Materia Medica Malaysiana

April 5, 2008

Encouraging the use of rear passenger seatbelts

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:32 am

NST: PUTRAJAYA: A campaign on the compulsory use of rear passenger seatbelts will commence once the law is enforced sometime this year.
This is to ensure motorists understand and comply with the life-saving measure which can reduce road deaths by up to 350 a year.
Transport Ministry sources said all paperwork for the law was ready, awaiting the minister’s approval for the date of enforcement.
The campaign is said to include advertisements educating the public on how rear seatbelts can save lives.
Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research director-general Prof Dr Radin Umar said: “The public must be taught that rear seatbelts are not troublesome or inconvenient.
“It has been found worldwide that the use of rear seatbelts results in 30 to 40 per cent less fatalities.
“Backseat passengers who do not wear seatbelts are a danger to the driver and front passenger. They kill not only themselves, but their loved ones sitting in front.”
He said studies showed that when an unrestrained rear passenger is thrown forward in a collision, his weight becomes four times more upon impact with the front passenger or driver.
Unbelted backseat passengers also risk being thrown out of the vehicle.
The campaign takes on an urgency also because car ownership in the country is on the rise as cars become cheaper and incomes increase.
“Today, 28 per cent of the motoring public owns or drives a car, MPV or four-wheel-drive.
“And 81 per cent of all backseat occupants have access to a seatbelt, so there is no excuse.”
Radin said technical aspects to cover retro-fitting of rear seatbelts in older cars were being finalised.
It was reported last year that those who flouted the law, when it comes into force, would be fined RM80.

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