South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
19 Jun 2023
That’s not the belt we’re talking about – forget your seatbelt and you double your chances of being killed in a collision.

South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) is joining a national campaign to remind people why such a simple task could have massive implications for the safety of drivers, passengers, children and pets.

A spokeswoman for SYSRP said: “You are twice as likely to lose your life in a collision if you have chosen not to wear a seatbelt.

“Thankfully, since the law was introduced 40 years ago, most people now belt up as a force of habit and wouldn’t dream of driving or travelling without one on.

“But we are urging anyone who still takes a risk, either with their children, or with their own safety, please just wear a seatbelt. It takes seconds and really could save your life.”

Research shows that despite being over-represented in the casualty stats, drivers and passengers aged 17-34 have the lowest seatbelt wearing rates.

People are also less likely to wear a seatbelt on short and familiar journeys, putting them at risk of serious or fatal injury in a crash.

“Human error means that collisions will sadly always happen,” added the spokeswoman. “But it’s about what we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones should the worst happen.

“As a road user, we all have a responsibility to limit our risks of being seriously injured. Wearing a seatbelt or ensuring the safety of those aged 13 and under in our care, does just that.

“In the event of a collision, a seatbelt is designed to keep you in your seat and ensure that as little contact as possible is made between you and the vehicle as well as reducing the chances of you being thrown from the car.”

The law states that anyone aged 14 or over is responsible for their own seatbelt. It falls to the driver to make sure that children aged 13 or under are in an appropriate car seat or wearing a seatbelt.

Children aged 12 and under, or shorter than 135cms, must wear the correct child restraint.

Drivers are also responsible for safely restraining any pets in the vehicle.

If you are caught without a seatbelt or driving with children who are not wearing a seatbelt, you will be given a £100 on-the-spot fine. This could increase to £500 if the case goes to court.

“Wearing a seatbelt in the back is just as important as wearing one in the front of the vehicle. If you are sitting in the back of a car without a seatbelt and you crash at 30mph, you will hit the front seat – and anyone in it with a force of 30 to 60 times your own body weight," added the spokeswoman.

“This could result in death or serious injury to you and people sitting in the front seat.”