‘Make the right choice – wear your seat­belt’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - BUCKLE UP -

A ROAD safety of­fi­cer has backed our cam­paign and talked about the work she does to help mo­torists and pas­sen­gers stay safe.

June Howlett is part of the Net­work Safety Team at Bucks County Coun­cil, who work with Thames Val­ley Po­lice to try to re­duce road col­li­sions.

“We carry out ed­u­ca­tional road­side checks to de­tect driv­ers not wear­ing seat­belts. This gives us an op­por­tu­nity to speak with driv­ers about the choice they have made not to wear a seat­belt that day and to in­flu­ence them about the ben­e­fits of mak­ing sure they wear a seat­belt on ev­ery trip.”

The team re­ceives po­lice in­jury col­li­sion data, which they use to in­ves­ti­gate, an­a­lyse and mon­i­tor col­li­sions. The team may de­cide to re­tex­ture a road to im­prove grip or to lower a speed limit to re­duce the like­li­hood of an ac­ci­dent.

Mrs Howlett added: “Through our young driver cour­ses, plan­ning and cop­ing strate­gies are pro­moted to help driv­ers and pas­sen­gers stick to their good in­ten­tions to al­ways wear their seat­belt.

“We look at sit­u­a­tions where they might not wear a seat­belt and en­cour­age them to de­velop strate­gies to man­age that risk.

“We also work with driv­ing in­struc­tors to pro­mote the im­por­tance of not only wear­ing a seat­belt, but wear­ing it cor­rectly. Mak­ing sure the di­ag­o­nal strap is over the shoul­der and not tuck­ing it un­der your arm will help avoid in­ter­nal in­juries to the chest and re­lated or­gans.

“The rate of seat­belt wear­ing na­tion­ally is quite high, at 96 per cent for all driv­ers, ac­cord­ing to The Depart­ment for Trans­port. The dif­fi­culty with any cam­paign is try­ing to un­der­stand the four per cent who choose not to wear a seat belt and tar­get­ing a mes­sage at them.

“The Buckle Up cam­paign is a great idea to en­cour­age ev­ery­one to wear a seat­belt on all jour­neys; not wear­ing a seat­belt can be a fa­tal decision even on short, fa­mil­iar jour­neys and at low speeds.”

She said the team’s mes­sage to any­one who does not wear a seat belt is sim­ple: “Seat­belts work in con­junc­tion with other safety mea­sures, such as airbags and head re­straints; th­ese will not be as ef­fec­tive if you’re not wear­ing a seat­belt. In the event of a crash, fail­ure to wear a seat­belt may af­fect any claim for per­sonal in­jury to the per­son not wear­ing the seat­belt.

“As driv­ers or pas­sen­gers we all have choices, make the right one – wear your seat­belt.”

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