Gucci seatbelt plan to get young drivers to buckle up

Young motorists in the UAE say they are embarrassed to be seen wearing seat belts.
By Elsa Baxter
Sun 23 Aug 2009 08:06 AM

Gucci seatbelts could be distributed to young UAE motorists as part of a nationwide safety campaign to get them to buckle up.

According to a report in the National, the Fashionable Seatbelt campaign will be launched after Ramadan.

The scheme, run by the Salama Road Safety Public Awareness Initiative, will see seatbelts adorned with images of the UAE national flag, top football team logos and fashion houses, like Gucci.

The latest figures by the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (HAAD) showed that only 11 percent of Emiratis and 44 percent of expatriates wear seatbelts.

Many young drivers have said they do not wear seatbelts because of peer pressure, according to the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy (EFP).

Maytha al Habsi, the director of the public awareness programmes at the EFP, told the paper: “Young people like fashion in general. Many people would love a Gucci seat belt, for example. Or a seat belt that carries the name of their preferred football team. Also, Emiratis like so much to carry their national flag. It may very well be that fashion is the way to go. Maybe this would encourage them to wear it.”

Local designers will also be invited to submit ideas for the seatbelts, which will be distributed in petrol stations and eventually car showrooms.

“We need to try this now and see how effective it is. Car dealerships, in the future, can perhaps get you to choose the colour of your seat belt, just like you get to choose anything else,” al Habsi told the paper.

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