According to MIROS or Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research, there has been a drop in rear-seat belt compliance recently. The rule to have rear passengers buckle-up was first introduced in February 2009 where the compliance rate then was 47%.
However, by the end of that year, the compliance rate has dropped to 13%. By 2010, it dropped further to 9.7% and by 2011, the rate was at 9.2%. This drop is considered to be alarming and a cause of concern as it is compromising the safety of the passengers.
The compliance rate then increased slightly in 2012 where it went to 13.5% while in 2013, it dropped to 12.5%. Meanwhile, the first four months of 2014 saw compliance rate dropping to an all-time low of 7.7%.
MIROS said that motorists who complied with the rear seat-belt rule were afraid of being fined more than they were aware of its safety. According to a study by the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a vehicle travelling at 50km/h involved in an accident will have the possibility where the unbuckled rear passenger could experience 30 to 60 times more than its original weight. Statistics by MIROS showed that about 90% of vehicles have rear seat belts. MIROS has reiterated that the law to implement rear seat belts are currently enforced and not ‘put on hold’ as perceived by many. As such, only older models with are not equipped are exempted while all others have to abide by this law or face the fine.