Motorists could now lose their driving licence for committing a common driving offence on the roads in the UK. If you are caught not wearing a seatbelt while driving then you could lose your licence. Previously motorists could be hit with a fine of £100 if they were caught. The law has now toughened with the addition of penalty points.
If a motorist accrues up to 12 penalty points within three years then they could instantly lose their licence.
It’s worst for new drivers who only need to rack up six points in the first two years to face a ban.
The Department for Transport hasn’t yet disclosed the exact amount of penalty points drivers will receive but it could be enough to see some drivers banned.
Worrying statistics claim that more than a quarter (27 per cent) of the 787 car occupants who died in crashes on Britain’s roads in 2017 weren’t wearing a seatbelt.
Drivers can even now lose their licence if passengers aren’t wearing a seatbelt.
The decision to introduce penalty points to the seatbelt law is part of the government’s Road Safety Action Plan which has 74 measures to improve safety on the roads.
Other suggestions included banning new drivers from travelling at night and the introduction of graduated restricted driving licences for those drivers who have just passed their test.
Paul Loughlin, solicitor and motoring law specialist at Stephensons Solicitors, added: “Driving without a seatbelt remains one of the most common offences committed on Britain’s roads and all too often it can have catastrophic consequences.
“As it stands, drivers and passengers caught without a seat belt could be hit with an on-the-spot Fixed Penalty Notice of £100, rising to a fine of £500 if the case goes to court.
“The introduction of points on top of this is a good step forward and a further deterrent, but it must be backed up with education.
“In many new cars and vans, drivers are warned if they haven’t fastened their seatbelt, however in older vehicles, there is no warning system.
“It’s also worth remembering that it’s not just drivers of these vehicles who need to buckle up, it’s also their passengers.
“Everyone over the age of 14 is responsible for themselves in a vehicle, and the driver is responsible for anyone under the age of 14.
“It’s crucial, therefore, that these penalties and the 73 other measures in the Government’s Road Safety Action Plan are communicated effectively and heard by everyone.”
Commenting on the new road safety plans being considered by the Government, GEM road safety officer Neil Worth said: “The Government was made aware more than a decade ago that seatbelt compliance among drivers killed in crashes was just 65 per cent, compared with 94 per cent for the wider driving population.
“Now that road death numbers in the UK are showing no signs of reducing, it’s time ministers sent a clear message that the Government is serious about reducing casualties.
“Seatbelts reduce the risk of death by 45 per cent for drivers and front seat occupants.
“They also reduce the risk of serious injury by 50 per cent.
“Research shows time and again that seatbelt laws increase seatbelt use, and therefore reduce deaths and serious injuries.
“We believe that tougher penalties, effectively enforced, would lead to a significant and immediate reduction in the number of drivers and vehicle occupants killed and seriously injured on our roads.”
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