From the new year onwards, all passengers in a car whether sitting in the front or back have to buckle up or face a RM300 fine. This only applies if the passenger is over 17 years old, but if you are younger, the driver of the car is the one who will be punished as according to Road Transport Director-General Datuk Solah Mat Hassan, it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure the safety of the minors that they are driving.
This new seatbelt ruling includes the rear seatbelts, but excludes the following:
- Cars registered before 1st of January 1995
- Cars registered after the 1st of January 1995 but not equipped with rear seatbelt anchorage points
- Commercial vehicles such as taxis and rental cars
- Vehicles with more than 9 seats including the driver’s
- Transport vehicles with capacity above 3.5 tonnes
Wait, that’s not all. The RM300 fine will be in effect only within a “grace period” of between the 1st of January 2009 to the end of June 2009. From the 1st of July 2009 onwards, this fine will be upped to RM2,000 and you could even go to jail for up to 1 year. Yes, it may seem harsh… but if you buckle up, you won’t have to worry. It’s for your own safety anyway.