The IAM is warning that, despite 50 years of seat belt laws, “far too many drivers and passengers” are putting themselves and others in danger by not wearing seat belts
The first seat belt law came into force in January 1965 when all new cars in the UK were required to have seat belt anchorage points on the front seats, paving the way for compulsory seat belt wearing laws over the following decades.
The IAM quotes DfT stats which show that of the 232 car occupants killed in 2013 for which seatbelt data was recorded, 45 (19%) were not wearing a seat belt.
Kevin Delaney, the IAM’s head of road safety, is calling for continued campaigning by Government, police and road safety organisations to ensure the issue of wearing seatbelts remains a priority message.
Kevin Delaney said: “The biggest problem is complacency. Quite simply people feel it will never happen to them.
“They think if they are driving locally and at a low speed they will be OK. Statistics show that many accidents not only take place at low speeds but also within a few miles of home – so people are mistaken if they think that makes them safer.
“If people are not wearing a seat belt and find themselves heading towards an accident, it is far too late to do anything about it.
“We need to keep spreading the message particularly on rear seat belt use. And if people don’t take heed of it, they will end up as a DfT accident statistic.”