THE Guardia Civil have imposed 43 fines of 90 euros each since June 13, for failure to wear a seat belt under a new road safety crackdown.
Provincial traffic chief Maria Teresa Sau said yesterday that the campaign will continue until June 26, and an average of 600 vehicles a day are being checked. Sau was accompanied by government representative Ramon Socias, who said that more than 50 per cent of the people who died on Balearic roads last year were wearing seat belts. He said that only 54 of the 118 people who died on the roads last year wore seat belts, and only 18 of the 42 people who have died so far this year were using belts. He pointed out that using a seat belt cuts the risk of dying in a traffic accident by half.
The campaign, which is being waged on a national level, includes adverts on television and radio and puts the emphasis on restraining measures for children travelling by car. Sau said that while drivers are more aware of the need to use the safety belt on the open road, they do not do so as much in built up areas, nor do they pay sufficient attention to children. Socias said that last yeaer more than 4'000 died or were injured in traffic accidents in Spain and most of them had not been wearing safety belts or using special children's chairs. Many of the children who do use seat belts do not use the system best adapted to their age or stature.
Sau added that last year, more than 8'300 reports for driving without a seat belt or riding a motorbike without a crash helmet were filed.