Drivers could be hit with penalty points for not wearing a seatbelt under new reforms being put forward to stop people breaking road safety legislation.

Under new plans, motorists face at least three points and a possible driving ban, with the fine also applying if the driver has a seat belt on but a passenger does not.

At present drivers face a £100 penalty rising to £500 in the courts for the offence, although on the first offence, many will be offered an online seatbelt awareness course instead, which costs £53.

The change will be considered as part of a road safety plan to be published this year.

Almost a quarter of car drivers and passengers killed in road accidents in 2019 were not wearing seatbelts
Almost a quarter of car drivers and passengers killed in road accidents in 2019 were not wearing seatbelts

The legal requirement to wear a seat belt in the front of a vehicle came into force in January 1983.

They became mandatory in rear seats in 1991.

Today marks the 40th anniversary since legislation came into effect.

However, the parliamentary advisory council for transport safety (Pacts), which was set up by MPs and was involved in the seatbelt campaign four decades ago, said the existing fine no longer acts as a deterrent.

It claims passengers – especially those in taxis - are today less likely to follow the rules.

David Davies, executive director, said: "Seatbelts are a great success story but the job is not yet done. The £100 fine does not emphasise to drivers the seriousness of the risk."

On Friday the Department for Transport is due to publish a new road safety plan which is expected to include new guidance for those who break seatbelt rules.

Almost a quarter of car drivers and passengers killed in road accidents in 2019 were not wearing seatbelts.

Of the 1,752 people killed on Britain's roads in 2019, drivers or passengers in cars accounted for the highest number of deaths at 736.

The Department for Transport has been approached for comment.

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