Fines for backseat passengers who don't belt up in Malaysia: Transport minister Liow Tiong Lai

Malaysia's transport ministry has said it will soon crack down on backseat passengers who do not belt up. -- PHOTO: CHINA PRESS
Malaysia's transport ministry has said it will soon crack down on backseat passengers who do not belt up. -- PHOTO: CHINA PRESS

Malaysia's transport ministry has said it will soon crack down on backseat passengers who do not belt up.

Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai told Chinese paper Sin Chew Daily that only 7 to 9 per cent of car passengers put on seat belts when sitting in the back seats of car.

While there is a law in place requiring all passengers to wear seat belts, it is often forgotten, he emphasised.

In a 2008 amendment to the 1987 Land Transport Act, a passenger in the back seat caught not wearing a seat belt can be fined RM300 (S$111), Sin Chew Daily reported on Sunday.

The law came into effect in 2009, but strict enforcement was delayed till 2012 as many cars manufactured before 1995 did not have backseat seat belts.

Mr Liow said that about 7,000 people die from road accidents in Malaysia each year, a relatively high figure.

He added that enforcing the regulation will improve safety for everyone, and should not be seen as a hassle for passengers.