Seatbelts have always been a bit of a novelty in Syria.
All new cars are fitted with them, but they go unused. Sitting, untouched, by the door.
But that is slowly changing. For years, it has been illegal to drive – or sit in the front passenger seat – without wearing a seatbelt. But the law has never been enforced. Until now.
Police are cracking down. And not just in the cities. Even in the smallest towns, as you go round the central square, the traffic police are busy looking out for anyone not wearing strapped in.
Syria's high road fatality rate has long been blamed on poorly enforced traffic laws. It's hoped this will be a quick way to cut down on the number of deaths.
But not everyone is taking the new rules seriously. As taxi drivers approach the traffic lights, they tell their passengers to belt up. They do the same. Well, they hold the seatbelt across their chest. As soon as they are safely out of the sight of the police – they let the belt fly back into its usual home.