15 Feb 2018 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 15 FEB (NAMPA) - Namibian law enforcement agencies will start charging passengers who do not wear seatbelts.
The Namibian Police Force (NamPol) and City Police held a joint media conference here Thursday which emphasised the importance of seatbelts and enforcement of the by-law for passengers to wear seatbelts at all times.
City Police Senior Superintendent Adam Eiseb said passengers will be charged N.dollars 1 000 if found not wearing seatbelts. For children under the age of 14 without child restraints, a fine of N.dollars 500 will be billed to the driver.
A survey by the two law enforcement agencies in collaboration with the University of Namibia and Cardiff University showed that 72 per cent of people in inspected cars wore seatbelts, however only 12 per cent of occupants seated in the rear seats wore seatbelts.
People are ignoring seatbelts, especially occupants at the rear seats. The law applies to everyone and not only the driver and front seat passenger, said Eiseb.
He emphasised that during the survey, 58 children were observed in the motor vehicles inspected of which only 11 were in child restraints.
Eiseb noted that the law encourages for children under 14 to be in child restraints or booster seats. He said it is illegal for parents to put children on their laps and it is completely forbidden for them to be in the front passenger seat.
Eiseb said the enforcement will be effective as of 15 February 2018, adding that the law already exists, however it was not strongly enforced, especially for rear seat passengers.
Speaking at the same event, Cardiff University Professor Judith Hall said the figures for lack of rear seatbelts and children restraint use are a major contributory factor to the needless carnage on Namibias roads each year.
Namibias roads continue to be among the most dangerous in the world, therefore it is important that people should buckle up for every trip because seatbelts saves people, said Hall.