Passengers riding in large commercial trucks will now be required to wear seat belts whenever the vehicles are operated on public roads in interstate commerce, and the companies and drivers will be responsible for making sure that their riders buckle up.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says the new rule will go into effect August 8th of this year.
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 (NHTSA). About one-third of those passengers killed 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.
“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 FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “This rule further protects large truck occupants and will undoubtedly save more lives.”