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RoSPA welcomes Scotland's new seatbelt campaign

21 April 2010

A new Scottish initiative to drive home the importance of wearing a seatbelt is being welcomed by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, a partner of the RoadSafe and Driving for Better Business campaigns.

The Have You Clicked? campaign was launched today by The Scottish Government, Road Safety Scotland and the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland.

With seatbelt wearing rates in Scotland lower among van, lorry, bus and coach drivers than car drivers, RoSPA is hoping the safety messages will be picked up by those who get behind the wheel for work.

Today also marks the start of the safety charity’s annual training on another important aspect of seatbelt safety – child car seats.

A survey carried out for the Department for Transport last year found that 95 per cent of car drivers in Scotland wear seatbelts. However, the wearing rate dropped to just 23 per cent among bus, coach and minibus drivers. The figure was 58 per cent for lorry drivers and 82 per cent for van drivers. Car passengers belted up more often than passengers in other vehicles.

Since 2008, RoSPA Scotland and the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives have run seminars about the legal, ethical and business reasons for addressing work-related road safety. RoSPA will now ensure that the 600 companies to have attended seminars are kept up to date with the seatbelt campaign.

There has been a welcome improvement in children wearing seatbelts in Scotland. The 2009 survey found that 98 per cent of 0-4-year-olds sitting in the back seat were strapped in, a rise from 89 per cent in 2002. Among 5-13-year-olds in the rear of a car, 95 per cent were wearing seatbelts in 2009, up from 75 per cent in 2002.

In addition to merely wearing a seatbelt, however, it’s important that children travel in a suitable car seat, as required by the law, and that car seats are correctly fitted.

Seatbelts are designed to work in conjunction with other safety features, such as airbags. So, in addition to the potential for being thrown from a vehicle in a crash, not belting up can mean a vehicle’s wider safety system doesn’t work as it was designed to.

For more information about the Scottish Occupational Road Safety Alliance (ScORSA) click here. For more information about choosing and fitting child car seats click here.

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