South Yorkshire has been highlighted as one of the worst areas in the country for parents putting their children's lives at risk by failing to ensure they wear car seat belts.
Date revealed through a Freedom of Information request by price comparison website GoCompare showed South Yorkshire Police recorded 151 offences of children travelling in cars without seat belts between 2016 and 18.
This was more than any other constabulary that responded to the request for information and was much higher than the police service in second place, Merseyside with 95 incidents.
Parents can be fined up to £500 for failing to ensure a child aged under 14 is in the correct car seat or wearing a seat belt. This means fines totaling around £75, 000 were handed out by the South Yorkshire force.
Samuel Nahk, a spokesperson for road safety charity Brake, said: “It is deeply concerning to hear that so many offences for children travelling in cars without seat belts were recorded in South Yorkshire.
“Parents are unnecessarily putting their children’s lives at risk by not properly restraining them with a correctly fitted child seat and seat belt.
“Strict safety standards are in place around child seat belts for a reason - in the event of a crash, a correctly fitted seat belt reduces the risk of death or injury.
“We urge all parents to ensure that their children are safely restrained in a car with a correctly fitted child seat and seat belt. Simply put, seat belts save lives.”
The offences recorded in the FOI consisted of either a child under 14 years in the front passenger seat not wearing a seat belt, or a child aged under three sat in the rear not wearing a seat belt.
Joanne Wehrle, safer roads manager of the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, said: “Your child is the most precious cargo you will transport in your car. Make sure your child is always properly secured to keep them as safe as possible at all times.
“Choosing the right car seat, fitting it properly in the car and ensuring your child is correctly fastened into the seat can be confusing, but it is essential to get it right.
“Visit a reputable retailer and get a trained member of staff to advise you and fit the car seat for you, showing you how to do it in the future.”
For more information visit https://www.gocompare.com/car-insurance/odd-offences/