POLICE encouraged drivers to belt up on Hereford's Aylestone Hill this morning.

Officers were parked up by the former Copper Kettle and Swan Inn during today's operation which formed part of a national seat belt enforcement campaign.

West Mercia Police linked up with the NPCC as part of a programme to improve road safety and law enforcement.

In the UK it is a legal requirement for drivers and passengers to wear a seatbelt, unless they have an exemption and it is the driver’s legal responsibility to ensure that any passenger under 14 years old is using the appropriate child restraint or an adult seatbelt.

Over the past two years in the West Mercia region, nine people have been killed and 14 seriously injured in collisions where a seatbelt has not been worn.

Throughout the campaign, officers will be out and about in local communities taking part in a mixture of enforcement and educational initiatives.

Superintendent Melanie Crowther, for West Mercia Police, said: "Supporting this national campaign with local activities and increased enforcement is an important way of raising the issue and highlighting the dangers of not wearing a seat belt.

"National studies have shown that drivers and passengers aged 17-34 have the lowest seat belt-wearing rates, combined with the highest collision rate, which is of great concern to us."