FMCSA Proposes Rule to Require Commercial Truck Passengers to Use Seat Belts

The proposed rule would hold trucking companies and drivers responsible for passengers buckling up. According to the agency, 275 occupants of trucks killed in 2013 crashes were not wearing seat belts.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Dec. 9 that it is proposing a rule requiring passengers riding in property-carrying commercial vehicles to use safety belts. FMCSA seeks public comment on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which would hold both trucking companies and commercial truck drivers responsible for making sure these passengers are buckled up.

The rule responds to a petition submitted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance on Oct. 29, 2013, that asked FMCSA to require all occupants in a property-carrying CMV to restrain themselves when it is being driven. FMCSA slightly modified some of the petition's requests, using the word "occupant" in addition to "passenger" to make it clear that the regulation applies to any person in a property-carrying CMV. "Occupants" includes instructors, evaluators, or any other personnel who might be seated in a property-carrying CMV, regardless of their status, FMCSA states in the rule.

To comment, visit www.regulations.gov and search for Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0396.

Federal rules already require commercial drivers to use seat belts (49 CFR 392.16), and federal rules require that a seat belt be installed at each seating position of a commercial motor vehicle.

According to the agency, 275 occupants of trucks killed in 2013 crashes were not wearing seat belts.

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