Child found with seat belt across throat

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A father is facing prosecution after his six-year-old daughter was seen sitting on her mother’s lap in the front seat of their car.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said the family was moving house and the seat belt was strapped across the youngster’s throat because the back seat of the car had been filled with items for their new home.

Now the child’s father faces prosecution for putting his daughter in danger while he was driving.

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

The family’s car was stopped in Martyrs Avenue, Langley Green, 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.”

Sussex Police said 194 people were found in cars being driven either without seat belts or wearing them unsafely, including two children, during the week-long campaign.

A spokesman added: “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

Anyone who sees see dangerous driving should call 999.