Passengers on relatively long-distance buses in Norway, including those running to local airports, face fines of NOK 1,500 if they fail to buckle their seat belts. Police and highway authorities are mounting a major effort to enforce the law making seat belt use mandatory.
State broadcaster NRK reported on Monday that state officials intend to start boarding buses this week in random control operations around the country. The goal is to get bus passengers to buckle up.
A recent survey carried out by research firm Opinion for the state highway department Statens vegvesen showed that 97 percent of Norwegians use their seat belts in cars but only 36 percent buckle up on board a bus. “Perhaps they believe they’re safer on board the bus,” Jon Molnes of the state highway directorate told NRK, “but we have several examples of people being thrown out of a bus (in a crash) or being otherwise injured because they didn’t fasten their seat belts.”
Passengers found without seat belts will get off with a warning during the first few days of the control operation, but after that they’ll be fined, Molnes said.