In-car safety campaign to reduce injuries

A MAJOR car safety campaign highlighting the importance of wearing seatbelts and ensuring child safety seats are correctly fitted is to be launched.

The Cleveland Road Safety Partnership is running a series of awareness-raising events in a bid to reduce the number of road accident injuries across the Tees Valley.

The campaign comes as statistics show that last year there were 989 recorded offences in the Cleveland Police force area of drivers failing to wear seatbelts and 109 recorded offences where an adult front seat passenger was not wearing a seatbelt.

There were also 56 recorded offences of children aged between three and 14 failing to wear an appropriate seatbelt.

In Hartlepool over the coming weeks, height charts will be issued to primary schools giving details of the appropriate child safety seat relative to a child’s height and weight.

Classes will be encouraged to measure their children monthly and issue advice to parents through their children.

Seatbelt pads and child safety advice leaflets will also be distributed via community centres, children’s centres and other public buildings.

Partnership vice-chairman Richard McGuckin said: “Putting on a seatbelt should be part of everyone’s routine before a vehicle’s engine is started. “If the driver or any of the passengers don’t wear a seatbelt then the risk of fatal or serious injury, even when travelling at a low speed, increases significantly.”

“We would also urge anyone responsible for carrying a child in their car to check that their car seat is properly fitted.”