British Prime Minister fined for not wearing seatbelt
Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was fined by British police on Friday for failing to wear a seatbelt in the back of a moving car while on a trip to northern England.
Sunak was seen turning in his seat to talk to the camera without wearing a seatbelt in an Instagram video posted on Thursday, which has since been removed from the social media site.
The PM's office at Downing Street stated that the incident was a "brief error of judgment," but Lancashire constabulary announced that Sunak would be fined for the infraction, according to The Guardian UK.
"You will be aware that a video has been circulating on social media of an individual failing to wear a seatbelt while a passenger in a moving car in Lancashire," the force said.
"Following an investigation, we issued a conditional offer of fixed penalty to a 42-year-old man from London today."
"The prime minister fully accepts this was a mistake and has apologized," said a Sunak spokesperson. Of course, he will comply with the fixed penalty."
Sunak can avoid a court hearing by paying a fine under a fixed penalty.
The police did not say how much they fined the prime minister, but according to the government's safety campaign, any driver or passenger who is not wearing a seatbelt is breaking the law and could face a £500 fine if the case goes to court, according to The Guardian UK.
Sunak's transportation habits were already a topic of discussion in the United Kingdom prior to the incident, according to an AFP report.
In recent days, his political opponents have targeted his use of a private jet for multiple short flights.
Sunak has been fined by the police several times before.
According to AFP, he was fined while serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer for attending a Downing Street party in June 2020 that violated the government's rules on social distancing.
Sunak is now the second Conservative prime minister in less than a year to be fined by the police. Boris Johnson received a fixed-penalty notice from the Metropolitan Police in 2020 for attending a party during a lockdown. Sunak was fined because he attended the same event as the Chancellor of the Exchequer.