Research shows half of all truck drivers do not belt up06 April 2010

A study undertaken by research institute CEESAR has discovered that, while the use of seat belts by European truck drivers is on the rise, fewer than half of those behind the wheel bother to use the safety device.

The number and identity of those polled for the survey has not been revealed by the French institute, but it did reveal that, should all drivers choose to wear a seat belt, the number of fatalities and injuries in traffic accidents would decrease by 40%.

Throughout Europe, seat belt use among truck drivers varies from 10% to 70%-plus, France being one of the countries registering figures beyond 70%. One reason for this was a penalty system introduced for those driving without using belts, with the loss of their license a possibility for offenders.

"It is obvious that countries that have introduced a point system similar to the French one have noted the greatest increase in belt usage," says Vojtech Eksler, an analyst at ESTC, an independent traffic safety organisation in Brussels, Belgium.

"People are more afraid of losing their driving license than they are of paying a fine," he continues.

John Challen

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