Lancashire Police are to investigate Rishi Sunak after he failed to wear a seatbelt as he filmed a social media clip in the back of a moving car.

The Prime Minister apologised for the Instagram video, posted on Thursday, which promotes his levelling-up funding during his visit to Lancashire.

Downing Street released a statement following the incident explaining that the PM had made a “brief error of judgment” by removing the safety device for the clip.

The spokesman said that Mr Sunak “fully accepts this was a mistake and apologises.

“The Prime Minister believes everyone should wear a seatbelt.

“It was an error of judgment, he removed it for a short period of time to film a clip, which you’ve seen, but he accepts that was a mistake.”

In the video, Mr Sunak addressed the camera, police motorbikes can be seen alongside the car. 

Speaking to the PA News Agency, a spokesperson for Lancashire Police said: “We are aware of the matter and we will be looking into it.”

As he walked away from a broadcast interview in Hartlepool, the PM was asked about failing to wear his seatbelt but he declined to answer.

What are the rules for wearing a seatbelt in a car?

Andover Advertiser: What are the rules for wearing a seatbelt? ( Canva)What are the rules for wearing a seatbelt? ( Canva) (Image: Canva)

The law dictates that drivers and passengers over the age of 14 must wear a seatbelt.

The driver is responsible for those under the age of 14 wearing a seat belt or using the right child restraint as required by law.

However, there are some exemptions to the law including when a car is being used for police, fire and rescue services and for certified medical issues.

However, Downing Street did not believe there was an exception for travelling in a ministerial car.

You can read more about the seatbelt laws via the NI Direct website.

How much can you be fined for not wearing a seatbelt in a car?

If you fail to wear a seatbelt, you could be punished with a fine of up to £500 - £1000 of which could be on the spot.

It comes as the Government has recently been considering toughening seatbelt rules to ensure drivers not wearing them could receive penalty points.

Around 30% of people killed in cars on Britain’s roads in 2021 were unrestrained, according to recent Department for Transport statistics. 

The Prime Minister has also been facing criticism for travelling to Blackpool in a taxpayer-funded RAF jet rather than using a train and then taking a 28-minute flight to Darlington.

In response to Mr Sunak's video, Labour said that it was “endless painful viewing” following a previous clip which showed the politician struggle to use a contactless bank card.

A Labour spokesperson commented: “Rishi Sunak doesn’t know how to manage a seatbelt, his debit card, a train service, the economy, this country.

“This list is growing every day, and it’s making for endless painful viewing.”

The AA issues seatbelt warning after Rishi Sunak video emerges

Following the video, the AA issued a warning about the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt.

“No matter who you are, it is important to wear your seatbelt when in the car,” an AA spokesperson said.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has also said “everyone should take seatbelt laws seriously – whoever and wherever they are”.