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Animal Behaviour - Rhino

Belt up - wear your seatbelt!

Wearing a seatbelt in the UK has been the law for 30 years since it's introduction in 1983. Yet, it is staggering how many people still opt out of wearing a seatbelt. A quick search of the internet reveals some staggering reasoning behind young people taking the decision not to wear their seatbelt. Here are just a few...

  • "I don't wear seat belts because they wrinkle my clothes."
  • "I don't need to wear a seatbelt, I am a good driver."
  • "My car has airbags, so I don't need to wear a seatbelt."
  • "Seatbelts are uncomfortable."
  • "I don't see the point, my parents never wore them."
  • "It's my life, I can decide to do whatever I want."
  • Finally, "due to recent cosmetic surgery"... it was written in a slightly different way but you get the idea.
Anecdotal evidence shows that a greater number of people will temporarily unbuckle their seatbelt for a variety of reasons including sleeping in the back seat, reaching over to show their mobile phone screen to other passengers etc. Recognising this trend Northern Ireland Government services have recently launched a new campaign on their website to discourage people from unbuckling their seatbelt 'just once'. See the campaign including a hard hitting advert here

The Stats bit...

In a crash someone not wearing a seatbelt is more likely to die than someone using one. Research indicates that approximately one third of those killed in collisions weren’t wearing a seatbelt.

  • 17-34 year olds are the most likely group to not wear seatbelts.
  • Nearly one life every day would be saved if everyone wore their seatbelts.
  • In a crash someone not wearing a seatbelt is more likely to die than someone using one.
  • One in five young people driven by a young person don’t wear seatbelts.
  • People are less likely to use seatbelts on short or familiar journeys or at low speeds. This puts them at serious risk of injury in a crash.
  • You are twice as likely to die in a crash if you don’t wear a seatbelt.

Seatbelts also reduce the risk of being thrown from a vehicle.

Seatbelts undoubtedly save lives. Even on the shortest trips, and in cases of low speed impacts, they ensure as little contact as possible is made between those in the vehicle and it’s interior.

What are the penalties for non-wearers?
£100 on the spot fines to up to £500 if the case goes to court.

What can we do?
Encourage students to be be thick skinned, if they are carrying a passenger they can take control and insist on all passengers wearing seatbelts..."wear it or walk". 

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