On this day in auto history - January 31st

Sun 31st Jan 2021

New laws came into force at midnight on this day in 1983, making it compulsory for drivers and front seat passengers to wear seatbelts.

Police initially took a ‘softly-softly’ approach to enforcing the law but, within months, non-seatbelt wearers were being fined £50 if caught.

Early critics accused the government of operating a ‘nanny state’ but soon after the law came into being, over 90% of front seat passengers were routinely belting-up. 

In more recent years, over 98% of drivers have been recorded wearing a seatbelt.