Carriers & Drivers Must Ensure Passengers Wear Seat Belts

Posted on Mon, 2016-06-13 16:19
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The US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires passengers riding in large commercial trucks to use seat belts whenever the vehicles are operated on public roads in interstate commerce and has made carriers and drivers responsible, effective August 8, 2016.

The final rule revises existing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, including the new requirement defining the responsibility for carriers and drivers to oversee seatbelt usage, since, as noted in the final rule, an unsecured passenger (or other occupant, including an instructor) not only risks personal injury but may also create a hazard for the driver during emergency steering or braking maneuvers.

In 2014, 37 passengers traveling unrestrained in the cab of a large truck were killed in roadway crashes, according to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of this number, approximately one-third were ejected from the truck cab.

FMCSA’s most recent Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Drivers Survey, published in March 2014, found that commercial motor vehicle passengers use seat belts at a lower rate (73 percent) than CMV drivers (84 percent). Federal rules have long required all commercial drivers to use seat belts.

Click here to read a copy of the final rule.

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