Drivers call for heavier punishment for not following seatbelt laws

Teddy bear in seatbelt

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was recently fined by police for taking off his seatbelt to film a social media video in a moving car.

As a result, he was issued a conditional offer of a fixed penalty, but questions have now been raised around the punishment for not wearing a seatbelt.

£500 fine is not enough

On the 40th anniversary of the first seatbelt law, a survey carried out by RAC found that nearly one-quarter of drivers believe punishments for not wearing a seatbelt are too lenient.

24% of 1,800 UK motorists saying the existing maximum penalty in Britain of a £500 fine is not strong enough.

More than two-thirds (69%) of people think offenders should receive at least three points on their license as well as a fine, and 68% believe the person behind the wheel of a vehicle should be responsible for ensuring all their passengers wear seat belts.

UK drivers are currently required to make sure that they themselves, and any children under the age of 14 are buckled up, but the survey found that 4% of drivers admit to driving without a seatbelt in the past 12 months, and 22% say they do not belt up on at least half of journeys.

A life-saving law

RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams said: “This anniversary provides the ideal moment for the Government to show it’s serious about improving safety on our roads and put an action plan in place for getting more of us to buckle up in the first place.

“For most people, getting into a car and putting on a seatbelt is second nature but it’s obvious more needs to be done to get those who haven’t developed this habit to change their ways.”

AA Charitable Trust director Edmund King said: “The humble seatbelt is arguably one of the greatest road safety inventions, but they are pointless unless people wear them.

“We will continue to push for greater focus on what interventions can be usefully instigated to ensure improved compliance. This could include penalty points for all legal-age car occupants caught not wearing a seatbelt.”

Discover how 1st CENTRAL Connect can help you become a safer driver. Read more here.

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