New research has found that more than 700 drivers have been caught travelling with children without seatbelts in the last year – incurring £373,500 in fines.
Wagonex has found, using FOIs gathered from police forces across the UK, that fines had increased by 15% year on year from January – June 2023, with nearly a third (30%) more fines occurring during the school holidays.
Those in the Northwest are being especially warned to ensure children are safely strapped into their seats, as over half (58%) of those caught in the last twelve months were from either Manchester or Lancashire. Almost a fifth of drivers were from the Midlands, with 18% from Staffordshire and Lincolnshire.
Currently in the UK, drivers are responsible for any passenger aged up to 14 and can be fined for each child not wearing a seat belt. Drivers caught are given an on-the-spot penalty of £100, and if the case goes to court, can be fined up to £500.
Driving laws also state that it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure children have an appropriate car seat until they are either 135cm in height or 12 years old.
With many long journeys on the horizon for families across the UK this summer, Wagonex is issuing a warning for parents to ensure their kids are properly strapped in, and that their cars are fitted with the appropriate safety measures to avoid them unclicking while in their seats.
Toby Kernon, CEO and Founder at Wagonex said: “With holiday mode in full swing, many busy parents may be easily distracted by the challenges of a journey ahead, such as delays and road works – meaning safety checks like seatbelts can get forgotten.
“We expect to see this more so during the school holidays as more and more families prepare for long journeys on the road. If drivers spot a child without a belt, be sure to pull over as quickly and as safely as possible and ensure they are correctly strapped in, potentially even having an adult passenger sit with them for the rest of the journey to prevent it from happening again.
“Seatbelts are the most fundamental safety feature in any vehicle, and this is why having a regular MOT and service is important to make sure your car is in full working order before getting behind the wheel.”
(Picture – Yay Images)