Since enforcement of higher seat belt fines commenced about two weeks ago, several persons have been caught breaking the law and were made to pay the $500 penalty.
The Head of the Traffic Department, Assistant Superintendent of Police Rodney Ellis, says the increase comes under new regulations, the Vehicle and Road Traffic Enforcement and Administration Order 2022, which was passed earlier this summer.
Under the new regulations, not only the seatbelt fine has been increased – but that for speeding, as well – with both jumping from $200 to $500, in line with the fine for using a cell phone while driving.
Ellis says the law applies to adult front-seat passengers, who will be responsible for paying their individual fines if caught not wearing a seatbelt.
Children under the age of 14 years are prohibited from riding in the front seat of a vehicle. If they are caught, the driver will be held responsible and is subject to be fined for that infraction.
Ellis says the penalty has forced drivers to comply with the law and wear their seatbelts, which is a life-saving measure .
Meanwhile, the Traffic Department Head is refuting some residents’ claims that the fines were increased as a money-making avenue for the Government and the Police.
In fact, Ellis says, it is a preventative measure to lower the risk of death and serious injury as a result of a traffic accident.