Police clamp down on seat-belt dodgers

By Arliss PorterPOLICE said last night they were “astonished” by the number of motorists who refused or forgot to wear seat-belts.Officers have now vowed to get tough by imposing £30 fines on drivers and passengers who fail to wear a seat-belt.

By Arliss Porter

POLICE said last night they were “astonished” by the number of motorists who refused or forgot to wear seat-belts.

Officers have now vowed to get tough by imposing £30 fines on drivers and passengers who fail to wear a seat-belt.

Sergeant Keith Whiting, of Essex Police, said: “We are going to a collision every month where road users would have lived if they had worn a seat-belt.


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“If you are wearing a seat-belt, you can get out of an horrific accident with cuts and bruises, as opposed to being killed in exactly the same collision.

“I can tell you from crashes that I have attended, it's not cool to be flung out of a car side window at 70mph.

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“Neither is it fun to be thrown out of a sunroof when the car has overturned or flung forward and killed the person sitting in front of you, or to be thrown out through the windscreen and into a ditch.”

Sgt Whiting said motorists who failed to wear seat-belts were increasing the risk of suffering death or injury.

“Road policing officers do not look forward to knocking on people's doors to inform loved ones of a family death, but know that they will have to if people do not heed their simple warnings,” he added.

“It's your choice. We here at Essex Police feel we do everything we can do to prevent you from adding your family to the growing list of families who have already been tragically and irreversibly affected by such an avoidable death. “We will be at the scene of the next road death, you don't need to be.”

The new £30 fixed penalty fines will apply to drivers aged 17 and over. Motorists will also be responsible for anyone aged under 16 travelling without a seat-belt in their vehicles, while front and rear seat passengers aged 17 or over will be liable to pay their own fines.

Last year, there were 6,074 collisions on Essex roads, leaving 92 people dead and more than 1,000 seriously injured.

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