NEWS DESK LAST month, the Traffic department of the Guardia Civil fined 138 drivers the sum of 150 euros each and deducted three points from their driving licenses after they were caught not wearing safety belts .

The action, designed to raise public awareness on the importance of “belting up” had been taken during a campaign running between 9th and 22nd February. A Guardia Civil report said that it was not just drivers of private cars who had been guilty but also delivery van and lorry drivers.

In total 9'203 vehicles were stopped at control points including 414 taxis, 325 buses and 1'808 goods vehicles. The checks were not simply focusing on whether the driver was wearing a seat belt or not, but also to see if the passengers were similarly strapped in. If a car was brought to a halt and the driver was wearing a safety belt but a child in the back was not, a fine was still imposed and three points deducted from the licence.

The “clunk click” campaign was a national one and checks across the country found 9'413 drivers, 2'609 adult and 513 under-age passengers not to be wearing belts. The Guardia Civil said that 22 percent of people who die in road accidents involving private cars and vans have failed to put their seat belts on.