lthough the campaign is officially at an end, its policies will still be pursued, warned Inspector Gordon Taylor. “We are out on the roads enforcing this legislation, not just today, but throughout the year,” he said. “It’s for the safety of all road users, particularly drivers and passengers.” Excessive speed is known to be a major cause of many accidents and increases their severity. It is estimated to be a contributory factor in more than 1000 deaths and over 40,000 injuries each year. Two thirds of crashes that result in people being killed or injured occur on roads where the speed limit is 40 miles per hour or less.
Despite this, too many drivers continue to exceed the speed limit. Inspector Taylor warned: “The faster you travel, the much harder you are going to hit and what might have only been a minor incident can become life threatening. By reducing your speed, should something unexpected happen in front, you will have more time to react and avoid a collision.” Anyone caught speeding is liable to a minimum £60 fine and three penalty points on their driving licence. Earlier campaigns have shown that many drivers and passengers are continuing to ignore warnings and are still failing to wear a seatbelt. This is despite seatbelts being proven to reduce injuries and fatalities, a fact confirmed by Inspector Taylor: “Belting up is also one of the most effective and immediate ways to prevent traffic deaths and injuries. Car travel would be made a great deal safer if people would just take a second to belt up. Seatbelts give you a greater chance of escaping serious injury.”
Although taxi drivers are exempt from wearing a seatbelt while on duty, their passengers are not. All taxi passengers are required to wear a seatbelt. Any child over the age three must be restrained by an appropriate child seat or, if no child seat is available, an adult seatbelt has to be used. The driver of the vehicle is responsible for ensuring that any child aged under 14 is correctly restrained. Similar rules apply to the drivers and passengers of private hire vehicles except that drivers are only exempt from wearing a seatbelt when there are passengers in the vehicle. This is due to private hire vehicles being unable to accept fares on the street.