More than 180 seatbelt offences were detected by Northumbria Police as part of a week-long campaign during March.
Part of a Europe-wide campaign organised by TISPOL, the Northumbria initiative (12-16 March) saw officers carry out seatbelt checks and taking action against offenders.
182 offences were identified – 86% more than the 2017 campaign total of 98. 180 of the offences were committed on urban roads, one of which included a child not wearing a seatbelt.
Northumbria Police also used the campaign to educate drivers on the change in child car seat and seatbelt legislation which came into effect in March 2017.
The new law states that children must use a child seat until they reach 12 years of age, or 135 cm tall – whichever comes first. Children over 12 years of age, or more than 135cm tall, must wear a seatbelt.
Under the new regulations, cushion booster seats are restricted to children who weigh 22kg, or are 148cm tall.
Inspector Dean Hood, Northumbria Police, said: “I’ve been extremely impressed by the quality and results of this operation and with the efforts of all our officers. They’ve done a fantastic job serving the public and helping to keep our roads and those that use them safe.
“By educating motorists on road safety and changes to laws, it helps us to tackle these issues and improve road safety for all road users and deal with matters that we know our communities are concerned about.
“The end message is clear; drivers think they can get away without wearing a seatbelt and these figures show this is not the case. It is an offence and more importantly a danger to yourself and other road users.
“Think before you drive – it only takes a second to be involved in a collision and the consequences can be life changing.”