90% Surge In Seat Belt Violations
18 APR – A sharp rise in seat belt violations was registered during the latest pan-European ROADPOL Seat Belt Operation.
The concentrated enforcement campaign was carried out for a week in March with 21 European road police forces performing active roadside checks. The focus was also at child restraints and wearing of helmets.
During the operation 1.054.086 vehicles were checked. At the inspections a number of 95.908 violations was detected by police officers. This is an almost 90% surge since a year ago when a mere 50.974 violations were registered. The rise is clear even after taking into account that this year the participating countries were three more than a year ago. Due to the fact that not all countries register the violations in the same way (adults/children; front/rear seats) this year ROADPOL registers only the total number of violations.
“These numbers clearly show how important road safety and seat belt controls are, because still too many drivers and passengers had not buckled up”, ROADPOL Operational Working Group Secretary Henk P. Jansen of Dutch Police commented. “The seat belts have two functions: they ensure that you stay in your car seat, so that you are not thrown out of the car and are not disoriented when the car hits water, for example. Seat belts also prevent you from crashing into the steering wheel, dashboard, front seats or windshield in the event of a collision. Airbags supplement this safety, but they only work effectively if the person stays in the seat in a collision. So Yes, wearing the seat belts is important”, Jansen explained.
“Seat belts save lives and the severity of the consequences of a crash often depends on whether or not a safety belt has been worn. Still, too many motorists do not strap on. And this is of absolute importance, because seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 37 to 48%, depending on the position in the car. The effect of child restraints is slightly higher at 50%”, Jansen added.