Seat belts
Grateful Dead and Truck Seat Belts?

FMCSA Final Rule

Occasionally a change to a regulation comes along and just the title of it triggers the memory of a song in my head. On June 8th the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a final rule regarding passengers in commercial trucks. As soon as I saw the words “commercial trucks” the Grateful Dead’s song “Truckin’” popped into my head. For a reminder of this song, take a listen here. Throughout the song various cities are mentioned and the song itself is about the band travel exploits. The irony of this band and safety is not lost on me!

Now that the song is stuck in your head which are called “ear worms” by the way, let’s talk about the actual change to the regulation. For years commercial truck drivers have been required to wear seat belts but passengers did not. That is about to change. The revision goes into effect on August 8th and now requires all passengers riding in commercial trucks to wear a seatbelt. If a passenger fails to do so, then the driver will be held responsible.

We all know that wearing a seat belt can save your life. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2014, “37 passengers traveling unrestrained in the cab of a large truck were killed in roadway crashes”. Granted that’s not a large number, but any loss of life that can be prevented should be.

FMSCA periodically asks drivers to complete surveys to get a feel for what’s happening on the roads. One such survey was given on the topic of “Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) Drivers”. The results showed a difference between drivers and passengers and their seat belt usage.  Drivers wore a seat belt 84% of the time while passengers only 73%. Again the difference isn’t large but wearing a seat belt is such a simple form of protection.

The summary of the final rule in 49 CFR Part 392 is as follows:

FMCSA revises the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) by requiring passengers in property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to use the seat belt assembly whenever the vehicles are operated on public roads in interstate commerce. This rule holds motor carriers and drivers responsible for ensuring that passengers riding in the property-carrying CMV are using the seat belts required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs).

To read the full final rule on this matter, go to here.

For all of your transportation needs, ICC Compliance Center is here.  We offer all types of training, labels, and placards. With our help you will “pick a place to go, and just keep truckin’ on.”

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