The police to carry out intensive surveillance of the use of seatbelts and mobile phones during week 11

Publication date 7.3.2024 14.57
News item

The police will carry out intensive surveillance of the use of seatbelts and other safety devices, as well as mobile phones by drivers, across Finland from Monday to Friday 11–15 March 2024.

The goal is to increase the use of seatbelts and other safety devices.

 “Dozens of lives could be saved and many serious injuries could be avoided each year if safety devices were used appropriately,” Tuomo Katajisto says of the goals of surveillance.

According to the seatbelt report published by the Finnish Crash Data Institute in September 2023, a total of 198 people who did not wear any seatbelt died in motor vehicle accidents in 2017–2021, of whom 114 people (57%) could have been saved by wearing the seatbelt according to the most optimistic estimate of traffic accident research committees. Furthermore, 43 out of 55 passengers could have survived with minor or no injuries if they had worn the seatbelt.

Next week, the police will deal with as many violations as possible by imposing penalty fees or by issuing a warning. During a similar surveillance campaign last spring, the police registered 919 penalty fees and 85 fines due to the neglected use of safety devices.

Wear the seatbelt at all times

Chief Superintendent Tuomo Katajisto would like to remind everyone that, currently, the obligation to wear the seatbelt also applies to lorry and bus passengers.
 “Bus passenger especially should know this. Buses are now equipped with seatbelts, and their use is not only mandatory but also very useful in the event of an accident,” Katajisto says.

Don’t text and drive

Drivers of motor vehicles are not permitted to use a mobile phone while driving by holding it in their hand.

According to Katajisto, the increasing custom of writing messages while driving is particularly dangerous because all the time the eyes are not kept on the road increases the accident risk significantly. During last spring’s surveillance campaign, a total of 602 instances of the illegal use of a mobile phone and three crime reports were registered.

“Using the phone while driving always increases the accident risk. It is particularly dangerous to avert the eyes from the road to type a message, for example,” says Tuomo Katajisto, Chief Superintendent at the National Police Board.

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