Chubb Partners with Government Agencies to promote Safety with Rear-Seat Belt Usage

Automotive Press Releases Monday September 4, 2017 11:21
Bangkok--4 Sep--Chubb Samaggi Insurance

Chubb Samaggi Insurance Public Company Limited (Chubb) has joined forces with the Accident Prevention Network supported by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation and the Thai Department of Land Transport to promote safety on the roads through the "Use Rear-seat Belt for Safety" project. The initiative aims to raise the awareness of the need to use the safety belt for rear-seat passengers to minimize personal injury and fatalities due to accidents.

Chubb's collaboration with the Accident Prevention Network supported by Thai Health Promotion Foundation and the Thai Department of Land Transport aims to boost measures that enforce land transport laws which require all car passengers, including those seated at the back, to wear seat belts. The first stage of the project involves the promotion of rear-seat belt usage through taxi operators.

Miss Nittaya Piriyathamwong, Country President of Chubb's general insurance operations in Thailand said, "As an insurance company with a strong sense of corporate social responsibility, we are keen to promote the importance of traveling safely on the roads. At present, most car passengers use the seat-belt when they are seated in the front, while the vast majority are unaccustomed to strapping themselves in if they sit in the back or rear of a vehicle. Danger lurks especially for backseat passengers in the event of an accident if they fail to wear a seat-belt. Many feel that it is unnecessary to use the rear-seat belt because of the perception that nothing serious can happen. However, injuries and fatalities tell a different story.

"We are keen to promote a change in behaviour through various promotional materials such as stickers, signages for vehicles, posters, and radio advertising. Initially, we aim to work with taxi operators. We're placing promotional materials both inside and outside the taxis to generate awareness among the general public and eventually encourage the habit of passengers strapping themselves in while seated in the back. We are committed to make safety in the back-seat a priority through the use of the seat-belt. Eventually, we hope that the use of the seat-belt for rear passengers will become second nature," she added.

Deputy Director-General of the Department of Land Transport Kamon Buranapong has stated that his department is the agency responsible for the safety of vehicles and road safety equipment. He said, according to the law, personal vehicles and vehicles for public transport must be equipped with safety belts, while prohibiting the vehicles from being operated if a passenger does not wear a seat belt. The Deputy Director-General said, in order to improve road safety when traveling on public transportation especially during long holiday periods, punishments are in place to punish those who fail to fulfill the safety requirement. The land transport law section 113 gives the state the authority to fine a driver or a passenger who does not wear a seatbelt no more than 500 baht, while a driver and a passenger of large public transport vehicles, such as coaches, buses, and cargo trucks are subject to a fine of no more than 500 baht and 5,000 baht respectively.

Mr. Wichet Pichairat, the 1st Plan Administrative Committee, Health Risk Control Plan, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (Thai Health) said, Thai Health, APN, and the network members place significant emphasis on continuous prevention and reduction of road accidents. Thailand has one of the highest rates of fatal road accidents in the world as a result of drinking and driving, speeding, and low usage of helmets and seat belts. As a consequence, injuries are more serious and fatalities higher. Government units have implemented strict safety measures regarding the use of seat belts. Nonetheless, most people don't care enough to wear a seat belt while riding in the back of a vehicle simply because they think that sitting in the back is safer than sitting in the front of a moving vehicle. Most people also think that a ride in a taxi or on public transportation will only last for a short while thus negating the need for a seat belt. Theoretically speaking, a car that experiences an accident while travelling at 60 kilometres per hour will result in the driver and passengers being thrown forwards and, if they hit someone else or some object in the car, the impact will be equal to that of falling from the top of a 5-story building. Therefore, anyone who fails to wear a seat belt will either crash through the car windshield or window or ram into a seat of the person sitting in front of them and very possibly, end up getting seriously hurt. Furthermore, Mr.Wichet quoted a report as saying most of car crash survivors wore a seatbelt, citing the fact that a seatbelt can reduce 34-40% of the impact. According to the World Health Organization's survey ranking 182 countries with policy mandating seatbelt as a road safety equipment, only one fourth of the total number of the nations are considered decent in implementing the policy. Thailand scores 6 out of 10, which indicates there are rooms for improvements.

Mr. Wichet also stated, "According to the Thai Roads Foundation's 2017 survey on the ratio of passenger on the back seats of metered taxis wearing seatbelts, only 4% and 3% of male and female passengers wear a seatbeat respectively, which means only approximately 3% of backseat passengers wear a seatbelt, and 97% do not wear a seatbelt.

The survey was aimed at reflecting the current road safety situation and the attitude of passenger sitting on the backseat of a taxi towards wearing a seatbelt. The survey was conducted in Bangkok's Ratchatewi, Bangkok Noi, Klong Toei, Klong San, Bang Na, Phra Kanong, Pasi Charoen, and Ratchaburana districts. The survey collected the data during the weekday from 7 am to 5 pm at the beginning of August 2017.

The data collected from 3,717 passengers riding on 3,260 metered taxis via photographs."

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