Safety warning to minority still not wearing seatbelts
SOME people are still not wearing seatbelts despite them becoming law 30 years ago, according to the Institute of Advanced Motoring (IAM).
One in five (19 per cent) motorists claim to know someone who doesn't use a seatbelt in the front of their car.
The introduction of compulsory wearing came into force on January 31, 1983.
Latest figures show 95 per cent of drivers and 96 per cent of front seat passengers wear a seat belt; 89 per cent of rear seat passengers use one.
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However, every year, not wearing a seatbelt is still a contributory factor in more than 220 deaths and serious injuries, said IAM.
A higher number of younger motorists know someone who does not wear a seatbelt compared to the older age group.
According to Department for Transport figures, in the back of the car, 41 per cent of 18-29 year olds know someone who doesn't wear a seatbelt compared to 25 per cent of 45+ year olds.
In the front of the car, 36 per cent of 16-29 year olds know someone compared to 11 per cent of 55+ year olds.
Drivers and passengers aged 17-34 have the lowest seat belt wearing rates combined with the highest accident rates.
Some 14 per cent of adults still admit to being inconsistent seat-belt wearers.
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: "In the past three decades seatbelts have made a fantastic contribution to road safety success in Britain helping to save thousands of lives. But the ongoing message needs to be reinforced to all age groups.
"All the modern technology in a new car assumes the occupant is wearing a seatbelt. Younger drivers know that not wearing a seatbelt is dangerous, but they must still be reminded that no matter where you are sitting in a car, a seatbelt will save your life."
Car manufacturers have had to install seatbelts since 1965 but the law requiring drivers to wear them did not come in to force for another 18 years. In 1991 the law changed again making it a legal requirement for adults to wear seatbelts in the back of cars.
Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond said:
"Thousands of lives have been saved and countless injuries prevented over the years because drivers and passengers were wearing seatbelts."
"The combination of effective enforcement and hard-hitting public awareness campaigns mean that, 30 years on, the vast majority of drivers and passengers buckle up when they get in their cars."
"But, unbelievably, there are still some people who do not use a seatbelt – my message to them is simple: a seatbelt could save your life and not wearing one is just not worth the risk."
Kevin Clinton, RoSPA's head of road safety, said: "We must not become complacent over seatbelt wearing. Ultimately, the benefits of seatbelts need to be promoted, and the perceived reasons for not wearing seatbelts reduced, particularly when it comes to educating children.
"Adults can set an example by wearing their own seatbelts so that children understand the necessity for them as they grow older."