The Balearics is under pressure from motoring associations to wear seat belts when driving and the authorities to ensure that the law is enforced. A study carried out by the Royal Automobile Club of Cataluña (RACC) has established that 57'000 drivers in the Balearics regularly fail to buckle up, 40 per cent of whom claim that seat belts are too uncomfortable. The secretary general of the RACC, Alfonso Perona, unveiling the results of the organisation's seventh annual road safety survey, stressed the need for the central and local government to launch a serious campaign to make all drivers buckle up. He said that the Balearic authorities need to enforce basic traffic safety measures more efficiently. The latest report from the International Automobile Federation states that 7'500 lives could be saved in Europe each year by people wearing a seat belt. Perona added that seat belts do not only save lives, but can also prevent serious injury. The 57'000 drivers in the Balearics who ignore the law represent 14 per cent of the total number of drivers in the region, slightly higher than the national average. Perona added that 30 per cent claim they do not wear their seat belt because they are not used to it and a further 27 per cent claim they forget despite the fact that most modern cars have seat belt warning systems. 2.7 per cent however, do not wear their seat belt for fear of being trapped inside the vehicle if involved in an accident but that is better than being thrown from a vehicle Perona warned. Accompanied by the head of Palma Local Police, Joan Mut, Perona also highlighted the safety benefits of wearing seat belts in the back seats. But while some forget or can not be bothered to buckle up, 85 per cent of drivers surveyed said that fines for failing to wear seat belts should be increased to as much as 130 euros and issued on the spot by traffic police.
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