Sunday, June 1, 2008


Monday June 2, 2008

Many not aware of rule


PETALING JAYA: Despite the rear seat belt ruling being introduced yesterday, many people still claimed ignorance of it.

Previtha Rajah, 33, said she was unaware of the start of the three-month advocacy period for the use of rear seat belts.

However, the mother of three can afford to “overlook” the ruling – for she has always got her rear seat passengers to buckle up anyway.

“For safety purposes, I have never failed to get my children, maid and other passengers to buckle up,” she added when met at a petrol kiosk here.

Roslan Hashim, 34, a technician, said he had heard of the plan but did not know it had already been implemented.

“Betulkah, saya pun tak tahu (Is it, I did not know),” he said, suggesting that more information be disseminated via the media on the new rule.

A 50-year-old businessman, who only wanted to be known as Choy, went one step further by questioned the need for the ruling.

“Most cars have only two rear seat belts. Does that mean I can only drive four people in my car?” he asked.

Federal traffic police chief Senior Asst Comm II Datuk Hamzah Taib, when contacted, said police personnel would advise motorists on the new ruling until the three-month period was up, when summonses would be issued.

“We will advise motorists of the new rule whenever we have the chance. We will not spare any effort,” he added.

He said police would work with the Road Safety Department to distribute flyers to motorists.

Monday June 2, 2008

Owners of locally-made cars can get rear safety belts installed (for FREE)


PETALING JAYA: Owners of locally-made cars not already fitted with rear seat belts will get them installed for free.

Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat said an agreement has been worked out with the manufacturers, banks and insurance companies and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) is expected to be inked soon.

“We have deliberated on this systematically as it involves money and engineering. We hope this initiative can help lessen the people’s burden with the new ruling to wear rear seat belts,” he said.

“I wanted original manufacturers involved because fitting anchorage points for seat belts must be done properly,” he said. “It is part of their corporate social responsibility programme.”

A source in a major local car manufacturer said the signing ceremony would take place tomorrow. Details on where to get the cars fitted with free rear seat belts would be announced later.

“I would like to advise passengers in cars already fitted with seat belts to buckle up when travelling and for car owners without rear seat belts to install them promptly and not wait until the last minute,” he said.

The ruling came into force yesterday making it mandatory for rear seat passengers to wear seat belts.

However, no summons for the offence will be issued until the end of August. The ruling is only effective for cars registered after January 1995.

Owners of cars without rear seat belts have three years to get them installed.

The ministry kicked off a media campaign yesterday to inform the public on the importance of wearing rear seat belts. It will run for six months.

Ong said the ministry wanted to drive home the message that enforcement of the ruling was “not so much focused on punishment” but for the safety of motorists.

A Transport Ministry official said the idea is not to pass down the burden of fixing the seat belts to the user wherever possible.

“It should be part of the corporate social responsibility of the manufacturers.”

The official said the idea was to help the public so that there was no excuse for them not to use the rear seat belts and to cover all possible loopholes.

“We do not want the voice of 19% of car owners who do not have rear seat belts to affect the 81% who do have rear seat belts.”

Perodua Kancil and Kenari cars manufactured in 1998 and until mid-2004 will be exempted from the compulsory backseat belt rule.

Road Safety Department director-general Datuk Suret Singh said this was because the models produced during this period did not have anchorage points for rear seat belts.

“Some models which came out between 2004 and 2005 have anchorage points but no rear seat belts.

“The department has proposed that Perodua offer special packages to owners of these Kancil and Kenari models to install rear seat belts.

“They have three years to do that,” he said.

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