Road Safety GB has welcomed the introduction of a tougher penalty for failing to wear a seat belt, which was introduced earlier this week.
The fixed penalty notice for failing to wear a seatbelt increased from £30 to £60 on 29 June. The fine for using illegal number plates has also increased by the same amount.
Alan Kennedy, chair of Road Safety GB, said: “Wearing a seatbelt is the single most important thing you can do to ensure your safety when travelling in a car or other motor vehicle.
“Despite this, there is a persistent minority of road users who continue to ignore the rules and advice, putting themselves and others at risk of being killed or seriously injured. If everyone wore a seatbelt we could see a significant reduction in deaths and serious injuries.
“Road Safety GB welcomes the tougher penalties for seatbelt offenders and hopes that the new measures that are coming into force highlight the need to belt up every time you get into a vehicle.”
The increase follows a public consultation seeking views on how to tackle the fact that many motorists persist in failing to comply with seatbelt laws, despite repeated warnings that they are risking serious injury or death to themselves and others.
While DfT educational campaigns and publicity have made considerable differences in behaviour, some drivers and passengers are still ignoring the fact that seat belts reduce the risk of dying in a 30mph crash by 60%.
Paul Clark, road safety minister, said: “Every day someone dies because they do not think they always need to use a seat belt. This tragic waste could be avoided if everyone took the simple step of belting up every time they got in a car.
“That’s why we run hard-hitting campaigns which highlight the injuries you are likely to receive if you are involved in a collision when not using a seatbelt – even at low speeds. I am confident that these campaigns, along with the increased fixed penalty for not using a seatbelt, will mean that fewer people are needlessly killed on our roads.”