As a child growing up I remember my parents forever repeating the phrase "clunk clink every trip". On numerous occasions when I attempted to undo my seatbelt shortly before pulling into our drive way my Mum would tell me that "accidents occur when you least expect them" and therefore it was important not to remove my seatbelt until we were fully parked and ready to get out of the car.
The history of seatbelts and the law began in January 1983 when seatbelts became compulsory for drivers and front seat passengers. In 1989, rear seatbelts became compulsory for children and for adults in 1991. It is also a legal requirement for drivers to ensure that all child passengers up to the age of 14 wear a seatbelt and if the driver does not follow such requirement, they could face a fine for each child.
It therefore shocks me to learn that one in four vehicle occupants killed in crashes last year were not wearing their seatbelts. Excuses behind the rise came from those who “occasionally forgot” and those who selfishly and intentionally decided not to wear one. The laws on seatbelts was not introduced as arbitrary measures. Their implementation was for good reason.... to save lives. Those who do not where seatbelts are TWICE and likely to die in a collision. Yes, that is the equivalent of tossing a coin on your life and hoping luck falls on your side.
Whilst drivers and passengers caught not wearing a seatbelt can receive an on the spot penalty notice of £100 possibly rising to £500 if the case goes to court, I would argue that the ultimate fine for taking such risk is greater than this. Every time you decide to drive without a seatbelt or allow yourself to drive passengers not wearing a seatbelt you risk paying the ultimate price.... LIFE whether that be your own, the life of your husband, wife or partner, the life of your friend or the life of your child.
So next time your in a car make sure you buckle up and remind those travelling with you to "clunk click every trip".