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Emergency Services Tell West Yorkshire to Belt Up

26 May 2009

Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) joined forces with West Yorkshire’s emergency services, local authorities and NHS to launch the ‘Seat Belt On?’ campaign across the county.

The high profile launch was also backed by players from some of the county’s top rugby clubs, including Castleford Tigers, Huddersfield Giants, Halifax Blue Sox, Bradford Bulls and Hunslet Hawks.

Dr Alison Walker, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Senior Community Safety Officer Brian Robson, Chief Inspector Bob Wilkinson and Halifax Blue Sox player Rob Worrincy
Left to right – Yorkshire Ambulance Service Medical Director Dr Alison Walker, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Senior Community Safety Officer Brian Robson, Chief Inspector Bob Wilkinson and Halifax Blue Sox player Rob Worrincy.

The ‘Seat Belt On?’ project was first launched as a pilot in Calderdale two years ago and since then the number of people killed or seriously injured on the borough’s roads has dropped by 30 per cent. The multi-agency project has been such a success in Calderdale that it won the backing of Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick MP and it is hoped the same success will now be repeated throughout the rest of West Yorkshire.

‘Seat Belt On?’ signs have been placed at roadside locations around West Yorkshire and, in the months to come, the partner agencies will take part in a number of activities to drive home the message to motorists to put their seat belt on.

Dr Alison Walker, Medical Director at YAS said: "We attend thousands of road traffic collisions across the county each year and our frontline staff are often faced with treating patients who have horrific injuries. In the majority of cases, the injuries sustained by a person not wearing a seat belt are far more serious than those of someone who is belted in. The message is clear: wearing a seat belt saves lives and reduces injuries."

Brian Robson, Senior Community Safety Officer for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This is the first time that partners from the emergency services and local authorities have come together to promote an important road safety issue.

“’Seat Belt On?’ will raise awareness of road safety through education and publicity to all age groups from the very young to the oldest drivers and passengers on our roads.”

Chief Inspector Bob Wilkinson, Head of Roads Policing for West Yorkshire Police, said: "Using education and enforcement we want to achieve sustained seat belt compliance across the county in order to promote casualty reduction.

"It is important that everyone wears seatbelts when travelling in a car. It doesn’t matter how long the journey is that your making, don’t be complacent and put yours or your passengers’ lives at risk.

"This campaign was trialled in Calderdale two years ago and since then there has been a 30 per cent reduction of people either being injured or killed as a result of a road traffic collision.

"Together with our partners we will continue to educate and enforce to reduce the numbers of casualties on West Yorkshire's roads."

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department