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Police issue over 300 fixed penalties for seatbelt offe
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Three hundred and four fixed penalties were recently issued as part of a clampdown on motorists not wearing seatbelts in Chadderton.

Between 9 and 15 July 2012, neighbourhood officers worked with Greater Manchester Police’s (GMP’s) road policing unit, casualty reduction officers from Unity Partnership and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service to target motorists not wearing seatbelts, and to educate them on the dangers of not doing so.

The work was part of GMP’s Dicing with Death campaign, which is focused on improving road safety after a shocking increase* in road deaths across the region in 2011.

Sixty one fixed penalties were given to motorists directly outside schools in Chadderton, and 243 were issued in surrounding areas.

In addition, one driver had their vehicle seized for other offences as well as not wearing a seatbelt, and seven fixed penalties were issued to drivers who stopped on ‘Keep Clear’ markings outside schools.

Penalised motorists could either pay the fixed penalty, elect to go to court or attend a seatbelt awareness presentation, and given the choice, 250 (82 per cent) opted for the presentation.

Senior Road Safety Officer Julie Williams said: “We are always shocked by the lack of seatbelt use, both on children and adults, and we want to educate people about the dangers of not wearing one rather than having to prosecute. We heard motorists give excuses like ‘I forgot’, ‘I only came round the corner’ or ‘I got up late and was in a rush’, but there is no excuse, and the feedback from the presentations was very positive.”

Sergeant Jim Sweeney of the Chadderton Neighbourhood Policing Team added: “This initiative was applauded by the more responsible motorists who are plagued by inconsiderate parking and poor driving, and even those who were penalised and chose to attend the seatbelt course said it was worthwhile, as they hadn’t realised the dangers.”

For non-emergency calls or to report a crime call police on 101, or for more information visit gmp.police.uk/oldham

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Crimestoppers is an independent charity that will not want your name, just your information. Your call will not be traced or recorded and you do not have to go to court or give a statement.

Use 999 only in emergencies where there is a threat to life or property or a crime in progress.

* Note: 75 people lost their lives on the roads of Greater Manchester in 2011, an increase of 42 per cent on the previous year which reversed a long term downward trend in road deaths.