It might have started somewhere in June if my memory of things like this can be trusted to any extent. Vehicle owners were requested to fix seatbelts at the rear seats by August and could be fined if the belts weren't there in case any law enforcement personnel decided to take a peek at your backseat.
The ruling to actually use the seatbelt at the back seats is supposed to begin come January 1st 2009, which is much nearer to us than anybody may think it is. Hearing all this, I'm beginning to wonder if this new ruling will ever see people at back seat sitting straight and properly instead of placing themselves in the middle. Even now with the front seat rule fully enforced (since eons ago), there are still people who pointedly refuse to use their belt until they see a cop and then panic and start frantically looking for the belt while hoping the cop didn't notice!
Anyway, I heard the news this morning, and this topic was discussed... most normal cars are 5 seaters, meaning that 2 people sit in front and three at the back. Apparently, the extra person/people in the car will not be fined for flouting the seatbelt rule, instead they (the poor driver) will be fined for (drum rolls, please) overloading.
Now I understand how dangerous and uncomfortable overloading can be especially when you try to fit 7 into a 4 seater regardless of how small some people can be. Thankfully none of us got badly smashed in the four minute squeeze! But I digress... The news got me wondering about families who say had 4 kids (all of them still underaged to drive), and what were they going to do if they ever decided to go on a roadtrip. Would each parent need to drive a separate car with 2 kids each? So will people start stopping at three kids to comfortably fit their family (I have not been successful at determining the latest average family size in Malaysia, though), but I know a few people with more than three kids.
Oh well, there's always the MPV!