One in eight drivers and passengers still don’t buckle up

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TWELVE per cent of people in Spain who travel by car still do not use a seatbelt.

And of people who died in 2013 in van or car accidents, 22 per cent were not wearing seatbelts, according to data released by the General Traffic Direction (DGT).

At 80 kilometres per hour, a head-on collision without seatbelt often causes death or severe injury, says DGT.

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In 2013, four out of 20 children under 12 years old who died while travelling by car or van, did not use any safety device when the accident occurred. Neither were 14 out of the 88 severely injured children, and 197 out of the 2,741 who suffered minor injuries.

The DGT stressed the importance of using seatbelts as they reduce by half the risk of death in the case of an accident.

In Spain, it is estimated that 90 per cent of passengers in the front seats and 80 per cent of those in the back seats use their seatbelts.

The traffic department has launched a safety deployment from today (Monday March 9) until next Sunday (March 15) to encourage travellers to belt up.

Officers will intensify controls around streets and roads to ensure that vehicle drivers and passengers make use of the seatbelt.

“Wearing the seatbelt is choosing not to die unnecessarily in the road,” said the DGT, adding that not wearing it is considered an offence which is punishable by fines of up to €200 and three points withdrawal from the driving license.

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