Taipei, July 31 (CNA) A regulation making it compulsory for children traveling in rear seats of vehicles to wear seat belts will take full effect Aug. 1 after a six-month grace period, with violators liable to fines of up to NT$6,000 (US$200), the transport ministry said Tuesday.
The regulation stipulates that children younger than 1 year old or who weigh under 10 kg must be put into infant seats.
Those aged between 1 and 4, or who weigh between 10 kg and 18 kg, must sit in child seats, while those aged between 4 and 12 or who weigh between 18 kg and 36 kg must either sit in booster seats or wear regular seat belts, depending on their size.
Fines for violators will be up to NT$3,000 on city streets and highways, and could range from NT$3,000 to NT$6,000 on freeways and expressways, the ministry said.
The policy was introduced Feb. 1 on the basis of an amendment to the Act Governing Punishment for Violations of Road Traffic Regulations last year, which mandated that backseat passengers must buckle up.
A grace period of six months was given in the case of children to allow for special adjustments to vehicle interiors that might be necessary.
The ministry said it has found that most parents are aware of the new policy and added that a public survey will be conducted two months after the law's implementation before any possible adjustments to the regulation are made.
Studies have shown that front seat passengers who do not fasten their seatbelts are 3.6 times more likely to be killed in traffic accidents than those who do, while backseat passengers not wearing seatbelts are 2.7 times more likely to die in road accidents compared with those who buckle up.
(By Lee Hsin-Yin)