Islands’ Police Taking Innovative Approach To Seatbelt Use

seatbelt warning badgesThe islands’ Police team has launched an innovative campaign, which aims to encourage islanders to use seatbelts in the car.

It’s part of a Devon and Cornwall Police Force campaign to crack down on unsafe motorists including those who don’t use seatbelts or who operate mobile phones while driving.

Sgt Taylor says there’s no leeway with phones. Drivers caught using one will get a ticket.

But he’s taking a “softy softly” approach to dealing with island drivers and passengers who don’t belt up. Instead of giving out a fine, he’ll be issuing warning badges that he’s had made.

He’ll ask vehicle owners to display the red paper badges inside the windscreen for up to a month to show they’ve been stopped and warned about not wearing a seatbelt.

The first disc issued has a number 1 written on it. If the driver is caught again they’ll get a new badge with the number 2 on it. If they are caught breaking the law on a third occasion, it will be “three strikes and you’re out” and a ticket will be issued.

Colin says drivers can accept a ticket straight away if they don’t want to do this because they find it humiliating.

He says using a seatbelt is all about forming a habit, although he doesn’t know why some people still can’t do this 32 years after the legislation was introduced.

On the mainland, people caught without a seatbelt get a ticket, but Colin feels restorative justice and re-education is the best way to tackle the problem here.

He says the worse job a police officer can do is telling someone a family member has been hurt or killed in an accident. And he says he doesn’t want that to happen here.

While this is a temporary safety campaign for the force, he’s hoping islanders will adopt the safer driver techniques in the long term.



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