DRIVERS across Worcestershire are being urged to ‘belt-up’ by West Mercia Police.
The force is joining others across the UK for the annual seat belt safety campaign launched on Monday by the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
The drive – to ensure motorists are using their seat belts and child seats and restraints correctly – runs until July 12.
Unless they have a specific exemption, it is illegal not to wear a seat belt on British roads, it is the driver’s responsibility that anyone in the car under 14 is using the correct restraint.
Officers will be clamping down on non-wearers in the next fortnight and those who flout the law face a £100 on-the-spot fine or £500 if it goes to court.
Statistics show crashes and injuries are much worse when seat belts are not worn and across West Mercia in the past three years 12 people have been killed and 33 seriously injured in collisions where the driver or passengers were not restrained.
And the move could not come soon enough for some – in one shift last week on Tuesday, PC Danny Fulford stopped five drivers in Wythall and Hollywood for not wearing a seat belt – all will be receiving their £100 fine for the offence.
Supt Mel Crowther, from West Mercia Police said: “Seat belts save lives and help to reduce the severity of an injury and seeing that some people still risk not wearing theirs is of great concern to us.”
She added supporting the national campaign with local activities and increased enforcement was important way to raise the issue and highlight the dangers of not wearing a seat belt or not using a correctly fitted car seat.