Seat belts compulsory for backseat passengers from Sept 5


From September 5, backseat passengers of vehicles with not more than 7 seats will be required to wear seat belts.

Metropolitan Police deputy chief Pol Maj-General Jirasan Kaewsaeng-Ake said on Wednesday that the 13th amendment to the Land Traffic Act of 1979 will take effect next month, expanding the compulsory use of seat belts to include passengers in the front seats and backseats.

He said old vehicles registered before January 1, 1988, will be exempted from the new rule as the backseats cannot be fitted with seat belts.

“In the early phase, police officers will focus on issuing a warning to those who are not yet aware of the new rules. Fining of violators [at a maximum 2,000 baht] will be considered on case-by-case basis,” said Jirasan.

The 13th amendment of the act also added two new clauses: A) children under six years must use a car seat or a specialised seat to prevent injuries in case of an accident, and B) passengers who are under 135cm tall must wear a seat belt or use a specialised seat to prevent injuries in case of a mishap.

These two new rules are also scheduled to take effect on September 5. However, Jirasan said they could be postponed for a maximum 90 days as the details and specifications of car seats are yet to be finalised and announced by the Royal Thai Police.