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56,000 fined for not wearing a seatbelt

The police have so far this year fined 56,000 people for driving without wearing a seatbelt. The Norwegian Council for Road Safety asks people to think again.

From the first of the year until December 20, the police have fined 56,604 individuals for not wearing a seatbelt while driving, an increase of several thousand compared to last year.

The Norwegian Council for Road Safety is far from pleased and asks people to take the issue more seriously.

«There is no doubt that many have to improve when it comes to using a seatbelt,» said Leif A. Ellevset, director of the Norwegian Council for Road Safety, to TV 2 Nettavisen. «Particularly among the young, many lives are lost due to the fact that they were not wearing a seatbelt.»

The agency calculates that some years about 50 lives could have been saved if more people had worn a seatbelt.

«Use the seatbelt, it’s a good investment,» urged Ellevset. «In many instances it is the difference between life and death.»

He does not doubt that seatbelts have saved many lives since the law regarding seatbelts was instituted in the end of the 1970s, but Ellevset is worried by the development in society.

«We have seen a fall in statistics, and it is connected with people’s lack of respect for laws and regulations,» Ellevset said. «People have become nonchalant, they don’t care. It doesn’t matter that you were only driving a short distance. An accident may occur at any time.»

More than 56,000 fines mean NOK 43.3 million (USD 7 million) to national treasury.

«Unnecessary income,» Ellevset said.

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