People paralysed in car crashes urge public to wear seatbelts

Laura Torrance and David Galloway, shared their stories and spoke about the importance of wearing a seatbelt.

Stories shared by people paralysed by car crashes to urge public to wear seatbelts – Police Scotland campaign Getty Images

Two people who were left paralysed in their teens following car crashes have urged the public to wear seatbelts.

Laura Torrance and David Galloway spoke about the importance of wearing a seatbelt while travelling in vehicles to prevent others suffering similar outcomes.

In 1999, when Laura Torrance was 16, she was a passenger of a car travelling in East Kilbride with a group of friends, one of whom was a newly qualified driver when she was involved in a crash.

Laura, who is now 41, was not wearing a seatbelt at the time and was thrown from the vehicle.

She suffered significant spinal injuries.

David Galloway, from Fife, was 18 when he was involved in a collision near Linlithgow in 2001 while not wearing a seatbelt.

As a result of the injuries he sustained, David, who now 40, spent three years in hospitals across the country.

He required round-the-clock care from his family and will continue to do so for the rest of his life.

In October 2023, Transport Scotland published analysis of road traffic fatalities across the country and found that 21% of people who died on Scotland’s roads over a five-year period were not wearing a seatbelt.

Police Scotland’s management of information data report for April 2023, to March 2024 shows that 165 people were killed on Scotland’s roads and 2,234 people were reported for seatbelt offences during this time.

Chief superintendent Hilary Sloan, head of Road Policing, said: “I have had the opportunity to hear their accounts first-hand, which are impactful and harrowing.

“Whether you are the driver or a passenger, the potential for serious, life-changing, or even fatal injuries in the event of a collision are significant and can drastically change the course of your life,” she said.

“Police Scotland is committed to improving road safety across the country and the public have a vital role to play by ensuring they always wear seatbelts whenever they are travelling within a vehicle.

“If you are the driver, then please make sure you check that all of your passengers have fastened their seatbelts before setting off on your journey.

She added: “We will continue to monitor our road network to identify those driving or travelling without wearing a seatbelt and take appropriate education or enforcement action where required.”

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