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Posted On: 18 March 2012 01:57 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:11 pm

Rear seat occupants may have to buckle up

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Traffic authorities are mulling making the use of seat belts mandatory for people seated in the rear of a car, as part of stricter measures to improve road safety. The Department of Traffic is looking at the possibility of amending the traffic law to include more deterring clauses to reduce road accidents, said Brigadier Mohamed Saad Al Kharji, director of the department. Fines might be increased for various violations, especially for using gadgets like mobile phones for talking and texting, and accessing Facebook and Twitter while driving, he hinted. A lot of motorists use these gadgets while driving and that is one of the major causes of road mishaps. Motorists overtaking from the right side might also face severe penalties. Traffic officials are holding talks with the Supreme Education Council (SEC) to explore the possibility of including the traffic law and road safety lessons in school curricula. Al Kharji said that despite his department’s repeated insistence during awareness campaigns that young motorists, particularly, shouldn’t use balloon tyres in their cars, the practice hasn’t ceased. Studies show that balloon tyres are a major cause of accidents, especially when they are used in bigger vehicles, the official told Al Sharq. Talking of driving schools, Al Kharji said that unless a trainee has successfully completed theory lessons, he wouldn’t be allowed to undergo practical training. About plans under study to make the use of seal belts compulsory for those seated in the rear of a car, he said it has been noticed that in some road crashes people sitting at the back have also perished or suffered serious injuries because they were not using seat belts. The director rued lack of flyovers or underpasses on arterial roads and hinted that they were actually needed to ensure pedestrians’ safety. He said that some countries, to help curb road accidents, refer a motorist involved in serious or repeated violations of traffic rules to ‘serve for a while’ in a mortuary where bodies of victims of deadly road crashes are kept. The idea is to make a ‘careless’ motorist learn a lesson and not breach the traffic law in future. Al Kharji, however, didn’t say if this kind of proposal was also under study in Qatar. He, though, hinted that such punishments could be effective as sometimes fines fail to deter a motorist from breaching the traffic law. Published; Thursday, 15 March 2012 The Peninsula