That’s the message from police after week-long safety checks caught nearly 6,000 British drivers who still refuse to buckle themselves in. Traffic officers also found 160 children travelling unrestrained in cars.
The campaign, part of a Continent-wide crackdown carried out by the European Traffic Police Network, was supported by British forces who described the results as ‘disturbing’.
Assistant chief constable of the Cleveland force, Adam Briggs, said: “Along with excess speed and alcohol, seatbelt avoidance is the biggest cause of road fatalities.
“In a crash, a belt is often the difference between life and death – and what’s particularly disturbing is that parents are not always ensuring their children are safe.” He added that remembering to belt everyone up could save 6,000 lives and prevent 380,000 serious injuries across Europe. The seven-day initiative threw up some other worrying statistics.
In total, European officers stopped 125,888 people who were unrestrained behind the wheel. The worst offenders were motorists in Germany, where 40,000 were prosecuted. Second was Switzerland, then Hungary, with the UK in fourth and France fifth.
Drivers in Cyprus were the most safety conscious – only 258 were stopped for not being strapped in.