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Safety & Compliance

Proposed Rule Would Require Seat Belts for Passengers in Commercial Trucks

December 09, 2015

HDT file photo
HDT file photo

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing to require passengers riding in property-carrying commercial motor vehicles to use safety belts.

Federal rules have long required all commercial drivers to use safety belts (49 CFR 392.16). This proposed rule would hold both trucking companies and commercial truck drivers responsible for ensuring that any passenger riding in the truck cab are also buckled up.  

Approximately 275 occupants of large trucks killed in crashes in 2013 were not wearing their safety belts, according to the most recently available data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

NHTSA already requires vehicle manufacturers to install both driver and passenger seat belts in commercial vehicles (over 10,000 pounds GVWR,) but the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations are silent on the actual use of seat belts by passengers.

This rulemaking is in response to a 2013 petition submitted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

Read the official Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including instructions on how to comment.


  1. 1. Eric [ December 09, 2015 @ 07:12AM ]

    I have read the NPR. The definitions and wording is quite general and therefore could be meant to include a sleeper passenger. This would hold a driver responsible for having a restraint system on a sleeper passenger. It makes the lawyers have a field day with this. Just because a seat is available doesn't mean the passenger is required to be in it, or does it?

  2. 2. Jean [ December 10, 2015 @ 06:05AM ]

    Interesting point Eric. Maybe they can add that enforcement into their electronic big brother approach , but who knows maybe with that direction they can eliminate team driving. Seeing that they have such a driver shortage.

  3. 3. Charles D [ December 10, 2015 @ 07:53AM ]

    I do not like the wording, "The proposed rule would hold both the trucking company and commercial truck drivers responsible for ensuring that any passenger riding in the truck cab are also buckled up." Hell it is hard enough to get family members to buckle up in family vehicles, and then to hold the company responsible for a passenger a thousand miles away?,

  4. 4. Gary [ December 10, 2015 @ 04:01PM ]

    I think it's going over board here. We don't require seat belts on school buses with kids of all ages in those seats. Why large trucks?

  5. 5. Timmy [ December 10, 2015 @ 05:18PM ]

    Just an other goverment tax raising effort they don't care about your safety you don't need a helmet to ride a motor cycle in florida yet they use safety guess what comes with new laws fines that govt makes money off of o/o need to shut down for a couple days and see how America functions. People need to get together and do something, safety bullshit you allow double and Tripple trailers cause someone got to some one in govt and now you can move double the freight with one truck and one driver, you think the driver gets double nope!

  6. 6. steve [ December 12, 2015 @ 10:03AM ]

    3 words -- RAIL ROAD lobbyists


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