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Police at Sidon checkpoints warn motorists of imminent mandatory seatbelt law.

Byline: Mohammed Zaatari

Summary: Police officers set up a number of checkpoints in the southern city of Sidon Thursday to alert people in vehicles that they were required to wear their seatbelts while traveling.AaAccording to the Internal Security Forces, the checkpoints were aimed at informing people of the upcoming implementation of a resolution issued by Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud.

SIDON: Police officers set up a number of checkpoints in the southern city of Sidon Thursday to alert people in vehicles that they were required to wear their seatbelts while traveling.

According to the Internal Security Forces, the checkpoints were aimed at informing people of the upcoming implementation of a resolution issued by Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud that makes wearing seatbelts compulsory.

The resolution, which goes into effect on September 15, also intends to enforce traffic regulations by issuing citations to those who do not comply.

Most motorists who were stopped at the checkpoints were relieved to discover that the policemen were only issuing warnings rather than citations, and were explaining the benefits of wearing a seatbelt in the event of an accident.

"For once, I didn't have my seatbelt on but I promise to respect the law," driver Mariam Hourani told a police officer.

Furthermore, while a great number of older cars on Lebanon's roads lack seatbelts, spare-parts shops say seatbelts are readily available. Ghassan Rawass, an owner of one such shop, told The Daily Star he had sold large quantities of seat-belt equipment to owners of older cars in recent weeks.

"This is a good sign and leads me to believe people will respect the resolution," he added.

Meanwhile, driving instructor Hassan Ezzeddine stressed the importance of enforcing all traffic laws in Lebanon by installing speed traps and conducting alcohol tests.

"People who break the lawAa should have their licenses revoked," he said.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Sep 12, 2008
Words:321
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