Ilfracombe seat belt crack down

Motorists are being asked to belt up or pay up.

Motorists are being asked to belt up or pay up. - Credit: Archant

Police catch 14 drivers not wearing a seat belt in just two days.

ILFRACOMBE motorists have been told to buckle up or pay up after police issued 14 fixed penalty tickets in just two days.

They were carrying out a road side operation on general driving offences, but instead caught numerous people breaking the law by not wearing a seat belt.

Alongside speeding, drinking and using a mobile phone, the offence is known as one of the ‘fatal four’ among police - a common cause of death or injury in road traffic collisions.

PC Nella Barker, who led the Ilfracombe operation, said spotters at the top of the High Street would alert a patrol car of potential offenders and they were stopped further along Portland Street.

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“It is sadly a really common problem,” she said.

“I do not enjoy giving out these tickets as invariably the people we stop are apologetic and nice, however it takes a few moments to put a seat belt on, it’s against the law not to and it significantly improves their safety.

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“We will continue to run initiatives and tackle this problem until people in Ilfracombe hopefully get into the habit of buckling up.”

By law, drivers and passengers must wear seat belts while in a vehicle – statistics show those who don’t are twice as likely to die in a collision.

PC Rod Lomas from the serious collisions unit added: “Motorists often see being stopped for not wearing a seat belt as something trivial.

“But all too often we attend fatal and serious collisions where had the occupants been wearing a seat belt the severity of injuries would have been greatly reduced and the chances of survival greatly increased.”

PC Barker said excuses from those stopped included ‘Oh I had just pulled out’, or ‘I was only going up the road’.

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