RSGB Talk: are seat belts the forgotten road safety priority?

11.42 | 19 June 2019 | | 1 comment

In the latest RSGB Talk podcast, host Edward Seaman is joined by Evan Webster from PACTS to discuss seat belts – and whether they have become the ‘forgotten road safety priority’.

Evan Webster is a policy and research officer at the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) and co-authored a report, published in April 2019, highlighting interventions which should be employed to increase seat belt wearing rates.

Before debating those interventions – the most headline grabbing of which is an introduction of three penalty points for not wearing a seat belt – Evan explained the characteristics of non-wearers, as well as outlining reasons for non compliance.

He also shared the logic behind the report title: ‘Seat belts: the forgotten road safety priority’.

  • Click here to listen to/download the Evan Webster edition of RSGB Talk

Away from penalties and enforcement, Evan and Edward discuss road safety education – and whether current activities and interventions should be reviewed to establish whether seat belt wearing is given due prominence.

Public support is also considered, with Evan outlining the findings of a survey, carried out by Brake and Direct Line, in which 72% of respondents backed the introduction of penalty points for those found not wearing a seat belt.

The conversation concluded with Evan revealing two new research projects PACTS are currently working on, including a focus on drink driving.

Launched in December 2018, RSGB Talk is a monthly podcast published on the Road Safety GB website and hosted by either Nick Rawlings or Edward Seaman, editor and assistant editor of Road Safety News respectively.

The six previous editions feature:

  • Jeremy Leach, London campaign coordinator for 20’s Plenty for Us, discussing ‘all things 20mph’ (December 2018)
  • Sam Merison, director of the Road Safety GB Academy, talking about the future of the Academy (January 2019)
  • Sgt Road Heard, founder of the Older Drivers’ Forum, discussing how to keep older drivers safer for longer (February 2019)
  • Jonny Ewles, strategy director at VMLY&R – the creative agency which works on the young driver element of the THINK! Campaign (March 2019)
  • Alan Hiscox, director of safety at the British Horse Society, discussing the challenges faced by horse riders on UK roads. (April 2019)
  • Alan Kennedy, executive director of Road Safety GB, discussing the future for the organisation – including a new ‘world-first’ augmented reality road safety app. (May 2019)

To express an interest in appearing on a future edition of RSGB Talk, please contact Nick Rawlings via email.



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    I think we need to be careful what we wish for here, and beware of unintended consequences. I didn’t hear any questions or comments exploring the likelihood that forcing seat belt use on those people who wouldn’t wear them ordinarily would lead to them driving even more dangerously and to be even more danger to other road users.

    Charles, Wells
    Agree (3) | Disagree (1)

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