FMCSA mandates passenger seatbelt use; violations go on CSA

By Land Line staff | Monday, June 06, 2016

A passenger in the jump seat not wearing his or her seatbelt will be a violation and reported on the Compliance, Safety, Accountability safety measurement program starting in July.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is poised to print a final rule in the Federal Register on June 7 that makes it a violation for passengers in seats with seat belt assemblies to not have the seat belt on. The rule goes into effect Aug. 8.

The rule adds the passenger seat belt-use requirement to 392.16, a regulation that has violations recorded in CSA. A violation of 392.16 carries a severity weight of 7.

The final rule does not mandate the use of restraints in the sleeper berth, but rather is specific to seats with seat belt assemblies.

There was some discussion about restraints in the sleeper berth in FMCSA’s analysis of comments received after the agency proposed the passenger seat belt rule. But the agency opted to move forward with the rule, which pertains to seats only.

“Because FMCSA has no information on the effectiveness of current sleeper berth restraints in reconciling crash protection with fatigue prevention, and because standard seat belts are not required to perform that dual function, the Agency chose not to delay the benefits of the NPRM while attempting to analyze the implications of requiring the use of sleeper berth restraints,” the final rule states.

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