Tristan Shale-Hester 2019-04-30 00:01
Survey shows public supports call for motorists to be given penalty points for not wearing a seatbelt
Motorists who fail to wear a seatbelt behind the wheel should be given penalty points on their driving licenses, motoring organisations have said.
In England, Scotland and Wales, the penalty for not wearing a seatbelt is a £100 fine, which can be increased to a maximum of £500 if the case goes to court.
Now, Direct Line and the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) are calling for Great Britain to adopt the same rules as Northern Ireland, where drivers who don’t wear a seatbelt are handed three penalty points.
The organisations are also calling for greater enforcement of seatbelt law and an increase to the public perception of said enforcement.
In a survey of more than 2,000 people, 74 per cent of respondents supported a change in the law. Of those, 58 per cent believed three points would be an appropriate penalty, while 30 per cent said the punishment should be six points and a further five per cent said failing to wear a seatbelt should result in an automatic driving ban.
Some 43 per cent of respondents mistakenly believed that it’s the sole responsibility of the driver to ensure everyone in the car is wearing a seatbelt, while only 35 per cent were aware that any adult passengers are legally responsible for buckling up themselves.
Only 15 per cent of respondents said the current system of no penalty points for failing to wear a seatbelt should be kept.
Of the 787 people killed on the road in cars in 2017, more than 200 were not wearing a seatbelt. Furthermore, there were over 1,000 people seriously injured while not wearing a seatbelt in the same year.
David Davies, executive director of PACTS, said that a change to the law “would have no impact on most drivers or passengers, but could substantially reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured each year”.
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