Calls for seatbelt law crackdown

The Scottish Government is urging tougher penalties for drivers who do not wear a seatbelt after figures showed that 19 lives could have been saved last year if people had buckled up.

Currently, motorists who do not wear a seatbelt risk suffering from higher car insurance premiums and a fixed penalty notice of a £60 fine if they are caught.

But Scottish ministers are demanding that those found flouting the law by not wearing their belt or allowing child passengers under the age of 14 to travel with them without restraint should also be punished by having penalty points added to their driver's licence.

Decision-making powers over the seatbelt law have not been devolved to the Scottish Parliament, with the final say remaining in the hands of Westminster.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson have now put forward their case for harsher penalties in a written letter to UK Transport Secretary Philip Hammond.

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