A study by MIROS discovered that the compliance rate for the rear seat belt rule was 47% when it was introduced in February 2009 (enforcement began on January 1, 2009). However, this quickly deteriorated down to 13% by the end of 2009.
The subsequent years also demonstrated a lacklustre desire for rear passengers to use their seat belts, with just a 9.7% compliance rate in 2010, 9.2% in 2011, 13.5% in 2012, 12.5% in 2013, and only 7.7% for the first four months of 2014.
Considering that 90% of vehicles currently on Malaysian roads are fitted with rear seat belts, these figures are certainly alarming. The dangers of not buckling up is apparent when in a crash involving a vehicle travelling at just 50km/h, the weight of unbuckled rear passengers can be as much as 30-60 times of their original weight.
The Motor Vehicles Rules (Seatbelt) (2008 Amendment) states that passenger(s) who are not buckled in will receive a fine of RM300. However, the fine can only be issued if the rear passenger is aged 17 years old and above.
MIROS’ study also revealed that since ‘Ops Selamat’ kicked off on July 10 this year, 20,257 accidents that resulted in 155 deaths were recorded throughout the country during its first seven days. That amounted to 22 deaths per day, nine more compared to the same period last year. It added that more than 80% of traffic accidents are caused by human error.