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Drivers heed buckling up call


With the police set to enforce recently enacted seatbelt legislation as early as next week, the majority of drivers are already buckling up.

“The cooperation has been beautiful by the public” said Superintendent Bertram Pompey, satisfied with the public’s cooperation.

Even the “buckle up” stickers, issued by the traffic branch of the police force have been in high demand. {{more}}

SEARCHLIGHT took to the streets to do a random survey of vehicles to ascertain just how many drivers were buckling up. Of the 191 vehicles surveyed at two locations in Kingstown, six out of every 10 drivers were wearing seatbelts.

The highest rate of compliance was among drivers of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) while the lowest was among minibus drivers. There was also a high compliances among car drivers as well as drivers of government vehicles.

Of the SUVs surveyed 72 per cent of drivers wore seatbelts, 67 per cent of car drivers and drivers of government vehicles were buckled up and 58.7 per cent of bus drivers were strapped in.

On August 14, 2006 the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act was amended making the wearing of seatbelts and helmets for motorcyclists and pillion riders mandatory.

The penalty for not wearing a seatbelt is a fine not exceeding $2,000 for the first offence, and up to $5,000 for a repeat offence.

Police said they had allowed a grace period during which the public was being sensitised before enforcing the law.