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Wearing seat-belts will save hundreds of lives each year

A new report has revealed that a lot of company vehicle drivers are still not wearing a seat-belt when behind the wheel.

The AA has released its Clunk Click report which found that over one third of vehicle occupants killed in collisions on the United Kingdom’s were not wearing seat belts. Results showed that only 69% of company vehicle drivers which include people who drive vans, buses, lorries, a minibus or coaches will regularly wear a seat-belt.

It did not state how many company car drivers fail to wear their seat-belts, but did say there is a lower seat belt wearing rate amongst company car drivers. This same group are also less likely to have seat-belts on late at night or early in the morning. The AA report reveals that wearing seat-belts will more than halve the risk of death in the event of a collision. Almost 300 lives each year will be saved if all vehicle occupants were belted up.

Edmund King, AA President, said “It is astonishing that one third of vehicle occupants killed do not wear seatbelts. In the current safety debate with concerns over road safety funding there is one thing that could be done overnight to save 300 lives per year at no cost – that is every vehicle occupant to belt up on every journey.”

The AA now recommends that the new Coalition Government should seriously consider increasing the penalty for anyone not wearing a seat belt to include penalty points as well as a fine. They also feel that police should carry out more spot-checks particularly on back seat passengers and offer seat belt education courses.

All drivers should insist that each passenger wears a seat-belt belt. All employers who have drivers who drive vans which are covered with commercial vehicle insurance need to be stricter with their drivers who don’t belt up as it is highly likely they are invalidating the policy.

Van thieves instigate a crime wave in the West Country

Van drivers in the South West, are being urged to take extra care with their security measures following a spate of robberies from vehicles in the area.

Avon and Somerset police force, have revealed that over 30 van related thefts have been reported in the last few weeks. The thieves appear to be operating from vans themselves and are targeting building sites, building suppliers and large DIY stores.

Eye witnesses say the thieves are caucasian males and are dressed as building workers, wearing fluorescent jackets to blend in with the tradesmen buying or delivering supplies to the depots. It also seems likely they are a professional outfit as some of the crimes are committed in a matter of seconds, tradesmen are returning to their vans within minutes and finding their tools and supplies gone.

Avon police say several areas of Bristol have been hit by the crimes including, Filton, Thornbury, Eastville and Downend. In the latest incident the thieves actually made away with a Mercedes van while the driver was out of the cab delivering a parcel.

Van drivers in the area should take all sensible security precautions. Always turn off the engine when getting out of the vehicle, always lock the van when making a delivery and if materials are carried on the outside of the vehicle try and park in a highly visible area near the front of the shop. Not only do these measures make sense, they are usually a requisite part of a commercial vehicle insurance policy.

Van drivers can also make the thief’s job more difficult by visibly identifying their tools and possessions with permanent marker pens; this makes the stolen goods more difficult to sell on.

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W E Bedford Insurance Services Ltd, Argent House, Argent Court, Hook Rise South,
Tolworth, KT6 7LD is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
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