Nearly 400 people in Cambridgeshire were caught not wearing a seatbelt last year, and police are launching a new campaign in a bid to crack down.
Officers say more than 1,000 people were prosecuted in 2018 for not wearing their seatbelt on the roads of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, with 392 of those in Cambridgeshire.
Now, the three counties’ Road Policing Unit (RPU) is urging drivers to take a few seconds to belt up and help save their lives.
Sergeant Ian Manley said: “We see the serious and horrific consequences not wearing a seatbelt can have to those in a car, and on their families and friends who are affected by what has happened. A few seconds is nothing in comparison to the possibility of not suffering serious injury or death on our roads,”
Police say the statistics show that men aged between 22 and 36 are the highest risk offenders, particularly those driving vans, and those caught can receive a fine of up to £500.
Sgt Manley said: “We are absolutely committed to doing all we can to reduce the number of casualties on our roads. We conduct proactive patrols on a daily basis but during the month of March, in support of the National Police Chief’s Council campaign, we will be paying particular attention to those not wearing seatbelts.
“Putting your seatbelt on should be automatic as soon as you get in your vehicle. Those few seconds really could make the difference.”
As part of the work officers will also be educating people about wearing seatbelts correctly and the importance of children being secured in the most appropriate seat for their age and height.
A child must use a car seat until they are 12-years-old or 135cm tall. Babies should be in rear facing car seats until they are 15-months-old or 9kg, depending on the type of safety device.