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Fashion designed to fool police

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    Obviously, they offer zero protection in the event of an accident.

T-shirt makes it look like you're wearing a seatbelt.

Sometimes, inventions are revolutionary. When the iPhone debuted in 2007, the world let out a collective gasp, as if to say, "Yes, that's just what I've been wanting!"

Sometimes, inventions are dull. Ginsu knives and the ShamWow do things that other products do, they just claim to do them better. Meh. And sometimes, inventions are complete head-scratchers. 

In Japan, there's a whole category for such creations called chindōgu: inventions that seem clever on paper, but in practice become completely ridiculous. We'll let you guess which category the "safety belt t-shirt" falls into.

The safety belt t-shirt is, quite simply, a white t-shirt that features a black strap running diagonally across the chest. It's meant to fool Chinese police officers into thinking that the driver is wearing a seatbelt.

That's important because just as in Australia, drivers in China are required to wear seatbelts. Those who don't must pay a fine of 50 yuan, or around $8.00, and have two points (out of a total 12) deducted from their driver's license.

Funny thing is, the t-shirts themselves cost up to 50 yuan. And obviously, they offer zero protection in the event of an accident. Which raises an important question: why not just wear the damn seatbelt?

Another funny thing: the Chinese weren't the first to think of this. In fact, a quick search of shopping sites reveals an assortment of safety belt t-shirts on sale in America. You'll have to decide for yourself whether they belong in your closet.


Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 7 comments

  • Sorry to rain on everyone's parade, but, drivers in Naples, Italy (where I believe this t-shirt was first invented and worn) were wearing these t-shirts to fool police more than 20 years ago. One of the main reasons for the t-shirts was that, drivers did not want to dirty their t-shirts by wearing seat belts!

    JDC Posted on 13 March 2013 10:59pm
  • This article misses the context of of dirving in Big Chinese Cities, This is not to fool police that might pull you over once every few years, in big chinese cities, they have regulations that on each day only cars with certain digits at the end of their numberplates can drive (red miliatary plates are excluded). And on any journey you will go through many spots, where instead where they ahev cameras that take photos of EVERY car, like a multinova, but not just speeding, Flash for Every car, its almost like a disco. They they go through and check the licence palte to give people fines for driving on the wrong day, So if you arent wearing seatbelt for a single day, they will notice they will fine you, no need to pull over

    MK Posted on 13 March 2013 6:32pm
  • If you can take the time to mentally decide to wear that particular shirt that day, then you can take the time to put on a seat belt.

    Frank P. of Melbourne Posted on 13 March 2013 2:28pm
  • Um, wouldn we need a mirror one in Australia? We drive on the opposite side of the road... lol

    Brad of Wollongong Posted on 13 March 2013 2:25pm
  • I just don't understand why some people won't wear a seatbelt when driving. But more importantly, I don't understand why the law is so keen to preserve the lives of people who are too stupid to wear a seatbelt...

    John Posted on 13 March 2013 11:56am
  • Its laughable that the fine is only $8 in China, barely worth the time to pull someone over.

    The Masked Commenter of Brisbane Posted on 13 March 2013 10:59am
  • Why has the guy on the photo also a steering wheel drawn on his shirt?

    JW N of Nederland Posted on 13 March 2013 3:27am
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