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Police warn drivers about overloading cars after two BMWs stopped in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 18:27 07 January 2019 | UPDATED: 18:27 07 January 2019

The BMW which was stopped in Ipswich after it was found to have seven people sitting in the back seat. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

The BMW which was stopped in Ipswich after it was found to have seven people sitting in the back seat. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

Archant

Police have offered a stern warning to car drivers after a spate of cases of cars overloads way beyond their capacity.

The BMW was stopped on Saturday with eight people in the back seat. Picture: NSRAPTThe BMW was stopped on Saturday with eight people in the back seat. Picture: NSRAPT

Since the turn of the year, two cars have been stopped in Ipswich.

One, a 4x4 BMW had eight people in the back seats, six children and another, again a BMW, had seven people in the back seat, four adults and three children.

Both of the vehicles were stopped in Ipswich by Suffolk Police and Sergeatnt Scott Lee-Amies of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit has taken the opportunity to remind drivers why not using a seat belt is illegal.

He said: “Seat belts are designed by car manufacturers to save lives. They are designed to work alongside air bags to keep people safe if they get into a collision.

“It can be even more dangerous to drive with too many people in the car. In the back seats of cars, people who do not wear seat belts can kill the people in the front seat because they get thrown around during a crash.

“People who do not wear their seat belt are putting their own life and the lives of others at risk.

“It is not worth risking it for the sake of just putting on a seat belt. It is not worth risking a £100 fine let alone risking your life.”

Sgt Lee-Amies was keen to point out the punishments for people who do not wear their seat belt.

For people 16 and over who are caught not wearing a seat belt is a £100 fine. If they are under 16 then there is a £100 fine for the driver.

For overloading a car, the driver will receive a £100 fine and three penalty points.

A more serious punishment could be implimented, however, if someone who was not wearing a seat belt dies in a crash.

Sgt Lee-Amies said: “If you are driving a car with someone not wearing a seat belt, or with an overloaded car and someone dies in a crash, then you could be charged with death by dangerous driving which has a maximum sentence of 14 years.

“I saw a double fatality last year in Exning. Two people died and one was seriously injured. All of them could have come away with fewer injuries if they were wearing their seat belts.

“The fourth person involved was the only person to survive the crash without any lasting injuries was wearing their seat belt.”

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