Many still flouting seatbelt laws

Many still flouting seatbelt laws

Many drivers and passengers still don't wear seatbelts as the safety measure moves into its 50th year, the Institute of Advanced Motorists has warned.

January 1965 saw the introduction of the first seatbelt law, meaning all new UK cars had to be fitted with seatbelt anchorage points on outer front seats.

The laws have been strengthened in subsequent decades, making it compulsory to belt up, including in the rear.

Despite this, n early a fifth of car occupants killed in accidents in 2013 - 45 out of 232 - were not wearing a seatbelt, Department for Transport figures show.

The IAM warns that complacency means many people are not belting up, despite the obvious safety benefits. Some 2,000 people a year are saved by their seatbelt, according to Safer Roads.

The alternative is stark. Without a seatbelt to provide a restraint, a person in an accident would hit the windscreen - or the front seat if sat in the back - at a force of between 30 and 60 times their body weight.

IAM head of road safety Kevin Delaney says people mistakenly believe that short, local journeys at a low speed are safe to take without putting on their seatbelt.

But many accidents take place within a few miles of home and at low speeds, Mr Delaney warned.

He urges police, road safety groups and the Government to continue pressing the message home that seatbelts save lives.

Copyright Press Association 2015