Monday 29th July 2019
Drivers face penalty points if they are caught without a seat belt

As part of a new road safety action plan established by the Government, motorists who are caught without their seatbelt on may be given penalty points on their licence.

Sky News reports:

Drivers caught not wearing a seat belt could be given penalty points as well as a fine under new plans from the Department for Transport (DfT).

The tougher punishments mean repeat offenders could end up losing their licence for failing to buckle up.

Currently, motorists in England, Scotland and Wales face a £100 fine, but this can increase to £500 if the case goes to court.

Drivers in Northern Ireland already risk being given three points if they are found without a seat belt.

In 2017, 787 car occupants were killed in crashes on Britain's roads - and 27% of them were not wearing a seat belt. This was compared with 20% the previous year.

Earlier this year, a survey by Brake, a road safety charity, revealed that 49% of young drivers had been in a car with someone who had not worn a seat belt in the previous 12 months.

It has been compulsory for drivers and front seat passengers to wear a seat belt in the UK since January 1983. Rear seat belts were made compulsory for children in 1989 and adults in 1991.

The driver is responsible for making sure passengers under the age of 14 are strapped in, and they can be fined if they fail to do so.

Motorists lose their licence if they build up 12 or more points within three years. It has not been confirmed how many points will be given for those not wearing seat belts.

In January, police spoke to Prince Philip after he was photographed driving without a seat belt.

The changes are one of the new measures in the government's road safety action plan.

Other new initiatives include potentially banning young drivers in England from driving at night as part of a graduated licence system.

One in five young drivers are involved in an accident during their first year behind the wheel.

As well as not driving at night, new motorists could be subject to a minimum learning period and stopped from driving with passengers who are under a certain age.

Ministers are also exploring whether it is possible to install "alcolocks" - breathalyser-style devices - on cars used by convicted drink-drivers, preventing them from starting the engine unless they have passed a breath test.

The DfT said any changes to licensing would be consulted on before being made law.

The plans to improve safety on our roads are welcome considerations from the Government, with their hope that harsher punishments for those who do not use seatbelts but one example of a tougher stance on dangerous drivers.

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