Transportation Trucking Federal agencies

FMCSA to require commercial truck passengers to buckle up

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Washington – All passengers in large commercial trucks will be required to wear seat belts whenever the vehicles take part in interstate commerce, according to a final rule published June 7 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Drivers have long been required by federal rules to wear seat belts. However, no such rule existed for passengers in large trucks. FMCSA cited results from its most recent Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers survey, which showed that only 73 percent of commercial motor vehicle passengers wore seat belts, compared with 84 percent of CMV drivers.

“Using a seat belt is one of the safest, easiest, and smartest choices drivers and passengers can make before starting out on any road trip,” FMCSA Acting Administrator T.F. Scott Darling III said in a press release. “This rule further protects large truck occupants and will undoubtedly save more lives.”

As part of the rule, motor carriers and drivers will be held responsible for ensuring passengers wear seat belts.

Thirty-seven unbelted passengers were killed in CMV crashes in 2014, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. About one-third of the passengers killed were ejected from the cab of the truck.

The rule is scheduled to go into effect Aug. 8.

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