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Stark warning to Lowestoft motorists

PUBLISHED: 12:28 20 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:34 05 July 2010

A STARK warning to motorists who continue to flout the law was issued this week as a road safety scheme was re-launched in the midst of a police crackdown.

A STARK warning to motorists who continue to flout the law was issued this week as a road safety scheme was re-launched in the midst of a police crackdown.

Coinciding with the Save A Life campaign for 2009, a police purge on drivers and passengers who do not wear seatbelts across Suffolk started on Monday and will run until Sunday morning.

And with the strong message to “avoid becoming a statistic” ringing alarmingly in the mindset of drivers, road traffic police officers launched the countywide crackdown in Lowestoft this week as errant motorists were given vital safety advice.

The seatbelt purge, which is part of a European-wide safety campaign, is targeting motorists and passengers who fail to belt up or use the appropriate child restraints.

At the Lowestoft launch on Monday, PC Mark Carter from the Halesworth Roads Policing Unit, revealed that within the first three hours of the campaign he had issued seven fixed penalty notices to motorists, and given three immediate prohibitions for dangerous vehicles as well as handing out the latest Suffolk Roadsafe Partnership leaflets to warn drivers.

And expressing the importance of this week's crackdown - just months after Suffolk police's last enforcement campaign saw 1,711 motorists caught in the county not wearing seatbelts - Sgt Steve Knight said: “We are trying to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on Suffolk's roads. We know that people failing to wear seatbelts has been the cause of a number of deaths and injuries.”

This is also one of the main objectives of Suffolk Roadsafe's Save A Life campaign - which is supported by The Journal - that is focusing on four factors, which have particularly contributed to road casualties in the county.

Inappropriate speed.

Not wearing a seat belt.

Use of mobile phone while driving.

Drinking and driving.

As well as this “accident analysis,” which has identified these factors, the Save A Life Campaign is also calling on motorists to not drive when tired and to keep your vehicle roadworthy.

With the Save A Life campaign theme for 2009 being “inattention,” in addition to this two types of road user appear to be especially vulnerable - according to the Suffolk Roadsafe Partnership - are motorcyclists and young drivers.

The seatbelt enforcement this week will see any motorists caught not belting up be given an instant fixed penalty notice of £30 as well as facing a possible fine of up to £500.

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