Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been fined for not wearing a seatbelt in a moving car while filming a social media video. Lancashire Police said in a Twitter statement without directly naming Sunak: “We have today issued a 42-year-old man from London with a conditional offer of a fixed penalty.”
A fixed penalty means Sunak can pay a fine to avoid a court hearing. Downing Street said in a statement that Sunak “fully accepts this was a mistake and has apologized.” “He will, of course, comply with the fixed penalty,” it said.
Passengers caught failing to wear a seat belt when one is available can be fined £100. This can increase to £500 if the case goes to court.
The prime minister was in Lancashire when the video was filmed, during a trip across the north of England. Mr. Sunak’s Instagram account was used to promote the government’s latest round of “leveling up” spending.
Mr. Sunak has now been issued a fixed penalty notice twice while he has been in office. He was penalised in April of last year, along with Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie, for violating the COVID lockdown regulations by going to the then-prime minister’s birthday party in Downing Street in June of 2020.
Passengers aged 14 and over are responsible for ensuring they wear a seat belt in cars, vans, and other goods vehicles if one is fitted. Drivers are responsible for passengers under 14. Exemptions include having a doctor’s certificate for a medical reason or being in a vehicle used for a police, fire, or other rescue service.