PETALING JAYA: The Road Transport Department (JPJ) and police will start issuing summons from Jan 1 to all passengers not wearing their seatbelts.
JPJ director-general Datuk Solah Mat Hassan said vehicle owners and passengers would be given a six-month grace period where they would only be issued a fine of RM300 for not wearing their belts.
From July 1, drivers and passengers caught not using their seatbelts would be issued a summons where they have to pay a fine of up to RM2,000, serve up to one year’s jail or both under the Road Transport Act 1987, Solah said.
“We are not trying to punish anyone here. It is for their own safety. Make it a habit and wear your seatbelt. It doesn’t take even a minute to put it on,” he told a press conference during JPJ’s Ops Pra Tahun Baru at the Batu 3 Shah Alam-Kuala Lumpur toll plaza on Saturday. When asked by reporters about age limits on the fine and summons, he only said that the summons would need to be paid and that there was no provision on who was supposed to pay.
“It is parents’ responsibility to ensure that their children wear rear seatbelts,” he said.
According to Solah, wearing a seatbelt could cut the rate of death and injuries to passengers in an accident by about 50%.
Solah added that vehicles without rear seatbelts registered after Jan 1 1995 had three years to get their vehicle retrofitted with the safety feature.
He said it was not mandatory for cars registered before Jan 1 1995 to retrofit rear seatbelts as they do not have the rear anchorage points that allowed the feature to be installed.
“Nevertheless, for safety’s sake, they should have their vehicles fitted with rear seatbelts anyway,” he said.
Other vehicles that were exempted from the ruling were commercial vehicles such as taxis and rental cars, large vehicles that seated nine passengers or more and haulers that had a tonnage limit of more than 3.5 tonnes.
Road Safety Department (JKJR) planning, research and development director Sim Say Kiong also told reporters that car makers Proton, Perodua and Honda have signed a memorandum of understanding to retrofit rear seatbelts in 227,000, 435,000 and 35,000 vehicles respectively for free.
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