HUNDREDS BACK OUR CAMPAIGN
THE coroner who issued a plea for every motorist and passenger to wear a seatbelt after the death of 21-year-old Patrik Biel has backed our Buckle Up! campaign to keep people safe on the road.
Richard Hulett has been the coroner for Buckinghamshire since 1991 and presides over every sudden, unexpected death in the county, including all fatal road crashes.
At the inquest into the death of Patrik Biel, who lived in Devonshire Avenue, Amersham, it was revealed that the young driver was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash in Rectory Hill that claimed his life.
In an interview with this newspaper, Mr Hulett backed our campaign and said that buckling up can often be the difference between life and death.
“Seatbelts do not save lives every time but it is a very easy thing to do – you get into a car and you should put on a seatbelt without thinking, yet some people do not. Every year there are cases when the officers say that crashes could have been survivable if people had worn seatbelts.
Mr Hulett added: “It must be horrible for families – it is something that comes out of the inquest. You can’t lecture the dead but other people can take note and put on a seatbelt. It is those collisions when people are thrown from the vehicle, and that would not happen if people were wearing a seatbelt.
“It is the simplest thing to do,” he stressed, “and it could be something that saves your life.”
Mr Hulett explained that as technology has improved, cars have become safer, but it is the simple act of buckling up that can make the biggest difference.
“Cars have evolved so well that a lot of life-changing injuries do not happen. The percentage of deaths from road traffic collisions has gone down.”
VOICE OF EXPERIENCE: Coroner Richard Hulett