SIXTY people were given fixed penalty notices for failing to wear seatbelts as police staged a crackdown as part of the Love Your Kids? Belt them In! campaign.

More than 300 motorists were stopped at checkpoints yesterday across Blackburn, Darwen, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley.

Every police officer in the Eastern Division’s Road Policing Unit took part in the huge drive.

The action comes after the Lancashire Telegraph teamed up with road safety groups to launch the campaign urging parents to ensure their children are always belted in.

Both young and older people were stopped during the checks yesterday.

Police said motorists gave excuses such as they simply forgot and they were only going a short distance.

The fixed penalty notices are for £60.

PC Kate Brady, an officer in the road policing unit, said: “You are more likely to have an accident on short journey. People think because they know the area it doesn’t matter. The numbers we saw yesterday were nothing out of the ordinary for us. I can fine 15 people a week for not wearing a seatbelt.

“Accidents can become much more serious even on short journeys if people aren’t wearing seatbelts.

“A passenger in the back who isn’t belted up can kill the people in front of them, even if the driver is wearing a seatbelt.

“We find more people don’t wear seatbelts compared to other motoring offences. Wearing a seatbelt should be automatic.

“It takes seconds and then you are safe.”

Police officers also visited schools and gave advice to parents about correct seat restraints and belting their children up before setting off on the crackdown.

Love Your Kids? Belt Them In! was launched last month after shock figures revealed more than half of local child-ren do not wear seatbelts in the car.