The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) periodically carries out surveillance campaigns to raise public awareness about any risk factor in road accidents. In one of these latest campaigns, held between March 6 and 12, the objective of Traffic was focused on controlling the use of seat belts and child restraint systems (CRS).
The agents inspected all types of vehicles, including buses, with roadside controls and also with drones and helicopters. One of the routine controls resulted in 21 complaints of 200 euros each to the passengers of a bus that circulated through the province of Valladolid.
The regulations establish that bus passengers must wear seat belts if the vehicle has them. The rule, however, does not apply to vehicles registered before October 20, 2007, the date on which the use of seat belts on buses was introduced. The law excludes urban and commuter buses from this measure.
The fine for not wearing a seat belt is 200 euros. In the case of minors under 18 years of age, the sanction is the same and falls on the parents, guardians, foster parents or legal guardians. For the driver, it also entails the loss of license points.
The latest reform of the Traffic Law, which entered into force on March 21, 2022, toughens the penalties related to passive security elements. The regulatory text states that not using the seat belt and child restraint systems entails a fine of 200 euros and the loss of four points from the driver's license. Before the reform, the deduction of points remained at three.
Despite the fact that seat belts and child seats and boosters are two vitally important passive protection elements to prevent injuries or reduce their severity in the event of an accident, there are still too many people who do without them.
According to various studies cited by Traffic, the use of the seat belt reduces the probability of death in a traffic accident from three to one and reaches its maximum effectiveness in rollovers, where it reduces the risk of death by 77%.
In 2022, 142 people traveling in cars and vans without belts died, despite the fact that the use of this safety system has been mandatory in Spain since 1975 for the front seats and since 1992 for the rear seats.