Police highlight dangers as more than 6,000 Essex people caught not buckling up last year

Police are highlighting the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt

Police are highlighting the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt - Credit: Archant

Police are emphasizing the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt after latest statistics revealed that more than 6,000 people in the county were caught not buckling up last year.

The figures, released yesterday (March 10), showed that 6,344 people in Essex were reported for the offence of not wearing their seatbelt in 2015. Those caught are offered the opportunity to complete an online course about seatbelt safety - or pay a £100 fine.

Casualty reduction officer Adam Pipe said: “If you are involved in a road traffic collision, you are twice as likely to die if you do not wear a seatbelt.

“Just one person not wearing a seatbelt can be thrown around with enough force to kill or seriously injure other people within the car.

“While modern cars do have additional safety measures, such as airbags, they will not be as effective in reducing your risk of injury if you are not buckled up.

“Unfortunately people still do take the risk and it is worryingly all too common.”

Police have also seen cases of drivers carrying more passengers than their cars are designed for, meaning not everyone was safely buckled in.

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Road policing officers stopped more than 30 vehicles during stop checks around the Lakeside shopping centre in December last year.

Officer Pipe said: “Worryingly, we found that many of the passengers who were not safely strapped in were children.

“In one particular case, we stopped a car with a mother holding a two-week-old baby in her lap, alongside another three children.

“They were sitting in a back seat designed for only three people and none were wearing seatbelts.”

For more information on seatbelt safety, visit www.saferessexroads.org/road-users/advice/seatbelts/.