New regulations target misuse of belts and car seats
THE GARDA and road safety authorities have warned drivers to make themselves aware of the new penalty point regulations for seat-belts, which came into effect at midnight.
Now, anyone convicted of not wearing a seatbelt or of having an unrestrained child in their car will be given four penalty points and a fine of up to €90.
Drivers now face penalty points for almost 50 different motoring offences due to a new crackdown on road safety.
The offences which now attract penalty points include:
The driver of a car or goods vehicle not wearing a safety belt;
a driver permitting a person under 17 years of age to occupy a seat when not wearing safety belt;
a driver permitting a child under three to travel in a car without being restrained by an appropriate child restraint;
the driver of a car or goods vehicle permitting a child over three years of age to travel without being restrained by an appropriate child restraint;
a driver permitting a child to be restrained by a rearward facing child restraint fitted to a seat protected by an active frontal airbag, and
the driver of a bus not wearing a safety belt.
In addition, a driver who uses a vehicle which breaches weight regulations is liable to a maximum of three penalty points and a fine of up to €300.
According to crash statistics, 23 per cent of drivers and 29 per cent of passengers killed in the first six months of the year were not wearing seatbelts.
Assistant Garda Commissioner Gerard Phillips said the use of a seatbelt in the front “and especially the rear of a vehicle” was “the most basic form of road safety”.
He said drivers had nothing to fear from penalty points once they were aware of and compliant with road traffic laws.
“Ultimately, they are designed to save lives and prevent injuries and, at the end of the day, this is our number one goal.”
Meanwhile Temple Street Children’s Hospital and children’s supplies company Mothercare have launched a campaign to raise awareness of the need for correctly fitted child seats.
The hospital said all children must use a car seat until they reached 150cm in height or the age of 12, according to law.
The “drive to save lives” is the first step in a campaign to raise awareness and funds for the hospital.