Drivers and passengers over 14 not wearing a seatbelt, where one is available, can be issued a £100 fixed penalty notice. This can be paid within 28 days or contested in court where it can be increased to £500. The fine can also be waivered with a driving awareness course.
Last year, the Government considered whether to add penalty points to the motoring offence. Tory MP, Katherine Fletcher, who served as parliamentary under-secretary for the Department for Transport in September and October 2022, told the House of Commons that seatbelts were not worn by 30 percent of all car occupant fatalities recorded in 2021.
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She said: “This is unacceptably high, and we have been considering options to tackle this including the potential merits of introducing penalty points. This might form part of the Department for Transport’s planned call for evidence on motoring offences.”
In response, RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams said: “It’s irrefutable that seatbelts save lives. These stark figures underline just how important it is to buckle up in both the front and the rear of the car. Putting points on the licences of offenders would be a welcome move, but this must be accompanied by better enforcement.”
Penalty points are already issued in Northern Ireland for failing to wear a seatbelt, with drivers being given three penalty points in addition to a maximum £500 fine, while passengers can be given two points.
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