39 caught in police initiative

Tayside Police issued fixed penalty notices to 39 people who were found to be not wearing seatbelts during a Scotland-wide day of enforcement last Friday.

The campaign coincided with the 20th anniversary of the launch of legislation making the wearing of seat belts in the rear of a vehicle compulsory.

In the event, Tayside Police identified 37 drivers and two front seat passengers not wearing seatbelts during the day-long campaign. All were handed Conditional Offers of Fixed Penalty, which carry a £60 fine.

The 24-hour day of action also focused on speeding offences and a total of 12 drivers were detected driving in excess of permitted limits.

Sergeant Watson Fraser, Tayside Police, Road Policing Unit said: “This campaign’s results highlight that there is still an unacceptable number of drivers and passengers who are prepared not to wear a seat belt when travelling in a vehicle.

“By doing so they are significantly increasing their chances of serious injury or death should they be unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision. The dangers that they are exposing themselves and others who might be travelling with them cannot be overemphasised.

“In one incident in Arbroath, officers traced two youths who were being carried in the boot of a car. The consequences, had this vehicle being involved in a collision, do not bear thinking about, but serious injury or death would have been very real possibilities.

“Incidents such as this are thankfully few and far between but unfortunately people choosing not to wear seatbelts is all too common a practice. I urge all drivers and passengers to consider the potential dangers every time they travel in a vehicle and appeal to them to belt up.

“Unfortunately, it is a fact that collisions can and do occur. However, we all have a responsibility to do all we can to minimise the risk - Don’t risk it!”

Sergeant Fraser highlighted that the campaign also revealed that drivers are still prepared to speed. The majority of drivers detected speeding on Friday were travelling through built up areas.

He said: “Now that the majority of schools have broken up for summer holidays there will inevitably be an increase in children playing in residential areas. Drivers must be aware of this and drive at speeds appropriate to what is going on around them.

“By applying this principle they will be in a better position to stop safely if, for example, a child runs into the roadway to retrieve a ball. By driving at an appropriate speed and always being mindful of potential hazards, drivers will give themselves time to react and hopefully avoid becoming involved in collision.”

Although this particular campaign has passed, Tayside Police will continue to be proactive in respect of road safety providing education and enforcement wherever appropriate.