The Civil Guard and the Directorate-General of Traffic is echoed these days in an ingenious but incomprehensible way, driving a car without a seat belt, avoiding fines. The “skimpy top antimultas”, as defined by the Civil Guard, is a t-shirt on which was drawn a black strip that, at a certain distance, could be confused with a safety belt. The fact that the official social networks of institutions as the Guardia Civil or the DGT echo of this history, the same raising awareness on road safety and alert you to problems and report back to the citizens, gave them to understand that, undoubtedly, there is a problem. But what of truth there are drivers who are using the t-shirt antimultas, instead of tucking the seat belt?
The t-shirt antimultas and his false seat belt
The first thing that has to make us suspect is the discomfort that you should take a driver to avoid the hypothetical inconvenience of using a seat belt. We’re going to ignore at all times the risks involved with travel in a car without a seat belt. Let’s ignore the fact that modern cars have security systems that emit a loud and uncomfortable to beep when you drive without a seat belt. Really, how someone would be willing to buy a t-shirt – yes it’s true can be achieved on the internet – and wear it, to prevent the seat belt?
The DGT sounded the alarm of a t-shirt, with a black strip, which tries to fool the traffic officers, giving the impression that the driver or the passenger using the seat belt
Unlike other cases, such as the one that was repeated on several occasions from drivers who rode a mannequin in the place of the companion to use lanes for high-occupancy vehicle, in this we have not seen any proof that a driver has been caught using this trick. There is No evidence that anyone has used this trick, or that no one has been punished, but nor is there any evidence that has not ever happened.
What we can do is to trace the origins of this story, as we will see below, is not new, and extends all around the world. And the best thing about this issue is that it hides a fun and colorful history behind that dates back to the city of Naples, in 1989.
The t-shirt antimultas and its history
If we look back, it we will soon verify that it is not the first time that appears this story. Already in 2017, the Civil Guard published one of the most popular photos of the t-shirt trick antimultas and I was reminded that, does not save lives, although it was recognized that “as it avoids a complaint” (see story on Digg). That tweet was accompanied by numerous stories in the media, as well as a lot of criticism, perhaps, could not be encouraging with your tweet to the drivers to commit this recklessness?
This is a story ancient and widespread throughout the world, that had already dealt with the Guardia Civil before, in fact we have found stories relating to the t-shirt antimultas in China, India, and Italy
If we investigated a little more, we will see that this story has been repeated the length and breadth of the planet. A thread on Reddit was that this practice had begun in India, with the same photo that illustrates this entry, despite the fact that in this country we drive on the left. In 2013, another story already pointed that this trick had become a problem in China, mentioning even to a head of the office of traffic of Shanghai of which there are no more references on Google to this news.
But the story I liked most, I recognize him, was the one that pointed to its origins neapolitans.
The maglietta di sicurezza di Napoli
Following the thread of the history of the t-shirt antimultas we come up with a story that, before you even know its real outcome, I was fascinated by. According to this story, in 1988, would have entered into force in Italy the mandatory use of safety belt. Outraged, the drivers of Naples had devised a strategy to continue driving without a seat belt. And at this point I am convinced that you will already be imagining its strategy, dress shirts with a black strip to simulate the corresponding safety belt.
The history says that, in a short time, the markets neapolitans were full of white t-shirts with a black stripe on the diagonal.
But this has only just started. The history of the maglietta di sicurezza di Napoli is even more fascinating.
The original story seems to point to Italy, more specifically Naples, which is where I would have born the true t-shirt antimultas
So were born the urban legends
It is true that Italy introduced in 1988 compulsory seat belts, at least in the squares, front, and cars registered after 1978. In those years, and despite the fact that there was not yet the internet as we know it, the famous World Wide Web, yes there were the stories viral. Stories viral media then, as now, keeping repeating to attract the reader, often without going out to the street, or make a few clicks, to check its veracity, spreading urban legends. Because by that time there still existed the digital social networks, word of mouth did the rest to get an effective dissemination of those urban legends.
It was then when Claudio Ciaravolo, psychiatrist napolitano, excited with the mechanisms of diffusion for the born of an urban legend, began planning his experiment. Their goal was to develop an idea sufficiently clever as to transcend it, is commented in all the corridors neapolitan, to assume as certain, and continue to linger for many years.
Perhaps Ciaravolo not imagined, or not, is that history out to cross the Mediterranean and reach to Spain, and up to our days, thirty years later.
In the eighties a psychiatrist napolitano is devoted to studying the mechanisms of birth and spread of urban legends, and even ventured to create their own urban legends, apparently with success
The origin of the history of the t-shirts antimultas
Ciaravolo had worked in the seventies on the use of subliminal messages to treat their patients. While developing your therapy subliminal would discover that some of the messages therapy conveyed were, in reality, fake stories, that had arrived in the popular imaginary by be fascinating, and incredible, and despite this were assumed by all as certain. It was then when he began to study the mechanisms of the birth and spread of urban legends, working on different assumptions. The fruit of their research, this psychiatrist napolitano decided to take a step forward and test his theory of the diffusion of urban legends, using as guinea pigs the neapolitans.
After their first experiences, Ciaravolo sets in motion his plan to spread a new urban legend, taking advantage of the impact that he had had the obligation to use the safety belt. In April 1989, installed a stall in the market, along the promenade of Naples, and prepares a recording set, with cameras, and assumptions actors, who were actually their colleagues, as well as psychiatrists.
The making of the scene did not conceal the fictitious nature of the shoot. But the corridors that were milling around were that he was totally convinced that that would be more than enough for those witnesses, in their eagerness to defend the stereotypes that we have of the neapolitans, would spread the story and transmitted it as a real story. In turn, the listeners successive, could not avoid to adhere to those same stereotypes and become, again, in diffusers of this urban legend about the t-shirts antimultas with fake seat belts.
The history of the t-shirt antimultas, which simulates a seat belt, was truly born in Naples in 1989 and, indeed, it is an urban legend
The t-shirts antimultas, an urban legend, neapolitan
Ciaravolo was right. Despite the fact that at no point tried to convince anyone that those t-shirts with black stripes, by way of a belt, they were for sale, the witnesses had spread the urban legend. The media were not slow to echo the news and give even more visibility to this fact already commented in the streets of Naples.
10 days later, the psychiatrist napolitano would give a press conference multitudinous explaining how he had developed this experiment, the ins and outs scientists and by clarifying that these shirts never had been sold in the market of Naples (see hemeroteca de Reppublica). In fact, the only ones that were sold were the 100 t-shirts used on the set of the filming of the promenade of naples, which would be sold as a collector’s piece in 1991, numbered and with the signature of the author of this story.
We should assume that, once revealed the trap, this urban legend would disappear. But the negation of the urban legend does not make another thing that to remind us that, once spread the story, can’t stop, and that press conference helped give even more visibility to the story, and make that continue to linger for many years, and generating headlines in countries as diverse as Spain, India, or China.
The urban legend of the t-shirts antimultas with seat belts was there, a few clicks away. It took Me virtually less time to discover the origin of this story is that the shops that sell these t-shirts which, by the way, are sold alongside other t-shirts humorous, with images of Charlie Sheen, Vladimir Putin, dressed in the skin of a bear, or the reward of the pursuit and capture of Pablo Escobar.
At this point, you should be asking a lot of questions. But, on reflection, only leave one in the air. What may not be generating the Civil Guard and the Directorate-General of Traffic with your postings a problem that does not exist?