Drivers told to make sure passengers belt up
1:10pm Sunday 30th September 2012 in News
“No belt = no lift” – that’s the direct message to local drivers from Devon and Cornwall Police traffic officers.
The warning has been issued to highlight the dangers of drivers carrying an excess number of passengers in their vehicles.
Officers are concerned at a worrying trend of drivers giving lifts to more passengers than a vehicle has seatbelts for.
There is particular concern at the number of younger drivers breaking the law in this way.
The standard fixed penalty for those drivers committing this offence is a fine of £60 with a three penalty point endorsement.
For those in their first two years of driving, this means they are half-way to losing their licence – all for trying to help a friend or to save a taxi-fare.
Commented PC John Larcombe-Ford: “We have found people in boots, lying across floor-wells and often with three people across the rear seat when there are only two seatbelts.
“In any impact, unrestrained passengers in the vehicle will sustain serious injuries even at low speed and potentially inflict very serious injuries on those who are properly restrained.”
In the past 12 months, Devon and Cornwall Police have issued around 80 fixed penalty tickets for this type of offence.
One recent case involved a young woman who will now have her licence revoked, having already received three points for speeding in her first year of driving.
“The consequence of this will have a far-reaching impact for her and her family, not to mention the increased cost of insurance, together with the hassle and cost of having to re-take her driving test,” added PC Larcombe-Ford.
“I would urge everyone to think very carefully about how many people they carry in their vehicles.”