Dec 19 — Only passengers in private-owned vehicles which are registered after Jan 1, 1995, and fitted with rear safety belts, will be issued summons if they are caught not wearing the safety gadget, effective next year, Road Safety Department director-general Datuk Suret Singh said Friday.
He said owners of vehicles registered after 1995 which but did not come with the rear seat belts, would be given three years from next year to get the belts fitted into their vehicles.
He said some 10 per cent of vehicles which were registered after 1995 were not fitted with the rear seat belts.
Vehicles registered before Jan 1, 1995, would be exempted from the rear seat belt ruling, but the owners were encouraged to get the belts fitted for their passengers’ safety, he told reporters after launching a road safety campaign at the Sungai Besi toll plaza here today.
This, he said, was because almost 50 per cent of road accidents which involved fatalities and serious injury to rear passengers could be avoided had they worn the safety belts.
“This year alone, we have 400 fatalities in road accidents involving rear passengers, which number could be reduced if they were to wear the safety belts,” he added.
On the absence of a safety belt for a fourth passenger, Suret said a study by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) found that only 10 per cent of vehicles had a fourth passenger in their rear seat.
“The fourth rear passenger will not be issued a summon for not wearing the seat belt,” he added.
Suret said the department would also proposed to the Road Transport Department on the use of a more suitable crash helmets for motorcyclists.
“The half helmet is not suitable because it does not give full protection to the motorcyclist’s head,” he added.