Safety groups want rear seatbelt reminder rule

  • 07-Jul-2010 11:25 EDT

NHTSA (U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) is seeking public input for help in deciding whether to require automakers to install reminder technology for use of rear seatbelts. A petition to that effect has been submitted by Public Citizen and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. To submit comments by the Aug. 30 deadline, go to (docket number: NHTSA-2010-0061). "In general, we are encouraged by new methods to increase seatbelt use," NHTSA said in its Federal Register notice. The agency also noted that "when used properly, seatbelts (lap/shoulder belts) reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger-car occupants by 45% and the risk of moderate to severe injury by 50%. Seatbelts are even more effective for light-truck occupants, reducing the fatality risk by 60% and the moderate-to-serious injury risk by 65%. For rear-seat passenger-car occupants, belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 44%. For rear-seat passenger-van and SUV occupants, belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 73%. During the five-year period from 2004 to 2008, seatbelts saved over 75,000 lives."

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