No Seatbelt? You Could End Up With Three Penalty Points

MPs want negligent drivers, who refuse to wear seatbelts, to receive three penalty points on their licenses in a bid to improve road safety…

Wear a Seatbelt or Receive Points 

Nearly a third of people killed in road collisions weren’t wearing a seatbelt; meaning that dozens of lives could be saved each year if people simply used them. Which is why it’s not surprising that MPs are now looking to more rigorously enforce the use of seatbelts. As it stands, the penalty consists of a £100 fine, which can be reduced to a £53 awareness course. MPs now want offenders to face three penalty points on their driving licenses.

Some 25% of road deaths in 2016 involved vehicle occupants not wearing seatbelts. This rose to 30% 2018. The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) is now leading the case for more stringent enforcement measures. However, there’s no indication of how the measures, if passed, would be properly monitored and enforced. Drivers would need to know that penalty points are actually going to be divvied out by police officers and that requires a heightened presence.

A Great Success Story 

David Davies, executive director of PACTS, has suggested that the prospect of £100 fine is simply inadequate in ensuring compliance. He told The Times, “seatbelts are a great success story but the job is not yet done. The £100 fine does not emphasise to drivers the seriousness of the risk”. Precisely why anyone would opt not to wear a seatbelt is anyone’s guess. But there’s some suggestion that the popularity of SUVs and larger, bulkier vehicles have created a false sense of confidence in some drivers.

Whilst road safety is paramount for obvious reasons (to avoid needless injuries and deaths), there’s also a financial case to be made. Each and every fatal road casualty, on average, costs the nation’s economy a whopping £2 million. That’s a lot of money that could be going to schools and hospitals if drivers simply used a seatbelt…

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