson, Staffordshire Police

Anyone spotted not wearing a seatbelt could be hit with an on-the-spot fine of £100 – or up to £500 if they are prosecuted.

“Most drivers and passengers are sensible and obey the law by wearing seatbelts but there are still a proportion of people who think it’s okay to travel in a car without wearing a seatbelt, putting both themselves and others at risk.” 

Sgt Tom Watson, Staffordshire Police

Parents are also being reminded that children must use a car seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall, whichever comes first.

There were 42 instances in Staffordshire in 2021 where a youngster aged between three and 13 were sat in the rear of a vehicle without wearing a seatbelt – up 57% from 2017.

“Make sure your car seat is the right one for your child’s height and weight and for your car – not all seats fit all cars. 

“When fitting a car seat make sure it’s correctly fitted according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

“It’s the legal responsibility of the driver to make sure any child is suitably restrained in a child seat or using a seatbelt.

“We all have a part to play in keeping the roads of Staffordshire safe. 

“Wearing a seatbelt as a driver or passenger and restraining children safely is not a choice, it’s compulsory.” 

Sgt Tom Watson, Staffordshire Police

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  1. It is hard to fathom why some people are not wearing seat belts in cars, considering how long it has been the law to. Definitely candidates for the Darwin award.

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