There is growing concern over the increasingly widespread availability and soaring sales of ‘universal’ seat belt clips. Young male type persons irritated by the annoying beep-beep-beep that otherwise accompanies unbelted driving have apparently been purchasing these sinister devices in vast numbers.

The appeal, apparently, lies in the freedom they give users to drive in a semi-recumbent position and to avoid giving the impression of caring a fig for personal safety.

Freely available online and in so-called  ‘service’ stations, universal seat belt alarm stoppers are currently selling like hot cakes. But campaigners warn that their use is putting young (and not-so-young) lives at risk.

Where previously many young drivers would have cracked and belted up before the standard 100 seat belt alarm beeps had elapsed prior to self-deactivation, now these heedless renegades simply ‘plug and go’ without a second thought.

Soaring sales of so-called ‘alarm stoppers’ mirror those of fake lifejackets, cardboard crash helmets, plain-glass sunglasses, and the ‘display purposes only’ body armour worn by UK combat personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“If today’s young people want to drive around without a seatbelt and go flying through their windscreens left right and centre, they should go back to the 1960s where they belong,” said Pope’s Wood Council Leader Percy Nodes. “Or join the ruddy circus or something. I don’t know,” he added.

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