A new ‘hard-hitting’ campaign is urging drivers in Scotland to wear a seatbelt on every journey – on the back of a survey showing nearly one in ten ‘always drive’ without one.
Figures show 13% of those killed on Scotland’s roads over the last five years were not wearing a seatbelt.
The drivers surveyed also feel that drink-driving, drug-driving, using a phone while driving, driving while fatigued and driving aggressively are all ‘riskier’ than not wearing a seatbelt while driving.
Passengers not wearing a seatbelt was seen as ‘risky’ by just 27% of respondents.
The new campaign has been launched by the Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland.
Running across TV, cinema, radio, digital and outdoor channels, the campaign ad warns drivers that not wearing a seatbelt could cost them their lives – having a devastating impact on the loved ones they leave behind.
Set in a testing facility, the ad features a car with a crash test dummy – not wearing a seatbelt – in the driver’s seat.
As the car starts to drive towards a wall, the camera pans away from the impact and focuses on the effects on the driver’s family as they deal with their grief.
A crash test dummy family are seen sitting at a dinner table with an empty seat poignantly left for their lost family member as the final line appears: “It’s not just you who gets hurt. Wear a seatbelt.”
Graeme Dey, Scotland’s minister for transport, said: “Wearing a seatbelt is something everyone can do to reduce injuries and save lives.
“The consequences of not wearing your seatbelt can be devastating if a collision occurs – not only for the driver and passengers but for other people, including your loved ones.
“This campaign delivers a stark but necessary message to anyone travelling in a car: It’s not just you who gets hurt. Wear a seatbelt on every journey.”
Supt Simon Bradshaw, deputy head of road policing, Police Scotland, said: “Wearing a seatbelt is not a choice, it’s the law and the evidence is clear that seatbelts save lives; it’s not just you that could get hurt if you don’t.
“Our officers will interact with and educate drivers and passengers where necessary but we will also continue to take appropriate enforcement action and those caught not wearing a seatbelt could be fined up to £500.
“We’re also reminding drivers it’s their responsibility to ensure all passengers under 14 wear their seatbelts, and they can be fined for every child not properly restrained.”