Heavy fines for not wearing a seat-belt on the bus
Recently, three civilian police officers got on the bus in the middle of the day.
– They didn't make much of a fuss. But when we started moving and the passengers didn’t wear a seat-belt, the police started handing out fines, says Jan, a driver for Skånetrafiken.
Only the driver was wearing a seat-belt. Even passengers who got on and didn’t wear a seat belt were fined.
”The police can carry out any type of checks they want to”
A total of 35 people were fined.
– The civilian police are welcome to come on the bus again, says Jan.
– It is a major safety risk if passengers do not wear a seat-belt. If I were to hit the brakes, the passengers could go flying into the front window.
In addition, the fines are higher for parents who have children with them, says Jan. If children ride the bus without a seat-belt, the fine is 2,500 crowns.
– It’s the parents' responsibility to ensure that their children are wearing a seat-belt, he says.
Skånetrafiken now requires new regional buses to have seat-belts.
– Since 2004, we require all new regional buses to have seat-belts fitted. The law also states that if there is a seat-belt, it should be used, says Anders Engzell, from Skånetrafiken's Press Office.
Do you have any statistics on whether passengers wear a seat-belt?
– No, unfortunately, there are no statistics on it. However, we are concerned about the safety of our customers and urge them to use a seat-belt where available. But it’s the customers' responsibility to ensure they use a seat-belt.
Are the police permitted to carry out checks on buses?
– Yes. The police can carry out any type of checks they want to. They also carry out alcohol breath tests and other checks on the vehicles sometimes. When it comes to fines, it's police business. We have nothing to say about how they work, says Anders Engzell.
There are no requirements to wear seat-belts on city buses.
– It's almost practically impossible, partly because of the design of the chairs and partly because passengers travel such short distances on city buses, says Engzell.
Seat-belt rules on buses
All passengers that are older than three years old must sit where there is a seat-belt if such seats are available. If there is a seat-belt on the bus, they must be used.
If there are seat-belts on a city bus, they should be used there as well, otherwise, you risk a fine. Passengers should be informed that they are required to wear a seat-belt.
All buses registered after January 1st, 2004 must be equipped with seat-belts on every seat. The requirement does not apply to buses for traffic in the city / urban traffic.
It’s the driver's responsibility to ensure that passengers under the age of 15 use a belt. Buses are allowed to drive at a maximum speed of 100 km per hour if there are seat-belts. If there are no seat-belts, the maximum speed is 90 km per hour.
Source: the Swedish Transport Agency and The Swedish Confederation of Transport Enterprises.