Click it or face a ticket in Lowestoft

MOTORISTS and passengers who do not wear seatbelts are being warned to 'click it' or face getting a ticket, as police carry out a Suffolk-wide crackdown. From today (Monday, February 14) until next Sunday (February 20), officers from across the county will be taking part in a European seatbelt enforcement campaign led by TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network.

This ties in with a month of targeted high visibility patrols already taking place in the county throughout February, which sees officers clamping down on anyone not wearing a seatbelt or not using the appropriate child restraints.

During the TISPOL campaign, Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) officers throughout Suffolk will also be distributing leaflets to expectant mother's and posters and leaflets to the general public with information about seatbelts and appropriate child restraints.

Failing to wear a seatbelt remains one of the main causation factors of fatal and serious injury collisions. Someone in a crash at just 30mph will be thrown forward with a force of between 30 and 60 times their body weight. Seatbelts reduce this force and consequently reduce the risk of serious injury or death.

By law everyone travelling in a car or a goods vehicle, where seatbelts are fitted, must wear appropriate restraint, including appropriate restraint for children. Motorists and passengers caught not wearing seatbelts will be issued with fixed penalty notices of �60 and could face a fine of up to �500.

Chief Inspector Ady Dawson from the Roads Policing Unit said: 'It is difficult to understand why people don't wear seatbelts. It is a simple task that should be part of a routine before starting up a vehicle and can mean the difference between life and death. Even on the shortest trips and at low speeds the importance of seatbelts cannot be underestimated. Any motorist not wearing one can expect to be stopped and prosecuted.'

During a similar week-long enforcement campaign, which ran between February 15 and February 21, 2010, Suffolk Police issued 101 Fixed Penalty Notices, equating to nearly 14.5 per day.

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The forthcoming TISPOL campaign will run for a one-week period, starting at 6am today and finishing at 6am on Sunday.