Putting on your seatbelt has now become a reflex for the majority of motorists. Mandatory at the front as well as at the rear in motor vehicles, its port has also been extended to public transport. However, statistics show that almost 20% of French people still seem to ignore this vital gesture.
A little history
If in France, the arrival of the safety belt was done gradually, Volvo was the first in the world to equip its cars in series . In 1959, the manufacturer already had its Amazon model and its PV 544 of so-called modern belts, with 3 anchor points, also called retractable belts. A true link between the man and the car according to the Swedish manufacturer, it represents one of the most significant advances in terms of car safety.
According to statistics compiled by Volvo and based on the relationship between accidents and seatbelt use, more than a million lives have been saved since its inception.
What are the rules in France?
The installation of “three-point” belts was made compulsory in France at the front of automobiles as early as 1970 . And it was in 1973 that its port was demanded out of town, a constraint that spread to all networks in 1979. From 1990, the wearing of the belt also became mandatory at the rear . Drivers of trucks and coaches are also concerned since 2003. The rule now is: 1 person = 1 place = 1 belt.
Every driver is responsible for passengers under the age of 18 who wears seat belts. As such, he incurs a contravention if one of them is not attached.
Are there any exemptions?
If the use of the safety belt is strongly recommended, the Highway Code provides for a derogation for the following cases:
- Persons whose morphology is manifestly unsuitable : Cases where the size of the person or the child does not allow to attach the belt correctly. In this case it is advisable to position it at least in the ventral position.
- Persons with an exemption from the departmental commission to assess the physical fitness of candidates for driving licenses and drivers.
- Emergency Response Vehicles : Law Enforcement, Ambulances …
- Taxis , when in use (only the driver).
- Drivers and passengers of utility vehicles forced by service need to stop frequently (factor, door-to-door …), only in built-up areas.
What are the risks?
Failure to wear a seatbelt exposes drivers and passengers to risks:
- From thrown forward in a collision: An unbelted rear passenger can at the same time jeopardizing the security front passenger.
- OF ejection in rollover: In an accident with barrels, an unbelted passenger can be thrown several dozen meters from the vehicle.
- Of serious injury or death in an accident.
- A fine in case of control by the police: The non-wearing of the seatbelt constitutes a fourth-class ticket [€ 135, driver and passenger (s)], with the withdrawal of 3 points on the driver’s license when it comes to the driver.
Even though road safety campaigns regularly hit the “nail” with advice and shock videos, one in six French still says they do not have the reflex to buckle up when driving. As a result, more than 350 people still die each year on our roads because they did not have the right “gesture”.