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Police urge motorists to 'Belt up'

With a national seat belt enforcement campaign starting next week, West Mercia Police are urging all motorists to stay safe and belt up. The campaign is being run across the UK and co-ordinated by NPCC, the National Police Chiefs' Council, to improve road safety and law enforcement.

The campaign is being run from 11th - 24th March to ensure motorists are using their seatbelts and child restraints correctly and to crack down on offenders who continue to break the law. Seatbelt use is such a significant contributory factor with regards to road collisions and the resulting injuries. In the UK it is a legal requirement for drivers and passengers to wear a seatbelt, unless they have an exemption and it is the driver's legal responsibility to ensure that any passenger under 14 years old is using the appropriate child restraint or an adult seatbelt.

Over the past 2 years in West Mercia 9 people have been killed and 14 seriously injured in collisions where a seatbelt has not been worn. Throughout the campaign Officers will be out and about in local communities taking part in a mixture of enforcement and educational initiatives.

Superintendent Melanie Crowther for West Mercia Police comments: "Supporting this national campaign with local activities and increased enforcement is an important way of raising the issue and highlighting the dangers of not wearing a seat belt. National studies have shown that drivers and passengers aged 17-34 have the lowest seat belt-wearing rates, combined with the highest collision rate, which is of great concern to us. Apart from the obvious consequences if you are involved in a collision and not wearing a seat belt correctly, drivers and passengers who fail to wear seatbelts in the front and back of vehicles are breaking the law and face an on-the-spot fine of £100. If prosecuted, the maximum fine can be up to £500 so we're urging all motorists to take our advice and 'Belt up'.