More than 30 drivers caught not wearing belts

TAYSIDE Police caught 39 people - 37 of them drivers - not wearing seatbelts as part of a national crackdown at the weekend.

And two youths were even discovered being carried in the boot of a car in Arbroath.

Fixed penalties, which carry a £60 fine, were issued to all the drivers and two front seat passengers during the day-long campaign.

The Scotland-wide initiative ran from 7am on Friday to 7am the following day and coincided with the 20th anniversary of the launch of legislation making the wearing of seat belts in the rear of vehicles compulsory.

The action also focused on speeding and a further 12 drivers were caught driving in excess of permitted limits.

Sergeant Watson Fraser, from Tayside Police’s road policing unit, said the campaign had highlighted an “unacceptable number” of drivers and passengers who were willing to take to the road without wearing seatbelts.

He said: “By doing so they are significantly increasing their chances of serious injury or death should they be unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision. The dangers to which they are exposing themselves and others who might be travelling with them cannot be overemphasised.

“In one incident in Arbroath, officers traced two youths who were being carried in the boot of a car. The consequences, had this vehicle being involved in a collision, do not bear thinking about but serious injury or death would have been very real possibilities.

“Incidents such as this are thankfully few and far between, but unfortunately people choosing not to wear seatbelts is all too common a practice. I urge all drivers and passengers to consider the potential dangers every time they travel in a vehicle and appeal to them to belt up.

“Unfortunately, it is a fact that collisions can and do occur. However, we all have a responsibility to do all we can to minimise the risk -Don’t risk it!”

Sergeant Fraser also said that the campaign also revealed that drivers are still prepared to speed and he highlighted that the majority of drivers caught speeding on Friday were travelling through built-up areas.

He said: “Now that the majority of schools have broken up for summer holidays there will inevitably be an increase in children playing in residential areas. Drivers must be aware of this and drive at speeds appropriate to what is going on around them.

“By applying this principle they will be in a better position to stop safely if, for example, a child runs into the roadway to retrieve a ball. By driving at an appropriate speed and always being mindful of potential hazards, drivers will give themselves time to react and hopefully avoid becoming involved in collision.”

Although this particular campaign has passed, a Tayside Police spokesman said the force will continue to take the initiative regarding road safety, providing education and enforcement wherever appropriate.