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Only 61 percent of drivers in Kyrgyzstan use seat belts

Only 61 percent of drivers and passengers in Bishkek use seat belts. Head of Road Safety NGO Chinara Kasmambetova voiced results of a research by the organization.

According to her, 70 percent of drivers, 58.7 percent of passengers in the front seats, and only 6.3 percent in the rear seats use seat belts. At the same time, in a quarter of the cars, belts in the rear seats were closed.

«It has been repeatedly said that seat belts, child safety seats reduce the risk of death and serious injury during a traffic accident,» said Chinara Kasmambetova.

She added that many people use seat belts only because they are afraid of fines.

«But this should become a habit. People need to understand that this is their safety,» Chinara Kasmambetova stressed.

Deputy Head of the Main Traffic Safety Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Nur Satybaldiev, has the same opinion.

At least 5,995 traffic accidents were registered in Kyrgyzstan in 2018. They killed 716 people, 9,160 people were injured.

Nur Satybaldiev noted that more than 260,000 violations of seat belt use were revealed.

«Application of administrative penalties cannot be considered as effective. It is necessary to achieve a psychological change in the consciousness of road users, so that they consciously use belts and child safety seats, and not because of fines. Seat belts and child seats are among the so-called passive road safety devices. They cannot prevent traffic accidents, but they significantly reduce the severity and consequences. In 1975, a provision on the mandatory use of seat belts was introduced in the traffic rules. It is relevant today,» he stressed.