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Police target drivers who fail to belt-up

Police in Suffolk will be targeting drivers and passengers who don’t belt-up during a week-long enforcement campaign.

Additional checks will be carried out as part of the Europe-wide TISPOL seatbelt enforcement initiative which begins on Monday and runs until Sunday (13-19 March).

Wearing a seatbelt can prevent many collision-related injuries and fatalities and it is compulsory drivers wear them, and ensure their passengers buckle-up too.

Officers from the joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit will be conducting checks on motorists and their passengers across both counties. Those who are not wearing one could be fined or face further action.

During the last TISPOL campaign held in October last year, 102 people in Suffolk were caught driving without a seatbelt.

Head of the Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit, Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, said: "Wearing a seatbelt is such a basic piece of road safety advice that it is hard to believe some people still fail to belt-up.”

Suffolk Police and Crime Commission, Tim Passmore, said: "I fully support the Constabulary’s campaign to crack down on irresponsible drivers who still refuse to buckle up whilst driving, but it amazes me that drivers should need to be reminded about something so obvious.

"I really cannot believe that anyone could set off in their vehicle without securing their seat-belt first and ensuring their passengers are doing the same.

"Everyone knows you are more likely to die in a crash if you don't wear a seat belt, so I just can’t understand why anyone would flout this law.”

He added, "We have increased investment in roads policing and have an additional roads policing unit and four additional motorbikes on the county’s roads so there’s a very good chance you’ll be caught.”

Councillor Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Environment and Public Protection, who is a member of Suffolk Roadsafe Board, said: "If you notice friends and family not wearing seatbelts then don’t hesitate to point it out. The evidence is clear, seatbelts save lives and prevent serious injuries.”

Seatbelts should be worn in any vehicle they are provided in, including buses and goods vehicles.

Anyone caught not wearing a seatbelt may be issued with a TOR (Traffic Offence Report) and face a fine, points on their licence or even court action.