136 people, including two children, were found not to be wearing their seatbelts during a week-long crackdown.
Roads policing officers across Cleveland and Durham supported the national campaign led by TISPOL, the Eurpoean traffic police network from Monday 11th September.
Legislation states that drivers are responsible for ensuring that suitable safety restraints are worn by all passengers under 14 years old. Children must use an appropriate child car restraint for their weight until they are 135cm tall or reach their 12th birthday, whichever is first.
As seatbelts do not fit children correctly, an appropriate child car restraint is needed to offer the same level of protection as a seatbelt does for adults. Passengers over 14 years are responsible for wearing their own seatbelt and can therefore face prosecution.
Current legislation around child car restraints now means that backless booster seats will only be approved for older children. The new regulations only apply to new models, meaning parents can legally continue to use backless booster seats they already own.
Under the new rules, backless booster seats or booster cushions will only be approved for use by children taller than 125cm and weighing more than 22kg. Currently children as young as three, or 15kg, are able to use a backless booster seat.
Inspector Ed Turner from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “Time and time again we see people risking their lives by not wearing their seatbelt. It takes only seconds to put on and could make an immeasurable difference in the event of a collision.
“The risk also exists to others travelling in the vehicle, who could be impacted by someone who isn’t strapped in. The important thing to remember is that seatbelts do save lives.
“The majority of road users do listen to our warnings and take responsibility for their own safety, however, results like these show that we need to continue to run these operations to make our roads as safe as we possibly can.”
Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, said: “It is always disappointing to hear that people have not taken their own safety as seriously as they could.
“One of my key priorities is to work with partners to reduce the number of people who are injured and killed on roads across the county and supporting campaigns such as these assists with this important aim.”
Ron Hogg, Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner for County Durham and Darlington said: “I’m disappointed that there still a few drivers or passengers who do not belt up safely and securely. Wearing a seatbelt or using the correct child car restraint is vitally important, and can avoid injury or save someone’s life.”
Posted on Thursday 5th October 2017