Road Collision Survivors Share Their Stories to Promote Seatbelt Campaign

Friday June 14th 2024

seat belt fines Midlothian


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Two people who suffered life changing injuries in crashes while not wearing a seatbelt have shared their harrowing ordeals as part of a national campaign to help save lives.

Laura Torrance and David Galloway, who were both left paralysed as teenagers, have spoken about the importance of wearing a seatbelt while travelling in vehicles to prevent others suffering similar outcomes.

In October 2023, Transport Scotland published analysis of road traffic fatalities across the country and found that 21% of people who died on Scotland’s roads over a 5 year period were not wearing a seatbelt.

The interviews have been published on Police Scotland’s social media channels as part of a national campaign to promote the use of seatbelts when driving, or travelling, in a vehicle.

In 1999, when Laura Torrance was 16, she was a passenger travelling in East Kilbride with a group of friends, one of whom was a newly qualified driver. Laura, who is now 41-years-old, was not wearing a seatbelt and after the car crashed, she was thrown from the vehicle and suffered significant spinal injuries.

David Galloway from Fife was 18 when he was involved in a collision near Linlithgow in 2001, while not wearing a seatbelt. As a result of the injuries, he sustained, David, now 40, spent three years recovering in various hospitals across Scotland. He requires round-the-clock care from his family and will continue to do so for the rest of his life.

David, via his father, John, and Laura, provided candid accounts of their injuries and the impact these have had on their lives to raise awareness among road users of the devastating consequences of not wearing a seatbelt.

Police Scotland’s Management of Information data for April 2023, to March 2024 shows that 2,234 people were reported for seatbelt offences during this time. As part of the ongoing seatbelt campaign officers will be monitoring roads to identify those not wearing seatbelts and take appropriate action to prevent serious or fatal injuries occurring.

Chief Superintendent Hilary Sloan, Head of Road Policing, said: “I am extremely grateful to Laura and David for sharing their stories and highlighting the importance of using a seatbelt. I have had the opportunity to hear their accounts first-hand, which are impactful and harrowing.

“Whether you are the driver or a passenger, the potential for serious, life-changing, or even fatal injuries in the event of a collision are significant and can drastically change the course of your life.

“Police Scotland is committed to improving road safety across the country and the public have a vital role to play by ensuring they always wear seatbelts whenever they are travelling within a vehicle. If you are the driver, then please make sure you check that all of your passengers have fastened their seatbelts before setting off on your journey.

“We will continue to monitor our road network to identify those driving or travelling without wearing a seatbelt and take appropriate education or enforcement action where required.”

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