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Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has come together with Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) and West Mercia Police (WMP) to purchase a seatbelt simulator sled, which will help promote road safety in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

The sled demonstrates the impact of a road traffic collision at just 4 mph, allowing the user to fully appreciate the importance of wearing a seatbelt, even when travelling at low speed.

The new piece of equipment will be used during the series of annual Dying 2 Drive road safety events which intend to reduce death and serious injury amongst young road users. Dying 2 Drive attracts secondary schools from all over the two counties and is run by HWFRS, WMP, Herefordshire Council, Safer Roads Partnership, West Midlands Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance.

As well as being used for Dying 2 Drive, the interactive sled will also be used at open days and other community safety related events.

PCC John Campion said “As part of my plan for a safer West Mercia, I promised to improve road safety, through practical approaches to education. The funding of SLED is just one example of how I am delivering on this promise, ensuring the public understand the dangers and drive in a way to keep themselves and others safe. I welcome the joined up approach between the police and the fire service, to engage with the public on the shared objective of keeping our roads safer, and will continue to make best use of opportunities like this.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer John Hodges said: “Using your seatbelt could mean the difference between life and death. The new seatbelt stimulator sled allows people to experience just a fraction of the impact of a road traffic collision, which will hopefully encourage them to always wear a seatbelt.”

Anna Higgins, Communications Manager at the Safer Roads Partnership, said: “Not wearing a seatbelt can be a fatal decision, even on short, familiar journeys and at low speed. While the majority of people habitually belt up every time they get into a car, there are still some who either choose not to or simply forget. Nationally and locally, there are collisions occurring where people haven’t worn their seatbelt and the injuries sustained could have been avoided if seatbelts were used. We fully support the launch of the seatbelt simulator sled and believe it is an impactive and effective tool in raising awareness of the importance of seatbelt use.

“Drivers and passengers who fail to wear seatbelts in the front and back of vehicles are breaking the law and face an on-the-spot fine of £100. If prosecuted, the maximum fine can be up to £500. It takes just a couple of seconds to put your seatbelt on, so there really isn’t any excuse not to use it and it could save your life if you’re involved in a collision. Making sure children are restrained in correctly fitted car seats or booster seats is just as vital.”

For further information on road safety please visit the HWFRS (Hereford & Worcester Fire And Rescue Service) website.

Issued: Tuesday 20th June 2017