New federal rule mandates shoulder belts in all rear seats

[JURIST] A new federal regulation issued Wednesday requires all passenger vehicles sold in the United States to have both shoulder and lap belts in the rear center seat by the 2008 model year. Most passenger vehicles already have the belt combination, but they exist in only about half of current pickup and sport utilities, many of which have only lap belts in the center rear. Statistics suggest that the new rule, promulgated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with the support of auto maunufacturers, will save about 23 lives and 495 injuries per year. Shoulder belts in rear window seats have been mandated since 1969. The NHTSA press release on the new regulation is here. Read the full text of the reg here. AP has more.

 

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