NHTSA has issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on a requirement for a seat belt use warning system for rear seats. File photo

NHTSA has issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on a requirement for a seat belt use warning system for rear seats. File photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on a requirement for a seat belt use warning system for rear seats.

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act of 2012 (MAP-21) directs NHTSA to initiate a rulemaking proceeding to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, ‘‘Occupant crash protection,’’ which would require the system, according to the docket. The standard requires a seat belt warning system for the driver’s seat, but not other seating positions.

The systems are designed to encourage seat belt use by reminding occupants who haven’t buckled up to do so and/or by notifying the driver that an occupant hasn’t fastened their seat belt, so that the driver can ask the occupant to put on their seat belt.

NHTSA began a rulemaking proceeding in 2013 and is now seeking public comment on a variety of issues related to the requirement, such as potential requirements for such systems, which vehicles they should apply to, their effectiveness, consumer acceptance, and the costs and benefits.

The docket states that, in particular, NHTSA is seeking comment regarding “whether a rear seat belt warning should be required for high- occupancy vehicles such as 15-passenger vans, large sport utility vehicles, school buses, and large trucks and vans with a GVWR less than or equal to 4,536 kg. (10,000 lb.)”

The deadline for submitting comments is Nov. 26. Comments may be submitted online here, or by mail or courier. For more information, read the docket in full here.   

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