HUNDREDS of people have been caught not wearing a seatbelt by police officers in Hampshire during a month of action.

From May 24 to June 13, the Joint Operations Unit (JOU) of Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police supported the National Police Chiefs’ Council seatbelt campaign.

This saw officers highlighting the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt, carrying out dedicated operations targeting those who fail to wear a seatbelt despite the clear dangers.

Officers stopped 342 vehicles in Hampshire, Thames Valley and the Isle of Wight as part of the campaign.

Together with council partners, officers from the JOU’s Road Safety Unit educated those who were not wearing or incorrectly wearing seatbelts as well as drivers with an unsuitable child seat.

Unfortunately, 214 people chose not to wear a seatbelt and were reported for that offence.

Some may have the option to carry out an online diversion course, Your Belt, Your Life.

Drivers with pets that were not properly secured were also given advice on keeping them safe for future journeys.

Sgt Scott Kerr, road safety sergeant for Hampshire and Thames Valley Police, said: “The recent seatbelt campaign in May and June showed that the vast majority of people are wearing their seatbelts. This is very positive, as we know that wearing a seatbelt correctly saves lives.

“It does not matter how far you are travelling, every journey needs all occupants to buckle up. Research has shown that many collisions occur at low speed and within only a few miles of home.

“You are twice as likely to lose your life in a collision if you are not wearing a seatbelt. 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.

“Please wear a seat belt every time you travel in a vehicle. It's just not worth the risk.”