Seat belt warning to Easter drivers

POLICE in mid Essex will be clamping down on anyone who fails to clunk click over the Easter period in a bid to avoid last year's crash figures which caused misery for many families.

POLICE in mid Essex will be clamping down on anyone who fails to clunk click over the Easter period in a bid to avoid last year's crash figures which caused misery for many families.

The warning comes ahead of the Easter weekend break as road policing officers get set to target areas in and around Chelmsford, the region which saw over 70 road traffic collisions during the same two-week period in April 2003.

Following analysis of the contributing factors to those crashes, motorists using mobile phones, driving at excessive speeds, drink-driving or failing to wear seat belts will be prosecuted.

In the majority of cases, such incidents are often avoidable, with officers having to be taken away from tackling crime and disorder in order to break "heart-rending news" to loved ones of crash victims.


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Road Policing Sergeant Keith Whiting is eager to avoid a repeat performance of last year's tragic toll by ensuring motorists, passengers and parents are aware of the need to drive sensibly.

"Young people are involved in a disproportionate number of serious injury-related crashes," said Sgt Whiting.

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"Parents can directly affect the likelihood of their son or daughter being injured by making sure they travel in a car which is being driven by a trustworthy person. We don't want to be dealing with the aftermath of crashes like those depicted on television with the lads collecting a pizza and forgetting to wear a seat belt."

In the two-week Easter period during April 2003, road policing officers from Chelmsford attended 71 crashes, six of which resulted in victims receiving life-changing injuries.

Sgt Whiting added: "Easter is often one of our busiest periods of the year. Let's try to ensure everyone has a happy time so, even if we are at a crash scene, you don't need to be."

As well as placing a risk on lives, failure to wear a seat belt will result in a £30 fixed penalty ticket, with mobile phone abusers also facing similar fines. Speeding motorists and drink-drivers can expect prosecution at court.

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