Police in Kent will be working with partner agencies to support a national campaign aimed at reducing the number of people killed or seriously hurt on the county’s roads.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council seatbelt campaign started on Monday 31 May and runs until Sunday 13 June 2021 and will see officers from the Roads Policing Unit target the county’s hotspot areas for collisions where the lack of seatbelt was a factor.

The aim of the operation is to encourage drivers to comply with the seatbelt legislation to save lives and prevent injuries.

It has been recognised that in a crash you are twice as likely to die if you don’t wear a seatbelt and there is evidence to suggest that people are less likely to use seatbelts on short or familiar journeys, putting them at serious risk of injury in a collision.

Drivers caught without a seatbelt face on-the-spot fines of £100. If prosecuted, the maximum fine is £500.

Chief Inspector Elena Hall from the Roads Policing Unit said: ‘Kent Police is working with the Kent County Council Road Safety Team and the Kent and Medway Safety Camera Partnership to educate road users of the importance of wearing seatbelts.

Mobile camera vans will be out supporting the campaign, detecting seatbelt offences as well as looking out for excess speed and mobile phone use. Drivers and passengers who fail to wear seatbelts in the front and back of vehicles are breaking the law.

‘By not wearing a seatbelt you are risking a fine, but much more seriously you are risking your own safety and could be seriously injured if involved in a collision. The driver’s responsibility includes ensuring young passengers are safe and secure.’

Seatbelts have been compulsory for 38 years

Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport David Brazier said: ‘Seatbelts have been compulsory for 38 years and whether you put it on or not should never be questioned.

‘Unfortunately, there are still instances where seatbelts are not worn – it is such a simple thing to do, yet if you don’t, the dangers to you and any passengers with you, can be catastrophic.

‘We recently did a survey and found one in five passengers said they did not always wear seatbelts in the back of a vehicle; one in every 10 drivers said they did not always wear a seatbelt.

‘Every time you choose not to do so, you are taking a huge, potentially life-changing risk. I hope this action by our partners at Kent Police will help it click with those that choose not to wear one.’

By Ed

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