seat belts, or no seat belts?

I was standing at a busy intersection the other day and I noticed the driver next to me had seat belt on. I know, that’s not a big deal anymore in Karachi, but for some reason I looked around to see how many other drivers worry about their safety. During that process, I made several observations. I saw that usually people in expensive, latest model cars used seat belts, while small car drivers didn’t care a lot. There were some exceptions, of course. But I found this trend to be pretty consistent. To me, it seemed as if seat belts had become another fashion symbol, instead of a safety measure. Some people even deny the usefulness of seat belts, but that’s another discussion.

Before you ask, I don’t use seat belt. I did when I returned to Karachi in January but I stopped worrying about it after a while. But I do believe that seat belts should be used.

I want to know what the readers of this blog think about it. Do you use seat belt while driving? Do you think it’s useful at all? Do you use it as a safety measure or just to show off? Or if there is anything else you want to share, feel free to do so. Also, is there a law that enforces seat belts, yet?

10 Comments so far

  1. huma (unregistered) on May 16th, 2005 @ 11:43 am

    I dont drive, but when I’m in the passenger seat, I do use a seatbelt – all my driving friends are very particular about that, which is a great thing – i dont understand why most people don’t use it – it takes a second to fasten and might end up saving your life.

  2. xtasy (unregistered) on May 16th, 2005 @ 12:21 pm

    Umar the reason the people in the expensive, latest model cars have their seat belts on is because those cars give an annoying beeping sound every few seconds if the driver’s seat belt is not buckled up, while in some of the old cars they donít even have seat belts. So I donít believe itís a fashion thing.

  3. Shariq Mustaquim (unregistered) on May 16th, 2005 @ 3:25 pm

    My father is a safety engineer and this is his fav area … some observations:

    . seat belts are life savers in otherwise fatal crashes

    . peoples in old cars dont wear them because these cars dont have them … my charade 86 dont have seat belts

    . loooking at the wild traffic violations that are common like coming on the road from the wrong side, breaking traffic signals etc etc, its no surprise we dont wear seat belts or dont bother about them


  4. Anathema (unregistered) on May 16th, 2005 @ 10:19 pm

    exactly. dinikies have bad seat belts. i for one. but i cannotdrive—-without—-a—seat—belt—.i cannot drive with someone without a seat belt in my passenger seat. its so comfy. besides, bigger cars, as mentioned, have that ugly light flashing in ure eyes from the board panel asking u to wear it. but a seat belt is oh sooo yummy. even khybers hardly

    had operational seat belts. in the O&G sector and Energy sector, you aree fined as an employee for driving without seat belts!

  5. Hira (unregistered) on May 17th, 2005 @ 2:58 am

    same goes for workers in uni lever, they fine you. they even pay you to install seat belts in your car!!

  6. sarah (unregistered) on May 17th, 2005 @ 11:12 am

    My best fried hails from Karachi, and she’s my all-time favorite passenger not ONLY for her refusal to wear a seatbelt but for being the ONLY passenger who doesn’t make snide remarks about my driving skills. Hail Pakistan!

  7. Tall Dark Handsome (unregistered) on May 17th, 2005 @ 10:44 pm

    i got distracted by neighbourhoodies :(

  8. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on May 17th, 2005 @ 10:47 pm

    Even though I agree with all those in favour of wearing seat belts, and I am aware of the virtues of wearing one, while driving and even those sitting as passengers should be wearing them.

    But I for one, cannot wear a seat belt, as I feel suffocated and tied up, and it sometimes borders on irritation; something that I have nightmares about.

  9. Ali (unregistered) on May 17th, 2005 @ 11:36 pm

    I remember visiting Pakistan as a kid and attempting to put on a seatbelt in my Mamoo’s Diahatsu Charade. Only 2 have my cuzzins laughing at me!

    Seat belts save lives. If U got ’em… use ’em!

    – Ali

  10. zayn (unregistered) on May 18th, 2005 @ 10:10 am

    How interesting: that the fashion factor would over-ride the safety factor among car drivers in Karachi. Having spent time in Karachi, I think I can understand this: driving in large Pakistani cities is like weaving through water, so wearing a seat belt is pointless except to show how westernized you are…


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