Seat Belt Offences On The Rise Say Home Office

Thu 24th Oct 2019

Speeding, mobile phone use and seat belts are all under the microscope as the Home Office revealed figures relating to the 2.5 million motoring offences recorded in 2018.

There’s good news and bad, with Fixed Penalty Notices for mobile phone offences dropping by 27 per cent, but at the same time seat belt offences have risen by 17 per cent compared to 2017.

As expected, the large bulk of offences are related to speeding, with 85 per cent of all recorded incidents related to drivers going over the speed limit, a figure which has been on the rise since 2011. Another motoring offence which is on the rise is careless driving (excluding mobile phone use), which has seen a 20 per cent increase.

Commenting on the figures, the AA president, Edmund King suggested that the rise in seat belt offences may be related to a targeted campaign by the respective police forces.

“It is good to see the number of hand-held mobile phone offences drop by more than a quarter, but we must not be complacent as often drivers are still spotted using phones at the wheel,” King said.

Only a fifth of drivers say there is a visible police presence on their local roads, so a more prominent presence would help to deter the use of hand-held mobiles and texting at the wheel.

“The majority of the 2.1 million speeding offences were caught by cameras. While cameras are a useful tool available to forces to help enforce the law, roads policing cannot be carried out by cameras alone.

“There has clearly been a targeted effort by forces to stamp out people not wearing a seatbelt, as the number of fines and points issued is at a two-year high. There is no excuse for not belting up as it can save your life and the lives of others.

“For more than a decade the number of specialist road traffic officers has reduced by a third, so we need more cops in cars to tackle bad behaviour as well as continued high profile and memorable road safety campaigns.”