‘Make the right choice – wear your seatbelt’
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.”