It's been getting worse. It started a few months ago. As i explained a
few days ago, taxi drivers would pull their seatbelt across as they
approched the traffic lights.
It's all because of the police crackdown.
But over the past few days every time I get in a taxi I hear the same
line – put your seatbelt on. It comes out in an almost pleading,
And this is the reason. Anyone who is stopped by the police because
they or heir front seat passenger aren't wearing a seatbelt gets a
2000 lira fine ($40). It's reduced to 1000 lira if they pay within a
One driver complained to me that many old cars just don't has
seatbelts. That doesn't make them exempt. If they're stopped they have
to take their car to a mehanic, get the belts fitted and then go back
to the police to prove they've had it done.
It's becoming routine for drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts –
and not just when they fear they might be caught.
It's all happened very quickly but it might just make a big difference
to life on Syria's roads.