Parents have been told to ensure their toddlers and young children wear seatbelts when travelling in the back seat of their cars.
Road safety technology experts at Snooper said youngsters can be tempted to undo their own seat belts during journeys, so it is important for parents to make sure they haven’t unclicked.
The plea for parents to be extra cautious comes as it was reported in the Department of Transports Road Casualty Report that 24% of car occupant fatalities were not wearing a seatbelt.
This is a huge percentage considering figures show that in the year ending June 2022, there were 29,804 reported killed and seriously injured casualties on British roads.
Research also shows that the number of rear seat passengers observed not wearing seat belts is considerably lower than front passengers, which is particularly alarming when this is where youngsters tend to sit.
If a child undoes their seat belt or harness while the car is moving, the driver should pull over as soon as it is safe to do so.
Seatbelts are incredibly important and offer a safety system that prevents and reduces injuries if there is a crash. They also significantly lower the risk of being thrown out of a vehicle.
Since the law was introduced to make them a legal requirement, seatbelts are estimated to have saved tens of thousands of lives in Britain.
Drivers have been warned that they are responsible for any child aged up to 14 and can be fined for each child passenger not wearing a seat belt. If the case goes to court, motorists can be fined up to £500.
Any driver or passenger over 14 caught not wearing a seatbelt can be given an on-the-spot penalty of £100.
The law says it is also the driver’s responsibility to ensure that children have an appropriate car seat until they are either 135cm in height or 12 years old.
Gary Digva, the founder of Snooper, said: “It is essential that parents be extra cautious when driving with children because they are known to go through phases of clicking and releasing their seatbelts.
“Never start the car engine until children, and everyone, including the driver, is securely buckled in.
“Parents should explain to their kids how important seatbelts are to their safety and warn them that there can be severe consequences if they remove them.
“Consider taking some toys, a book or an electronic device in the car to keep them distracted, but if that is not working, another adult should remain in the back seat to stop them from releasing them.
“Should a child undo the fastening, the driver should pull over as soon as it is safe and repeat how important seatbelts are to keep them safe.
“Under no circumstances should a driver ever let anyone in the car travel without being strapped in because not only is it illegal, but it could also end in serious injury or death.”
For more information on safety whilst driving, please, visit gb.snooper.eu