DOZENS of drivers have been killed as a result of not wearing a seat belt, according to latest figures.

It has been compulsory to wear a seat belt since 1983, but 880 people were prosecuted in the Thames Valley last year for seat belt offences.

A total of 36 drivers died after failing to take precaution in the last six years and a national campaign is being held to help prevent fatalities.

Thames Valley Police and Hampshire’s Joint Roads Policing Unit will be carrying out a series of activities between March 11-17.

Sergeant Rob Heard said: "The vast majority of people are wearing their seat belts. Unfortunately, we are still finding people who decide to take the risk and travel in a vehicle without wearing a seat belt.

"You are twice as likely to die in a collision if you are not wearing a seat belt and in the event of an collision if unrestrained, you will hit the windscreen, or the front seat in the case of a rear seat passenger at a force of 30 to 60 times your own body weight.

“Unfortunately some people are becoming complacent and feel a collision will never happen to them. People sometimes feel I am only driving locally and at a low speed so I will be ok. However research has shown that many collisions occur at low speed and within in few miles of home.

"I would always recommend to people to wear a seat belt every time you travel in a vehicle, it's not worth the risk."