High Court Addresses Proper Placement of Seatbelts

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Three High Court justices ruled on the proper placement of passenger restrain belts in vehicles to ensure the proper and legal placement of a shoulder belt, which must be over the outer shoulder, not under an armpit.

The unprecedented ruling in Israel’s highest court states one must buckle up over the shoulder, not under, or face a fine [not to mention possible injury or worse].

Motorist Adiv Shabi was stopped by traffic police on July 2nd 2004 at 2:20am for not wearing a seatbelt. A summons was written out by Officer Tal Yachnin. In his defense, Shabi stated he was wearing a seatbelt, but the shoulder harness was under his armpit so it was not visible to the police officer.

The Haifa Traffic Court ruled in favor of Shabi, explaining the law does not specify how the seatbelt must be worn so in essence, he was not in violation of the law. The state appealed to the Haifa District Court, which overturned the traffic court’s ruling, finding Shabi guilty as charged.

Shabi now decided to take the case to the Supreme Court. In its ruling, the court also suggested that the law be rewritten to include detail as to how the belts should be worn.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)