Today marks the 40th anniversary of the requirement for all drivers to wear seat belts. The law came into force in the UK on 31 January 1983.
Although automakers have been required to include seat belts as standard equipment since 1965, it took another 18 years for them to become mandatory.
To coincide with the anniversary, the RAC conducted a study to find out what modern motorists think about seat belt use.
According to the survey, more than two-thirds (68%) believe it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that everyone in the car is wearing a seat belt.
Approve harsher penalties
Currently, drivers are only responsible for making sure children are buckled up safely. Adult passengers can freely decide whether to wear seat belts, and the driver will not be penalized.
However, a third (33%) of respondents believe that drivers should also be responsible for adult passengers. If someone is caught not wearing a seat belt in a car, they will be penalized.
Nearly a quarter (24%) felt the penalties for not wearing a seat belt were too lenient. Current legislation provides for fines of up to £500, but the RAC found support for the idea of adding three points to driving licences.
The idea of a “seat belt awareness course”, favored by 48% of respondents, is aimed at those who have been caught not wearing their seat belts properly.
time to buckle up
About 4% of UK drivers (equivalent to 1.7 million driving license holders) admit not wearing a seat belt in the past year. Another 22 percent of drivers claimed not to wear them at least half the time.
RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams said: “It’s undeniable that one of the most important road safety laws has been introduced for forty years and yet too many people are still not wearing seat belts – that’s around 30% of all road deaths every year. % of people. Sadly, if people are not wearing masks, they are twice as likely to die in a car accident.”
He added: “For most people, getting in a car and wearing a seat belt is second nature, but clearly more needs to be done to get those who don’t make this habit change their ways. We The study shows that drivers clearly support tougher penalties, which we know the government is considering.
“But it can be argued that simply strengthening the law is not enough: drivers need to think that there is a good chance of getting caught first. If they don’t, there is a good chance they will continue driving as usual – as we see day in and day out. As we have seen, many drivers are still prepared to use handheld phones illegally while driving.”
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