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One in 13 young vehicle passengers does not wear a seat belt – study

Department for Transport research indicated 8% of people aged 14 to 29 did not buckle up while sitting next in the passenger seat.

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One in 13 young front seat vehicle passengers in England does not wear a seat belt, new figures suggest.

Department for Transport (DfT) research conducted in autumn last year indicated 8.0% of people estimated to be aged between 14 and 29 were not buckled up while sitting next to a driver.

That compares with 4.8% of those aged 30-59, and 1.3% of those aged 60 and over.

Across all ages, 4.8% of front seat passengers were observed not being belted up, compared with 2.4% of drivers.

Previous DfT figures show the proportion of car occupants killed in crashes on Britain’s roads who were not wearing a seat belt was 21% in 2022.

Research for the department also suggested 0.3% of all vehicle drivers were seen using a hand-held mobile phone in autumn 2023.

AA president Edmund King called for “bold steps to eliminate road deaths”.

He said: “The shocking fact that drivers and passengers alike are willing to travel in a moving car without a seat belt on is horrific.

“We need to do everything possible to change this behaviour once and for all and ensure everyone clips in before setting off.

“A generational lapse in one of the most basic road safety disciplines is contributing to 21% of car occupant fatalities.

“Years ago, it was drummed into drivers and then passengers to belt up before setting off on a car journey.

“Now it seems that too many car occupants have become complacent.

“It seems a proportion of people drive carelessly or dangerously as it is clear that many believe they can do what they want as they won’t get caught.

“Our motoring manifesto is clear that we need more cops in cars to help police the roads.

“Not only will their presence act as a deterrent, but they can stop poor and illegal drivers immediately, potentially preventing further tragedy.”

The DfT said its Think! road safety campaign recently urged young men to wear a seat belt.

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