The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a final rule in the Federal Register requiring that all passengers traveling in property-carrying commercial motor vehicles wear seat belts.
While it already requires that drivers wear seat belts, the agency has been silent on whether passengers riding in large trucks must use seat belts. “The only quantifiable cost of the final rule is the value of the person’s time necessary to buckle the seat belt, which is negligible,” FMCSA said in a June 6 pre-publication announcement. “The benefits of this rule are any fatalities or injuries avoided or reduced in severity as a result of seat belt use.”
The rule, effective Aug 8, holds motor carriers and drivers responsible for ensuring that passengers riding in property-carrying CMVs are using seat belts. “Occupants would include instructors, evaluators or any other personnel who might be seated in a property-carrying CMV, regardless of their status,” the agency said.
The agency rejected arguments in comments on the proposed rule that a carrier would have no control over non-drivers riding in a truck.
FMCSA did not address the topic of current sleeper berth restraints because commenters “provided no information that would enable the agency to address that topic in this rulemaking.”
The final rule does not require the use of seat belts in passenger-carrying CMVs.