Safety advice for car drivers
As a driver or passenger in a car, you are twice as likely to die in a crash if you do not wear a seatbelt. Although airbags are fitted in most vehicles, they work as a secondary safety feature alongside the seatbelt. Your passengers should also wear their seatbelts, unless they have a medical exemption certificate. Make sure children wear their seatbelts correctly or use suitable restraints for their age and weight. Like any other driver or passenger, a pregnant woman must also wear a seat belt. The current fixed penalty for not wearing a seatbelt is £60 per person but carries a maximum fine of £500.00.
Using a hand-held or hands-free mobile phone while driving is a significant distraction and can cause accidents. Remember, even careful drivers can get distracted with a text or a phone call. Don't take the risk. If you are caught using a mobile phone while driving, you can receive a £30 fixed penalty or up to 1,000 on conviction in court (£2,500 for drivers of goods vehicles, buses or coaches).
If you are convicted of drink driving, you could:
- Get a criminal record
- Go to prison
- Be banned from driving
- Receive a community order
- Have to pay a hefty fine (up to £5000)
- Your car insurance could go up
- You could lose your job.
It is impossible to calculate a ‘safe’ level to drink and then drive at. It is much better to stay safe and not drink and drive:
- Always designate a non-drinking driver
- Book a taxi
- Stay overnight.
Drugs and driving
It is an offence to drive whilst unfit through drugs, whether illegal or medicinal. Driving while under the influence of drugs is extremely dangerous and can impair driving skills. Where the police suspect a person is driving under the influence of drugs, they may take a blood or urine sample and, if it tests positive then a prosecution will be sought.