According to recent RAC study, more than two-thirds of drivers feel that it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that every passenger is wearing a seatbelt.
The survey is released on the same day as UK legislation requiring drivers to use seat belts goes into effect for the 40th time.
Drivers are currently merely required to ensure that they and any children in their vehicles are strapped up correctly, with the latter maybe needing to be in a child car seat or booster seat depending on their age or height.
According to RAC research, this obligation should extend to all passengers, and 33% of those surveyed thought that drivers should be fined if someone they’re riding with is seen without fastening their seatbelt, placing themselves in danger.
A significant majority of drivers (69%) say that those who disobey the rule should receive at least three points on their licenses in addition to punishment, with a quarter of drivers (24%) believing that the existing law, which allows for a driver to face a fine of up to £500 for failing to buckle up, is too lenient.
This is something that might happen because the government said last autumn that it is debating whether to impose penalty points for drivers who fail to use seatbelts.
In the last 12 months, 4% of drivers, or over 1.7 million full license holders in Great Britain, admitted to not wearing seatbelts, with around a fifth of them (22%) claiming they don’t buckle up at least half the time.
In contrast, 7% of respondents acknowledged that they did not buckle up while riding in other vehicles. According to the legislation, there are just a few situations in which you are excused from wearing a seatbelt, such as when you are certified medically exempt or when reversing a car.