Starting January 1st. 2009, all passengers at the back (read: children and mother in-law) will have to fasten the seat belts or be booked with a maximum penalty of RM300 if they fail to do so.
Luckily I have only 3 children (for now) and 1 wife (for sure), so that I will not have the hard time selecting which child or which wife to leave behind. As for the siblings in-law, I would just say, sorry dudes, no more seat belts, you cannot come along....sorry.
As far as I am concerned from the minister’s statement, no penalty will be imposed to the fourth passenger. Meaning, so long as we use all the available seat belts, we can carry as many passenger as practicable.
Check out what the most ‘Semporna’ man say (source: NST Online),
“Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal signed the papers to enforce the ruling yesterday. Shafie, who is Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister, is standing in for Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat who is overseas.
It is also learnt that no action would be taken against the fourth rear passenger.
"Studies have shown that in most car accidents, only three or fewer number of rear passengers were involved.
"Also the government does not want to burden the poor who normally have only one car to travel and would pack their family into the back seat," said the source.”
“The compulsory wearing of rear seat safety belts, starting from Jan 1, is expected to reduce death and injuries of rear passengers by up to 50 per cent.
Transport Ministry secretary-general Datuk Zakaria Bahari gave the optimistic figure based on a study by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research.
He said 350 deaths involving rear passengers were reported last year.
"In the same year, 700 unbuckled rear passengers suffered serious injuries and 2,100 minor injuries.
"The study shows that up to 50 per cent of fatalities and injuries can be avoided by buckling up," he said yesterday.”
I agree, rear passengers buckling up would avoid injuries.
BUT buckling up of rear passengers would NOT avoid accident.
Seat belts are merely ‘personal protective equipment’. Their fuction is just like fire extinguishers. The fire extinguisher does nothing to prevent fire. But when a building or premise is on fire, they are the VIT there. ......errr ... Very Important Things.
Same goes with rear seat belts.
As a matter of fact, rear seat belt does nothing to prevent accident. In the ‘hierachy of control’ it is in fact down at the most bottom tier. The other factors residing the higher tiers need to be tackled fully before we go about compounding people unbuckled to their rear seat with a gadget that appears to be the last resort personal protective equipment.
What I really mean is ....... promote , not penalise.