More North West drivers are now ‘belting up’

QUIZ: A driver is questioned by Lancashire police enforcing seatbelt laws
QUIZ: A driver is questioned by Lancashire police enforcing seatbelt laws
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Motorists in the north west are heeding police advice about “belting up” when on the roads, a new survey claims.

According to new Freedom Of Information data obtained by Confused.com, police warnings about the danger of not wearing a seatbelt seem to be working in the region.

From 2012 to 2014, the survey says there was around a 73 per cent decrease in the number of drivers and their passengers pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt in parts of the north west – more than double than the national UK decrease of 35 per cent.

Sample data obtained by the price comparison site shows that, in 2012, 14,030 drivers and their passengers were pulled over by Greater Manchester Police for not wearing a seatbelt.

In 2014, 4,212 drivers and passengers were pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. The data was obtained to coincide with the 24th anniversary of it being made compulsory for passengers travelling in the back seat of a car to wear their seatbelt.

Despite this, it would seem that some motorists in the north west are still failing to heed the warnings and sometimes don’t wear their seatbelt.

Of those who sometimes don’t, a quarter say they feel uncomfortable when they wear one and a further 21 per cent say they don’t like how tight they feel.

One in seven say wearing a seatbelt makes their clothes wrinkled and creased.

The findings also reveal that when it comes to not wearing a seatbelt, people in the north west are less likely to do so when in a taxi (26 per cent), or when travelling in the back seat of a car (16 per cent).

More than one in 20 (six per cent) say they are less likely to wear a seatbelt when just driving a short journey – potentially putting their driver and other passengers at risk.

However, it would seem there is confusion in the north west over who takes the punishment if a passenger is caught not wearing a seatbelt.

More than four-fifths of drivers in the region believe that the driver gets the punishment if a passenger is caught not wearing a seatbelt. Less than half correctly identified that the passenger would face the punishment if they were caught not wearing their seatbelt.

Gemma Stanbury, head of motor insurance at Confused.com, said: “There is still room for improvement with some drivers still putting themselves and others at risk by not wearing a seat belt. And whilst seatbelts don’t stop people from having accidents, they are compulsory and do offer more protection should the worst happen.”