Buckle-up law turns 30: Do you?

2013-01-31 12:25

NDON, England - Seat-belt laws were first put into place 30 years ago in the UK (1983) but there are still issues about their use. One in five UK drivers claims to know somebody who doesn’t use a belt while in the front seat.

Today (Jan 31 2013) is the 30th anniversary belts' compulsory use and the latest UK figures show 95% of drivers and 96% of front passengers and 89% of rear passengers use one. Yet, every year, their non-use causes multiple deaths and serious injuries.


More younger drivers know someone who doesn’t wear a belt than do older people.

  • In the back of a car, 41% of 18 to 29-year-olds know someone who doesn’t wear a belt compared to 25% of people older than 45
  • Drivers and passengers aged 17-34 have the lowest wearing frequency combined with the most deaths or injuries..
  • 14% of adults admit to being inconsistent buckle-uppers.
The UK's Institute of Advanced Motorists chief executive Simon Best said: “In the past three decades seat belts have made a fantastic contribution to road safety in Britain and saved thousands of lives but the ongoing message needs to be reinforced to all age groups.

“All the technology in a modern car assumes the occupant is wearing a seat belt. Younger drivers know that not wearing a one is perilous but they must still be reminded that no matter where you are sitting in a car a belt can save your life.”

Do you wear a seat belt because you think it’s safer or did something unpleasant trigger your need to buckle-up? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts or use the Readers' Comments section below...

  • Kwashic - 2013-01-31 17:07

    I cant drive without buckling up... feels awkward...like I am not yet in the car but on top of it.

  • brett.a.alexander - 2013-02-01 09:07

    If you don't wear a seat belt in my car, I don't go any where.

      jana.jacobs.50 - 2013-02-01 11:18

      same with me. Buckle up or get out

      mogo.naut - 2013-02-01 12:15

      I have 3 rules in my car. 1) No smoking. 2) Everyone will buckle up. 3) I SAID EVERYONE WILL BUCKLE UP.

      pagel.trivia - 2013-02-02 13:22

      Same here - I did not use to worry about it to much, until a family member was in an accident. Person was unhurt, but would probably have been seriously injured if not wearing seatbelt. And once you have kids safety becomes #1 priority.

  • riaan.v.rensburg - 2013-02-01 11:30

    Most people don't know that a vehicle's supplemental restraint system (if you ever wondered what SRS means) is just that, to be used in conjunction with your seatbelt. This system requires you to be restrained to function properly, so it disables itself if it detects that the seatbelt is not in use. This actually prevents much more serious harm tough, just be warned that your airbags are of no use if you don't wear your seatbelt.

      mogo.naut - 2013-02-01 12:17

      What frightens me is, is that I still see moms doing the school run with kids bouncing around and playing in the back!

      arpegiator - 2013-02-01 12:38

      mogo.naut, I see it every day. Kids in the back of the car or even worse kids that stand on the back seat between the driver and passenger seats. They should jail people that fail to restrain their kids in the back. In my opinion its just as good as attempted murder.

      peter.t.viljoen - 2013-02-01 20:58

      Absolutely not true that the airbags disable if the seatbelt is not buckled. In fact it is a legal requirement that an airbag must attempt to save the life of an average sized adult in the event the seatbelt is not buckled. What will happen is that if the airbag is a multistage airbag it will deploy fully with no seatbelt. I do agree though that to gain full advantage of the airbag the seatbelt should be worn - or more serous injury can result.

  • robin.stobbs.9 - 2013-02-02 11:14

    It's become such a habit with me that the other day I found that I'd buckled up when all I was doing is reverse the car out of the garage so as to leave space for some air brush painting! My grand-kids at age 4 and 6 were automatically buckling up without having to be reminded.

  • colin.taylor.9883 - 2013-02-02 21:34

    I always buckle up.... BUT... I had a friend who was decapitated in a car accident because he WAS wearing his seatbelt.... Ironic

  • ajaykumar.sewnarain - 2013-02-03 05:14

    I can be abusive to people who do not wear seatbelts when I am driving. We know the stats and I have seen accidents where drivers and passengers have gone through the windscreen(and accidents where passengers were using seatbelts and drivers not - guess who survived?)...yet people are still stupid enough to not know any better! To me, it is sheer stupidity...simple as that.

  • werner.swindon - 2013-02-03 11:35

    When driving highway yes buckle up, otherwise no Seat-belt...

      gerrie.visagie - 2013-02-03 13:30

      Seriously? Most accidents Happen close to home.

  • etienne.marais1 - 2013-02-04 09:57

    Why not report on South African laws ? What do UK laws have to do with us ?

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