Police buckling down on seatbelt safety in Mandalay
MANDALAY Region police are in the midst of an education campaign aimed at getting drivers and passengers to buckle up on the roads.
Until the end of the year, traffic police will be running checkpoints to make sure that all car occupants are wearing their seatbelts.
According to Police Major U Thein Oo, very few people in Mandalay wear seatbelts. The aim of the two-month education campaign is to help people develop the habit of wearing seatbelts before fines are imposed.
“Now we are educating drivers in the downtown area of Mandalay. Both drivers and their passengers need to wear their seatbelts. If a crash happens, seatbelts stop people from being thrown from the car and allow them to be saved by airbags,” said U Thein Oo.
Police Lieutenant Aung Zaw Win said the initiative involved more timeconsuming stops than usual.
“We examine the driver’s licence, then we inform them of the need to wear a seatbelt,” he said.
“Most people are not in the habit of putting on their belts. We have to teach them to do it and it will take some time for it to become widespread,” he added.
Starting January 1 next year, drivers and passengers not wearing their seatbelts will be liable for fines of up to K30,000 under section 62 of the Vehicle Law.
Many of the vehicles imported to Myanmar lack seatbelts. But also starting on January 1, the Road Transport Administration Department will not permit the registration or re-registration of vehicles that do not have seatbelts, Transportation Minister U Thant Sin Maung told The Myanmar Times earlier this month.
The seatbelt campaign is part of the effort to stem ever-mounting road death numbers. Earlier this year, the National Road Safety Council was established with the goal of halving last year’s figure of 3731 traffic fatalities by 2020.
So far, no decrease in road deaths has been recorded, with nearly 3500 people reported to have died on the country’s roads from the beginning of the year to September 30. So far this year there has been an average of 43.85 accidents and 12.75 road deaths per day.
A police officer conducts a seatbelt safety check.