Motorists not wearing seatbelts could be given penalty points in a new crackdown designed to slash the number of deaths on the UK’s roads.
The move is among several new measures being considered by the Department of Transport. The proposals include installing in-car breathalysers for known drink-drivers and banning young drivers from the road at night. However, it’s the move to combat non-seatbelt wearers that is likely to affect truck drivers the most.
Although there are no official figures, truck drivers have a bad reputation for not wearing seatbelts. For example, a recent seatbelt enforcement campaign in Suffolk found the majority of those stopped by the police were truck drivers.
Currently, drivers caught not buckling up can be slapped with a fine of £100. But officials believe that is not enough of a deterrent, as more than a quarter of road deaths in 2017 involved someone not wearing a seatbelt. It comes on the back of another news story that warned drivers could be fined £5,000 for wearing flip-flops behind the wheel (read more here).
Road safety experts have welcomed the proposal and many in the trucking industry believe it could be the deterrent that convinces drivers of flatbed trucks and box vans to change their ways. Up until 2001, truck manufacturers were not required to fit seat belts and the Road Traffic Act 1988 requires them only to be worn where one is fitted. However, even when one is fitted, many still take to the ride without putting on the seatbelt.
Of course, there are several instances where drivers are not required to wear seatbelts. These include:
When they are operating a vehicle that does not have a belt fitted.
They are performing a driving manoeuvre that requires reversing.
They hold a medical certificate confirming a condition that makes wearing a seatbelt inadvisable.
They are on a journey that does not exceed 50m.
While most people know the majority of the biggest offences that can land drivers in hot water, there are several seemingly innocent practices that can put you in trouble (read more here).
What do you think about these proposals? Should there be a tougher stance on drivers not wearing seatbelts? Whatever your views, we would love to hear from you.