"IT'S just not worth the risk

That is the message from Hampshire police this week as it supports nationwide seatbelt campaign with officers from the force's Joint Roads Policing Unit stopping vehicles where drivers and passengers are not wearing their seatbelt.

The law states that drivers are responsible for ensuring that suitable safety restraints are worn by all passengers under 14 years of age with the penalty for being caught not wearing a seatbelt an on-the-spot £100 fine, or if prosecuted up to £500.

Failure to wear a seatbelt has been identified as one of the four key causation factors influencing the number of fatalities in road traffic collisions.

Sergeant Rob Heard from the Joint Roads Policing Unit for Hampshire and Thames Valley Police, said: “The vast majority of people are wearing their seatbelts, unfortunately we are still finding people who decide to take the risk and travel in a vehicle without wearing a seatbelt.

“You are twice as likely to die in a collision if you are not wearing a seatbelt and in the event of an accident 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 just not worth the risk."

Police will also be working with partner organisations checking child seats to make sure they are fitted and being used correctly.