Seatbelt wearing rates and compliance with mobile phone law is worse in London than anywhere else in England according to new research from the Transport Research Laboratory. Seatbelt wearing rates are 10% lower and 40% more drivers are using a handheld mobile phone whilst driving .
Rear seatbelt wearing rates are particularly low at 75% (95% England rate), regardless of age or sex. Wearing rates also differ by borough. The lowest were found in Westminster (39%) and City (65%). The highest were found in South and West London, with the highest being in Harrow (91%).
The use of mobile phones in cars does not vary in the same way by borough, but there is a correlation between drivers’ use of hand-held phone and non-use of seatbelts. 2.2% of drivers wearing a seatbelt used a handheld phone, where as 3.6% of drivers not wearing a seatbelt used a handheld phone whilst driving.
These findings show that ‘concentrating on the basics’ should be the driving force behind London based road safety campaigns. Low seatbelt wearing maybe due to the perception that it is not as important to wear a seatbelt at lower speeds, but research shows that wearing a seatbelt is more effective at increasing survival chances at low rather than high speeds. Certainly food for thought for our capital city!