DRIVERS are being warned of the risks associated with using a mobile phone or not wearing a seatbelt as part of a campaign to reduce deaths on Highlands and islands roads.
Almost 32,500 people across the country have been detected by officers for seatbelt offences, including failing to restrain a child properly, since April 1 2013.
A further 28,750 were stopped for using a mobile phone while driving.
Inspector Neil Lumsden, head of the divisional road policing unit in Highland and Islands Division, said: “The seatbelt is the number one safety device within vehicles and it’s an offence not to wear it.
“Seatbelts and other restraints have been proven to reduce injury or death, even during low-speed collisions. Contrary to this, using a mobile phone whilst driving could increase the likelihood of being involved in a collision.
“It is easy to ignore the risks when we are driving and pretend that bad things only happen to other people. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been driving, how safe you think your driving is, or whatever else you tell yourself to justify using your phone or not wearing a seat belt, the reality is people are hurt every day in collisions.
“Don’t risk it - because if you do we will be looking for you and you will not be able to justify your action to officers when you are stopped.”
Drivers face a £100 fine if caught not wearing a seatbelt, while using a mobile phone incurs a £100 fine and three penalty points.