Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or email
Seatbelt fines total £2.6million
FINES worth nearly £2.6m have been given out over the last four years to drivers and passengers who were not wearing their seatbelts on Thames Valley roads.
Police issued 42,919 £60 tickets to motorists who failed to buckle up from 2010 until this year.
If a case goes to court this can rise to £500.
It is estimated that about 80 per cent of all deaths in cases where seatbelts were not worn could have been prevented, according to Thames Valley Police collision investigation data.
In a crash you are twice as likely to die if you do not wear a belt, according to Government findings.
Among reasons commonly given out by offenders for flouting the seatbelt law are that they forgot, the belt is uncomfortable or they were just going on a short trip.
Officials told the Free Press that some culprits have even complained of creases on their clothes. Claire Benson, head of specialist unit roads policing, said: "Wearing a seatbelt could potentially save your life.
"It's not just that you have to wear it, it's for your own safety and it's only you in charge of your own personal safety.
"We are really keen to address the problem. We want to spread the message to say you have to wear a seatbelt but there's some people who don't think they need to."
Since October offenders have been given a choice to take part in an online safety course costing £36, rather than paying the fine. However, if they fail to pass it they must pay the £60 and will get no refund.
Mrs Benson said: "Hopefully it does make you think about the consequences of not wearing a seat belt and what the ramifications would be for yourself and your family if you didn't."
Money from fines goes to The Treasury, not to police.
Transport for Buckinghamshire said it continues to work with police to stress the importance of buckling up.
Spokesman Dan Elworthy said: "Despite the fact that thousands of lives have been saved by seatbelts, these figures still show that a minority of people are not belting up."
The law requiring all drivers to wear their seatbelts came in to force in 1983.
To see a virtual simulator of a crash without seatbelts visit: http://think.direct.gov.uk/seat-belts.html
Comments are closed on this article.