In the past six years, 36 drivers across the Thames Valley have been killed as a result of not wearing a seat belt, despite it being compulsory since 1983.
In addition, last year, 880 people were prosecuted for seat belt offences in the Thames Valley.
Thames Valley Police and Hampshire’s Joint Roads Policing Unit will be carrying out a week of activity to ensure that drivers wear a seat belt and that child seats are fitted correctly.
The enforcement activity will run from Monday 11 March until Sunday 17 March in line with the National Police Chief Council’s campaign.
Thames Valley Police’s Joint Operations Unit will be conducting seat belt and child seat checks throughout the week as well as handing out advice.
Sgt Rob Heard, the Road Safety Sergeant for Hampshire and Thames Valley Police, says, “The vast majority of people are wearing their seat belts, unfortunately we are still finding people who decide to take the risk and travel in a vehicle without wearing a seat belt. You are twice as likely to die in a collision if you are not wearing a seat belt and in the event of an collision if unrestrained, you will hit the windscreen, or the front seat in the case of a rear seat passenger at a force of 30 to 60 times your own body weight.
“Unfortunately some people are becoming complacent and feel a collision will never happen to them. People sometimes feel I am only driving locally and at a low speed so I will be ok. However research has shown that many collisions occur at low speed and within in few miles of home. I would always recommend to people to wear a seat belt every time you travel in a vehicle, it's not worth the risk.
“We will be also checking Child seats to make sure they are fitted and being used correctly. It has been identified that the majority of car seats across the UK are incorrectly fitted, where two in every three are not fitted properly. This may be contributing to the continuing rise in child road death and injury. If in doubt get your child seats checked by an approved fitter.”
Free child seat checks will take place on:
Monday 11 March, 10am to 2pm – Tesco A41 Tring Road with Bucks County Council and the In-Car Safety Centre
Thursday 14 March, 10am to 2pm – Tesco, Kingston District, Milton Keynes with MK Council and In-Car Safety Centre
Friday 15 March, 10am to 2pm – Tesco, Bicester with Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue and In-Car Safety Centre.