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Daily Record
Daily Record
Lucy Farrell

Drivers issued stark warning over seatbelts as mandatory law turns 40 years old

The RAC has issued a stark warning to drivers over wearing seatbelts 40 years to the day that they became mandatory in British cars.

A new report published by the motor association has revealed that 1.7m full driving licence holders in the UK admitted to driving without a seatbelt over the last year. Tuesday marked the 40th anniversary that wearing seatbelts became a legal requirement.

Drivers are therefore being urged to strap in before every journey as 30 per cent of annual road deaths involve one party not wearing a seatbelt, while people who don't wear one are twice as likely to die in an accident.

A quarter of drivers - 24 per cent - think the current fine for breaking the law - £500 is not enough and should be increased. A tweet accompanying the RAC research read: "Drivers are clearly supportive of greater penalties, which we know the Government is considering.

"But arguably, toughening the law isn’t enough: drivers need to think there’s a good chance of being caught in the first place."

Findings also showed that seven in 10 motorists think drivers should be responsible for ensuring all passengers buckle up. Currently, drivers only have responsibility to make sure they and any children in their vehicles are buckled up properly.

Drivers are responsible for ensuring children are strapped in (Getty Images)

Four per cent of drivers admit to driving without a seatbelt over the last 12 months, with 22 per cent saying they don’t belt up at least half the time.

It is well known that seatbelts must be worn be everyone a car and there are only a six scenarios where you are legally aloud to travel without one. These range from medical reasons

Drivers must make sure that any children in the vehicle you’re driving are:

  • in the correct car seat for their height or weight until they reach 135 centimetres tall or their 12th birthday, whichever is first
  • wearing a seat belt if they’re 12 or 13 years old, or younger and over 135cm tall

You can be fined up to £500 if a child under 14 isn’t in the correct car seat or wearing a seat belt while you’re driving.

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