Crawley father faces £100 fine for letting daughter ride in front seat of car

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First published in News
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A father who let his six-year-old daughter ride in the front seat of their car has been warned by police he may face prosecution for putting her in danger.

The little girl was sat on her mother's lap with the seat belt across her throat because the back seat of the car was filled with items being taken to their new home. 

The car was stopped in Martyrs Avenue, Crawley, on March 6 by a roads policing unit officer on a motorbike who was concerned for the safety of the child.

The driver was lectured by the officer about the danger to the child and issued with a notice warning him that the report into the incident will be considered before a decision is made about what action should be taken against him.

Sergeant Carl Knapp said: "There is no excuse for not wearing a seat belt safely.

"Seat belts save lives and reduce the injuries that people can suffer if they are involved in an accident.

"It is every adult driver's responsibility to ensure every child in their vehicle is wearing a seat belt. If they don't they are not only breaking the law, they are putting the lives of their children or grandchildren at risk."

The incident happened during a week-long crackdown on seat belt offences across the county.

During the week-long operation 194 people were found in cars being driven either without seat belts or wearing them unsafely, including two children.

Drivers are responsible for ensuring that children they are carrying in their vehicles are wearing seat belts and the adults receive the punishment.

Each of the offenders is now being assessed to determine if they should be handed a £100 fine or offered the chance to complete a road safety awareness course.

If they complete the course, which costs £36 to do, they do not have to pay the fine. If they do not complete the course and do not pay the fine they will be taken to court and could be fined up to £500.

The courses are only offered to those who have not been caught failing to wear a seat belt before.

The campaign was run alongside a TISPOL Europe-wide campaign and in conjunction with Sussex Safer Roads Partnership.

Since 1993 it has been illegal not to wear a seat belt in a car without a valid excuse.

If you see someone driving antisocially report it at www.operationcrackdown.co.uk.

If you see dangerous driving call 999.

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