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Partnership urges motorists to 'belt up' - 7 May 2015

With the UN Global Road Safety Week taking place this week, Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police Safer Roads Partnership are urging all motorists to belt up and wear their seat belt.

A particular focus for both forces is cracking down on those motorists who are not securing their children safely within the vehicle. Recent national enforcement campaigns have shown a 100% increase in the number of children not wearing their seatbelts or not in the correct child restraints over the past two years. The number of children killed or seriously injured on Britain's roads has risen for the first time in two decades.

Recent national studies have shown that the majority of child car seats across the UK are incorrectly fitted, with 2 in every 3 not fitted properly. Research suggests that wearing a seatbelt and being restrained within a correctly fitted car seat can reduce the fatality rate if involved in a collision by as much as 50%. If everyone in the UK wore a correctly fitted seat belt it is estimated that over 350 lives and 1,000 serious casualties could be saved a year.

The campaign locally will be a combination of education and enforcement and will be run from 4th - 10th May.

Vicki Bristow, Communications Manager for the Safer Roads Partnership said: "Although most people do wear their seat belts there are still a few that either choose not to or simply forget. We're urging both drivers and passengers to ensure they wear their seat belt at all times as it may just give them the added protection they need if involved in a collision. We're particularly encouraging parents, carers and professional childcare establishments to check the children they are carrying in their cars are travelling in the correct size car seat and that it is correctly fitted. Not using the correct car seat or seatbelt can be a fatal decision, even on short, familiar journeys and slow speeds. It's not worth the risk of potential injury or a fine."

Superintendent Lee Davenport of Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police comments:

"Enforcing the law on seat belt use and correct car seat use is a focus for us during this campaign and our officers are fully committed to supporting this throughout all areas in Warwickshire and West Mercia. Seat belts and the use of car seats are an effective means of reducing serious injuries and fatalities and anything we can do to increase their use has got to be a positive step".

For more information or advice about car seats for children visit www.direct.gov.ukand search for child car seats.