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Seat belt laws celebrate 30th anniversary

Date: 31/01/2013 12:48:29
Category: Insurance
Author: Sean McGrath

Exactly 30 years after the compulsory seat belt rule was introduced, a new survey has found that five per cent of all drivers are still failing to buckle up.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists says that four per cent of front seat passengers still ignore the law while 11 per cent of back seat passengers are not putting their seat belts on.

Car manufacturers have legally had to install belts since 1965, but they were not compulsory to wear it until 31 January 1983. Mandatory wearing of seat belts for children came in by 1989 and by 1991 the law was amended again so that adults had to wear seat belts in the back of a car. Tracking the figures over the three decades, seatbelt wearing has increased from 40 per cent to 95 per cent.

The on-the-spot fine doubled from £30 to £60 in 2009, reported dailymail.co.uk. Road Safety Minister, Stephen Hammond, said that thousands of lives had been saved and countless injuries prevented, simply by buckling up.

"Unbelievably, there are still some people who do not use a seatbelt - my message to them is simple: a seatbelt could save your life and not wearing one is just not worth the risk," he said.

Mirror.co.uk said that people are twice as likely to die if they do not wear a seat belt and points out that 300 additional lives per year could be saved if the 5 per cent were to buckle up.

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