3-Point Seat Belt

A study by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) has revealed a rather unfortunate conclusion on the compliance rate for the rear seat belt rule, implemented way back in February 2009 (enforcement commenced on January that year). According to MIROS, compliance rate was at an all-time high of 47% in early 2009 before figures plummeted to 13% by end-2009.

By 2010, the compliance rate was recorded at 9.7% before dropping by 0.5% in the following year. In 2012 (perhaps spurred on by the possible notion of the world ending), compliance rate shot up to 13.5% while 2013 saw a drop back down to 12.5%. In the first four months of 2014, compliance rate was noted at a paltry 7.7% – we can only hope the figures bounce back for the better in the future.

On an even sadder note, MIROS finds that compliance and overall awareness on the importance of buckling up at the back was founded more on the fear of being fined as opposed to anything else. Occupant mentality appears to be the key factor as statistics show that close to 90% of vehicles on the road in Malaysia are equipped with rear seat belts, providing seat belt access to 85% of occupants.

Aside from the importance of buckling up, MIROS is also urging motorcyclists to fasten their helmets as employing said safety measures were shown to effectively reduce the chances of fatalities during accidents – a 60% improvement in the safety of motorists has been mentioned.

“Serious injuries that can result in deaths are normally caused by failure of passengers to wear seats belts. Upon impact during accidents, passengers are thrown out or knock into hard objects while motorcyclists or pillion riders who do not wear proper helmets can suffer critical injuries or death,” said Professor Dr Wong Shaw Voon, MIROS director-general.

Additionally, 20,257 accidents were recorded nationwide over the first week of Ops Selamat 7, launched on July 10. From the total, 155 fatalities were reported – said figure indicates an average of 22 deaths a day compared with 13 for the same period in 2014.

Pillion riders on motorcycles accounted for 94 of the 155 road fatalities. As a result, MIROS has urged the motoring public to take responsibility for their own safety as human error was deemed as the main factor for over 80% of road accidents. We don’t want to sound like broken records but please make it an effort to buckle up every time you get into a car – it could very well be the smartest move you’ll make all day.