All Wales seatbelt campaign
The All Wales Seatbelt Campaign starts on 7 March 2016 and Flintshire County Council is again supporting and raising awareness of the penalties and consequences of not wearing a seatbelt or failing to use a suitable child car seat.
Not wearing a seatbelt is illegal and can be fatal even on short, familiar journeys and at low speeds. As a driver, you are responsible for ensuring that passengers under 14 wear a seatbelt or use the correct child restraint for their height and age. Also, only one person should use each seatbelt â€“ no sharing!
The penalty for not wearing a seatbelt is a £100 on-the-spot fine. If prosecuted, the maximum fine is £500. It only takes 3 seconds to put on a seatbelt!
Steve Jones, Flintshire County Council’s Chief Officer for Streetscene and Transportation, said: “The law says that seatbelts must be worn at all times. The simple fact is that seatbelts save lives, even on the shortest trips and at the lowest speeds. I urge people to remember the importance of wearing seatbelts both in the front and back of a vehicle and always use the correct child safety restraints.”
You must also wear a seatbelt if you’re a disabled driver or passenger, unless you don’t have to for medical reasons. You may need to adapt your vehicle.
Pregnant women must also wear a seatbelt unless your doctor says you don’t have to for medical reasons. This applies to both front and back seats and pregnancy does not in itself automatically provide exemption from the law. To ensure any sudden impact can be absorbed by the body’s frame, the safest way for pregnant women to wear a seatbelt is:
- Place the diagonal strap between the breasts (over the breastbone) with the strap resting over the shoulder, not the neck.
- Place the lap belt flat on the thighs, fitting comfortably beneath the enlarged abdomen, and over the pelvis not the bump.
- The belt should be worn as tight as possible.
Pregnant women should not wear ‘lap-only belts’ as they have been shown to cause grave injuries to unborn children in the event of sudden deceleration.
The law is very specific about the safety of children travelling in the front or rear seat of any car, van or goods vehicle. They must use the correct child car seat until they are either 135 cm in height or 12 years old (which ever they reach first). After this, they must use an adult seatbelt. There are very few exceptions.
There are many different types of child car seat available so take your time when choosing. Visit shops and look around on websites to get a good idea of what seats are available and which ones are likely to be the most suitable for your child and your car. For more information visit www.childcarseats.org.uk.
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