Bangalore gets seat-belt'ed

After running an awareness campaign, traffic cops will start fining motorists who dont wear seatbelts while driving.

Published: 01st February 2012 02:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 05:47 PM   |  A+A-

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A 3-point seat belt (Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons).

BANGALORE: The city Traffic Police is on its last leg of their campaign to spread awareness and educate Bangaloreans about the necessity of wearing seat belts. Post the week long campaign, they will start fining motorist who do not conform to the law.

ACP, Mohammed Abdulla Saleem retorts that the rule has been in existence for over 15 years now. “The rule has been in existence since 1995. There were a few people who used to wear it, but now thanks to our campaign, almost 50 per cent of four-wheeler motorists have started wearing their seat belts,” informed Saleem.

The on-going campaign that was started a month ago has seen a satisfactory change in the attitude of the drivers. The city traffic police installed hoardings across the city to educate and spread awareness. Apart from this they also ran a week long campaign on road safety last month, the theme for which was the necessity of wearing seat belts.

Motorists will be surveyed via the closed-circuit televisions which are displayed at all the signals across the city. “We will book cases from the evidence we collect from the CCTV and then send a notice to the defaulter’s residence,” said Saleem. He also mentioned that first time defaulters will be fined `100, second time will be charged Rs 300 and the third time, apart from imposing a fine of Rs 300 the licence will also be suspended.

Speaking about the fine, Saleem implied that though collecting the fine was part of the process, the traffic police is not interested in using fear as a technique. “We do not want to fine people. We want them to understand the importance of the traffic rules and regulations on their own, and adhere to them It is for their safety only,” he added.

Meanwhile, seat belts are mandatory only for the driver and the front passenger, back seat passengers do not need to wear the safety harness. Revising the rule, he said that according to section 138 of the Motor Vehicles Act, ‘vehicles manufactured post 1994 only come under the purview of the seat belt enforcement law’.

Raj Kumar, a software engineer said that though the seat belt does restrict movement within the car while driving, the enforcement of the same is a necessary evil. “I have to wear a seat belt while driving as my car starts beeping if the driver and the co-passenger do not wear their belts. Moreover, it is a precautionary measure that will only safe guard our own safety. So I guess it is not that bad a deal in the first place. I will in fact ask my friends to wear it as well,” he said.

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