More than 1,250 drivers and passengers have been stopped by police throughout Wales for not wearing a seatbelt during a two-week campaign.

The crackdown, which was part of a European TISPOL (European Traffic Police Network) police campaign, took place across all four police forces in Wales and caught 1,257 adults and eight children travelling illegally on Welsh roads.

The campaign was designed to educate drivers about the risks to themselves and others of not wearing a seatbelt and, in particular, the potential harm caused by passengers in the back of the vehicle who are not properly strapped in.

Drivers and passengers can be fined £100 for not wearing a seatbelt and any child under the age of 14 who is not strapped in is the responsibility of the driver.

Statistics from the Department of Transport show that of the 232 car occupants killed in the UK in 2013, 45 were not wearing a seat belt.

Louise Westlake, a serious injury solicitor based in Thompsons Solicitors’ Cardiff office, said: “Not wearing a seatbelt can be a fatal decision, even on short, familiar journeys.
“People are not only breaking the law by not wearing a seatbelt, but they are seriously risking their own lives and the safety of others in the vehicle.

“Through our work with road traffic accident victims and road safety charities, we have seen the consequences of serious collisions and driving is one of the most dangerous activities many of us do on a daily basis. Failing to undertake such a simple safety precaution is not only unsafe, but reckless.”