The seat belt, a gesture that saves lives

News of the 30/06/2023

Road Safety is launching an awareness campaign from June 25 to July 23 to remind people of the importance of seat belts, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. This simple and effective device has saved thousands of lives since it was made compulsory in 1973 for the front seats and in 1990 for the rear seats.

The function of the seat belt is to restrain the body on the seat in the event of an impact or sudden braking, and thus to prevent serious or fatal injuries caused by being thrown against the windscreen, the steering wheel or outside the vehicle.

To be effective, the belt must be snug: it must pass over the top of the pelvis and the shoulder blade, without being too loose or too tight.

Despite the obvious benefits of seat belts, almost a quarter of people killed in cars in 2022 were not wearing them. This is why, with the approach of the summer holidays, Road Safety wants to make motorists aware of this gesture which can make the difference between life and death.

According to a survey carried out in 2023, 28% of drivers admit that they do not systematically buckle their seat belts during short journeys. In addition, 37% of motorists do not check that all passengers are buckled up before starting (compared to 40% in 2022).

Failure to wear a seat belt is punishable by a fine of up to €750. In general, this is a fixed fine of €135. The driver also incurs a loss of 3 points on his driving licence.

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