Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Government wants bus passengers to belt up while on the road

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government will make it compulsory for passengers on new buses to wear seat belts, particularly those on tourist coaches, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin said.

He said the installation of seat belts was made compulsory for new buses, in line with the international standard as set by Act 80 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe from November 2007.

“The Government will enforce seat-belt fitting for new buses soon,” he said in reply to Senator Lee Chee Keong at the Dewan Negara yesterday.

Some tourist buses have already installed seat belts, out of responsibility to meet the international standards he said, adding that foreign tourists felt better having them.

On the requirement for cars to be fitted with rear seat belts, he said, it only applied to cars manufactured after Jan 1, 1995.

“Vehicles that do not have the belts must have them fitted within three years,” he said.

To a supplementary question by Senator Maijol Mahap on reducing the period for fitting the seat belts from three years to one year, Lajim said the Government had to be flexible so that people would not be burdened by the requirement.

Lajim said for vehicles manufactured before Jan 1, 1995 and Perodua Kancil and Kenari manufactured from mid-1998 to mid-2004, which were exempted from the ruling, owners were encouraged to have rear seat belts fitted as a safety measure.

He said the Road Transport Department had amended the Motor Vehicle Regulations (Seat Belts) 1978 to enforce the seat belt ruling for both front and rear seat passengers. – Bernama

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