Good day, According to your website, “Wearing seatbelts is the Law for all vehicle occupants!” Ninety percent of laws are put in place to prevent one person from illegally taking another’s property, unlawfully causing bodily harm or death by one person on another etc. etc. Since the promulgation of this law and until today, I fail to see the purpose or use of this law. If I am seriously injured or die during a vehicle accident because I didn’t chose not to wear my seatbelt, for whatever reason, surely the result of my decision only affects me and nobody else!
Apparently the SAPS, Metro Police and Traffic Police are supposed to enforce the laws of the country, whether it is accepted by the people or not and I suppose they are supposed to adhere to these laws and their actions should be an example to the normal man in the street. We have been in Gauteng (Pretoria/Centurion) since 2001, having been transferred from Cape Town. In all this time, and particularly in the past 5 to 10 years, I have yet to see any member of the SAPS, the Metro Police- or the Traffic Police department wearing a seatbelt while driving an official vehicle. Question.
Are the members of the SAPS, the Metro Police- or the Traffic Police department exempted from or above the laws they were entrusted to enforce? Again. “the law state that Wearing seatbelts is the Law for all vehicle occupants”
” If not, what does Arrive Alive intend doing about the situation? Regards”
We do take instances of our officers (Provincial Traffic Services) not wearing seatbelts very seriously, as this is indeed against the law. The City of Cape Town has the same policy for its traffic officers and Metro Police Department. We also take action against Western Cape Government employees who are reported by members of the public who observe them not wearing seatbelts while driving, among other offences.
There is no such thing as a fatality which does not affect other people. Here are some of the government organisations who must respond when someone who was not wearing their seatbelt is killed as a result:
SAPS – must respond to the incident, complete the Accident Report, interview witnesses, and potentially investigate if a crime suspected. SAPS may have to conduct an inquest into the incident, along with the NPA and other justice cluster actors.
Traffic – must respond to the incident and control traffic at the scene.
EMS – must respond to the incident and attempt to resuscitate the patient in all but the most extreme cases.
Forensic Pathology Services – must collect every corpse that dies an unnatural death. FPS must then examine the corpse to determine cause of death.
All of the responders involved are paid by the taxpayer and their time could be better spent doing something else, like saving the lives of people whose injuries are not their own fault. People who don’t wear their seatbelts also suffer much more serious injuries and the disfigurements and dismemberments that occur can have adverse psychological effects on staff who must respond to these incidents.
In no circumstances can the failure of any law enforcement officer, or any other person, be used to justify not wearing a seatbelt.
[A word of appreciation for assistance from Western Cape Government with the response]