Seat-belt fine may double to £60

Not wearing your seat belt could cost you double - up to £60 from £30 - under the latest Government initiative aimed at reducing the number of casualties from traffic accidents.

At present, although 94% of drivers and front-seat passengers wear belts, only 70% of adult back-seat passengers belt up, according to new research.

Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker said: "By increasing the fixed penalty we hope to deter more motorists from not wearing a seatbelt and underline to them and other road users the risks."

Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: "Wearing a seatbelt could save your life; it's as simple as that. Research is clear that around 350 lives in 2006 could have been saved by belting up.

"Today's proposal sends a clear message about this and will encourage more people to belt up for all trips. Alongside this, the Department for Transport will soon be launching a new, hard-hitting public information campaign reminding everyone of the value of always using a seat belt."

Views are also being sought on increasing the fixed penalty for the misrepresentation of vehicle registration marks from £30 to £60 in an attempt to crack down on illegal number plate offences.

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