Midlothian seatbelt fines rise by 525 per cent

Friday June 16th 2023

seat belt fines Midlothian

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

The number of people fined for not wearing seatbelts went up by a staggering 525 per cent in Midlothian during the first three months of this year.

Police Scotland reported issuing 50 fines to motorists for not wearing seatbelts, compared to a five year average of just eight, in its latest report.

And it said the number of fines for drivers on their mobile phones trebled from 21 to 63 over the same period.

The report on activity between January and March this year said that while the overall number of road casualties fell by more than 25 per cent the numbers seriously injured had gone up over the same period from 24 to 33.

Presenting the report to Midlothian Police and Fire and Rescue Board, Local Area Commander James Robertson said the increase in serious injuries could be down to post Covid changes.

He said: “There has been a 38 per cent increase in the number of people seriously injured, reflecting the increased number of journeys taken by road compared to recent global pandemic and lockdown impacted years.”

The area commander put the increase in fines for seatbelt and mobile phone use down, in part, to additional focus on road safety.

He said: “Midlothian continues to focus on road safety, and in response to complaints from the community a number of initiatives have been run throughout Midlothian using community policing, MCAT (Midlothian Community Action Team)and specialist road policing resources targeting road safety via pop-up roadside initiatives.

“This commitment is reflected in the 207.38 per cent increase in offences identified during Q4 2022/23 compared to the 5 year average.

“These initiatives have also recorded similar significant increase in penalties issued for use of mobile phones and seat belt offences.”

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