Sussex Police support crackdown on non-seatbelt wearers

SUSSEX Police and its partners will be supporting a national week-long seatbelt enforcement campaign from tomorrow (Monday, March 11).

Officers will be carrying out enforcement checks across the force area to make sure road users are complying with the law and wearing seatbelts.

The road policing unit is running the campaign alongside a TISPOL Europe-wide campaign and in conjunction with the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership.

Chief Inspector Phil Nicholas said: “There is evidence that people are less likely to use seatbelts on short of familiar journeys.

“By doing this they are placing themselves at risk of serious injury in a collision.

“Any driver or passenger who fails to wear a seatbelt in a vehicle is breaking the law.

“Drivers caught without a seatbelt face on-the-spot fines of £60. If prosecuted, the maximum fine is £500, however the consequences could be much greater if you are involved in a collision.”

Alongside the enforcement a number of events will be taking place across the county to educate people about the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt.

In 2012, Sussex Police issued 4,017 £60 fixed penalty notices for seat belt offences.

This month, Sussex Police is also joining some other forces around the country in offering educational courses for road offences.

The Your Belt – Your Life seatbelt educational course is being launched in Sussex to coincide with the enforcement campaign.

It will be offered to people as an alternative to a fine for not wearing a seatbelt.

The course is run online or via a workbook sent to people’s homes.

The course participant must pay £36 to take part as an alternative to a £60 fine for not wearing a seatbelt.

Other courses to be made available include Driving 4 Change, aimed at drivers who display careless or under performance while driving, and What’s Driving Us, aimed at producing safer and more responsible attitudes towards driving.

Both the courses can only be offered if the behaviour hasn’t resulted in a collision.

There is also RIDE, designed for motorcyclists who have been involved in a road collision as a result of their carelessness.

Chief Inspector Nicholas said: “Speed awareness courses are already offered by Sussex Police to people who are caught speeding and we have seen that the course produces positive changes in attitudes about speeding.

“It is hoped that these further courses would provide similar results.”