Passengers riding in large commercial trucks will be required to use seat belts when the vehicles are operated on public roads in interstate commerce, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced.
The new rule will be effective Aug. 8, 2016. It revises FMCSA regulations to hold carriers and drivers responsible for ensuring that passengers in large commercial trucks are using seat belts.
“Seat belts save lives– period,” said Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary. “Whether you’re a driver or passenger, in a personal vehicle or large truck, the simple act of wearing a safety belt significantly reduces the risk of fatality in a crash.”
An FMCSA survey found that passengers in commercial vehicles used seat belts 73% of the time compared to drivers who used seat belts 84% of the time.
FMCSA already requires drivers to wear seat belts in property-carrying commercial trucks but until now, the rules were silent on the use of seat belts by passengers.
“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,” said Scott Darling, FMCSA Acting Administrator. “This rule further protects large truck occupants and will undoubtedly save more lives.”