South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
News
06 Jun 2022
BE A MATE AND BELT UP
Drivers and passengers across the region are being reminded that a simple ‘click’ can double their chances of survival in a collision.
 
The message is at the forefront of a three-week national campaign highlighting the importance of wearing a seatbelt.
 
South Yorkshire Safer Road Partnership (SYSRP) is throwing its weight behind the initiative in the hope of encouraging more and more people to ‘belt up’ before setting off.
 
Joanne Wehrle, manager of SYSRP, said: “In a crash, you are twice as likely to die if you are not wearing a seatbelt, or if your seatbelt isn’t worn correctly.
 
“With those odds, and for such a simple task, absolutely everyone needs to be doing the right thing.
 
“Sadly, statistics still show that nationally, more than 20 per cent of car drivers and passengers killed in collisions were not wearing their seatbelt.”
 
Last year, 422 people in South Yorkshire were prosecuted for not wearing a seatbelt while driving. Of those, 403 were men.
 
Research has found that reasons for not wearing a seatbelt include the presumption that airbags provide enough protection, peer pressure and only travelling short distances.
 
“From seatbelts being uncomfortable, to drivers believing themselves to be a safe road user, there is no excuse at all for anyone to break the law when it comes to using a belt,” said Joanne.
 
“The risks of the potential injuries you could suffer in the event of a collision, far outweigh any myths around seatbelts themselves causing discomfort.
 
“The restraint is there for a reason and anyone who wants the freedom of driving, should be willing to follow the law and encourage their friends and family to do the same.
 
“Remember, no matter how careful a driver you are, you are not in control of those around you on the road. Give yourself the best possible protection.”

 The current law states that anyone aged 14 and above is responsible for wearing a seatbelt (unless they have a valid exemption).
 
Anyone breaking the law could face a £100 on-the-spot fine or £500 if prosecuted.
 
It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that children are in an appropriately-fitted car seat until they reach 135cm or their 12th birthday – whichever comes first.
 
The driver can be fined £500 if a child under 14 isn’t in the correct car seat or wearing a seatbelt.
 
“Before you even start your engine, it’s important that you fasten your belt and make sure that any children are correctly fastened in,” said Joanne.
 
“If your son or daughter has recently passed their test, please speak to them about why they need to wear a seatbelt.
 
“Protecting your loved ones with a seatbelt could be the difference between life and death.”
 
Research shows that those most at risk of not wearing a seatbelt are 16-25-year-old women and 16-35-year-old men, with most fatalities happening between 10pm and 1am.
 
Safer Roads will run a three-week social media campaign targeting this age group with educational messages  at set times.
 
To follow the Standing Up for Belting Up campaign follow SYSRP on social media @SYSaferRoads.
 
You can find more details about the law around seatbelts here: sysrp.co.uk/seatbelts.