View Full Version : Seatbelt tool could help save lives

22-Feb-11, 14:45
Wick High pupils help launch seatbelt sled it is hoped will convince drivers to belt up

NORTHERN CONSTABULARY'S north division has been given a road safety tool which will help educate the public across the region about the dangers associated with not wearing seatbelts.
The Seatbelt Convincer (or Seatbelt Sled) was gifted to north officers by Road Safety Scotland and will be used as part of the Force's continued road safety programme, which includes the school based initiative, Driving Ambition.
The machine was first offered by Orkney councillor Andrew Drever during a Driving Ambition course he attended last year.The Convincer is an excellent, easy-to-use educational tool that allows riders to experience force, up to five times their body weight, similar to that of a 5-7 mph crash.
It was developed to educate the general public of how beneficial the use of seat belts can be even when involved in a low speed collision. It is a very effective tool for safety presentations at high schools, businesses, fairs, community events, drivers' education programs or any event where the "entertainment" and safety education factors associated with the Convincer would be of benefit.
A total of 56 pupils from Wick High School attended the launch along with East Sutherland and Edderton councillor and Northern Joint Police Board member Deirdre Mackay.
She said: "We know that many lives are lost needlessly every year, because people fail to wear a seatbelt. Any measure we can employ to increase awareness of the importance of wearing a seatbelt has to be welcomed."
Councillor Mackay continued:"Highland Council and Northern Constabulary already work together to deliver the Driving Ambition programme in schools across the Highlands, which is aimed at helping young adults, those about to sit their driving tests, to become better drivers."
Also at today's launch was Area Commander for Caithness, Sutherland and East Ross, Chief Inspector Matthew Reiss.
He said: "When we get into a vehicle we never know when an accident might happen. If you sometimes don't wear a seatbelt for routine journeys, or for any reason, you are exposing yourself to the risk that you may be involved in an accident and not be wearing a seatbelt."
Every year police in Scotland catch around 27,000 people not wearing a seatbelt. It is estimated that half of the people killed in vehicles could have been saved if they had worn a seatbelt.
Chief Inspector Reiss went on:"It is important for people to remember that seatbelts only work if you wear them every time. In a crash at 30mph, if you are unrestrained, your body will hit anything in front of you, including another passenger or driver, with a force of between 30 and 60 times your own body weight. It's dangerous not to wear your seatbelt and its also illegal. If caught not wearing a seatbelt you will be given a 60 fixed penalty notice but could be fined up to 500. The driver is also responsible for anyone under 14 not wearing a seatbelt, and liable for the 60 penalty for each unrestrained child. Remember to put your seatbelt on every time you travel."
The police say that wearing a seatbelt is quick, effective and the easiest way you can protect yourself in a vehicle. Whilst you may wear yours most of the time, it's important that you wear one every time you get into a vehicle. There are lots of reasons to make sure you've clicked.
It has been proved that the risk of a fatal injury is reduced by 50% when you wear a seatbelt. They are described as "the single most effective feature in the car to fulfil this role. All other safety features in cars, such as airbags, are only designed to work when the occupant is wearing a seatbelt.
An estimated 1.94 million is the cost to the Scottish economy of every road fatality. Therefore the cost to the economy of road deaths where seatbelts are not worn is estimated to be 101 million per year.
It is as effective to wear a seatbelt in the back of a vehicle as in the front. Always wear a seatbelt when travelling as a passenger or driver. Where they are provided, you should always wear a seatbelt on a bus, coach or minibus.
It is your responsibility to ensure that children are correctly restrained and use the appropriate restraint for their weight, age and size.