Reckless motorists can and will do almost anything to get away with not following the laws of the road. Take seatbelt avoiders, for example. Some will blatantly not bother strapping in at all, others will buckle the belt behind their backs to bypass safety chimes while others will drive with the belt resting nonchalantly over just one shoulder to fool onlookers into thinking they’re securely strapped in.
Some drivers in China have taken seatbelt avoidance to extreme new levels by purchasing and wearing t-shirts with a black stripe running from the shoulder to the hip, simulating a fastened seatbelt, Autoblog reports.
The t-shirts, which cost up to $8, are completely legal. However wearing one while not wearing a properly fitted seatbelt is obviously an offence, which can result in a fine of around $8 and two points on your driver’s license. Rack up a total 12 points and you can kiss your license goodbye.
Police have claimed there is an element of “self deception” in wearing the t-shirts (perhaps insinuating drivers are ultimatley fooling nobody but themselves) and have begun taking action. Cops have reportedly begun cracking down on drivers not wearing seatbelts after a spate or collisions resulted in occupants being thrown from their vehicles.
While we salute the ingenuity of the t-shirts, we can’t for one moment believe buying and wearing a specially purchased garment is any less hassle than simply wearing a seatbelt. Are we missing something? Are Chinese seatbelts particularly restrictive? Is there some sort of social kudos to be gained from not buckling up? Are the people that wear them trying to be ironic? Or does this stem from a serious lack of driver education in a market with a fast-growing motor industry?
Your thoughts, as ever, as welcome.