Police target school run parents in seatbelt blitz

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A NUMBER of parents have been spoken to by police after they were caught not wearing seatbelts on the school run.

Police Community Support Officers have been stationed outside schools across the Battle area this week as part of a Europe-wide crackdown on drivers who refuse to wear seatbelts.

Although the number of parents caught flouting the law was lower than expected, there were still a handful who had not belted-up.

Most of the drivers caught were parents of primary school-age children.

On Monday, four parents were caught without a seatbelt outside Crowhurst Primary School, three outside Battle and Langton and one outside Robertsbridge Community College.

On Tuesday, four parents were caught at Etchingham Primary School, two at Ninfield and one at Robertsbridge Community College.

Three parents were found not to be wearing seatbelts outside Staplecross Primary School on Wednesday morning.

But it was not all bad news as no one was discovered not wearing a seatbelt at Claverham Community College in Battle, or Mountfield and Whatlington Primary School.

Joe Hellett, headteacher at Mountfield and Whatlington, said: “I am very pleased that our parents are so safety conscious and set a good example to their children by insisting seatbelts were worn.”

Words of advice were given to offending motorists and driver’s details were passed on to Sussex Police’s Road Policing Department, which will decide if any further action should be taken.

A fine of £500 can be issued to anyone caught not wearing a seatbelt.

All the children in the vehicles checked by police were wearing seatbelts.

Battle’s Neighbourhood Policing Team Sergeant Paul Masterson, a former traffic officer, said there is “no excuse” for drivers not belting up.

Sgt Masterson said: “There are very few people now who can not know that you have got to wear a seatbelt.

“They have dramatically reduced the number of people injured in collisions over the last 25 years since they have been made compulsory. The proof is there.

“In my 24 years as a police officer, I have never come across a situation where someone would have survived if they were not wearing a seatbelt.

“For those parents on the school run, it’s about educating the next generation.”

Battle police issued a warning on micro-blogging website Twitter on Monday, warning users of the operation.

Further patrols will be carried out at more primary schools today (Friday).

If you are concerned about someone’s driving behaviour, report it at www.operationcrackdown.co.uk or call Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999.