TAYSIDE Police along with all Scottish Police Forces, are taking part in a national campaign to provide education and enforcement about the dangers associated with not wearing seat belts and speeding.
The 24-hour campaign coincides with the 20th anniversary of legislation that made it compulsory for rear seat passengers to wear seatbelts and it gets under way from 7 a.m. today (Friday, July 1).
While the main focus of the campaign is to promote compliance with the law in respect of the wearing seat belts, speeding offences are also being targeted.
No one can be oblivious to the potential consequences of not wearing a seat belt as clearly they can be devastating for anyone who is involved in a collision.
Even at low speeds there is a considerable risk of some one being thrown about in a vehicle and with that the potential to collide with other passengers, or whatever is inside the vehicle.
Death or serious injury can arise – even at low speeds.
At higher speeds the potential for being thrown from the vehicle is significantly increased.
Sergeant Watson Fraser from Tayside Police HQ’s Road Policing Unit said: “Statistics show that wearing a seat belt halves the risk of serious injury or death where someone is involved in a collision.
“Indeed, numbers of serious injuries and deaths on our roads have generally reduced over many years and one of the major factors in that is the use of seat belts. There is no doubt that wearing a seat belt helps to prevent being thrown about inside or thrown from a vehicle in the event of a collision.
“That is as true for the back seat passenger as it is for the driver and front seat passenger. A rear seat passenger who fails to wear a seat belt and is involved in a collision, will be thrown forward with considerable force and with no control over the direction they travel in.
“It is now 20 years since rear seat belt legislation was put in place. Putting on a seatbelt should be a natural and instinctive action, regardless of where you are sitting in a vehicle. There is no place for complacency, you may regret it if you don’t wear your seat belt. Don’t risk it”
During 2010 in Tayside, a total of 985 persons were reported for failing to wear a seat belt.
This includes 34 drivers of cars, where a child was not suitably restrained within a vehicle.
During the same year, a total of 30 people died on roads in Tayside. The financial penalty for failure to wear a seat belt is £60.
Sergeant Fraser continued: “It is difficult to take account of every factor that might contribute to a potential collision or incident. But the driver’s priority must always be their own personal safety and that of their passengers.
“It is essential for a child’s safety that their parent, guardian or carer, knows how to fit the restraint correctly and routinely check its adjustment.
“Anyone who routinely carries children in their vehicles can contact the Tayside Road Safety Officers to receive advice on the correct fitting of car seats. They can be reached via 01382 596431.”
Tayside Safety Camera Partnership (TSCP) is once again supporting the 24-hour campaign and will be deploying mobile safety cameras to locations across the region with a history of collisions and speeding.
Arron Duncan, Partnership Manager for the TSCP, said: “Unfortunately, the number of drivers caught speeding in recent campaigns has highlighted the need for continued enforcement.
“Excessive or inappropriate speed increases both the likelihood of a collision and the severity of the injuries that result. It remains our primary objective to reduce both of these outcomes.
“We must, therefore, encourage motorists to reduce their speed for their own safety and for the safety of other road users.”