KidsAndCars.org and the Center for Auto Safety Sue Department of Transportation
The life-saving effects of seat belts is indisputable. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recognizes the value of seat belts, stating that 13,941 lives were saved in 2015 by wearing seat belts.
Although safety belt systems are installed at all designated seating positions in passenger vehicles, systems to remind passengers to buckle their seat belts are limited to the front seats. Seat belt reminder systems should be available for all seating positions to remind the driver and each passenger to buckle their seat belt.
Part of the 2012 transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, (MAP-21), requires automobile manufacturers to install a seat belt reminder system for the front passenger and rear designated seating positions in all passenger vehicles. The seat belt reminder system is intended to increase seat belt usage and thereby improve the crash protection of vehicle occupants who would otherwise have been unbelted, thus saving lives.
The NHTSA was ordered by Congress to issue a standard to require rear seat belt reminders by October 2015. Yet, years after the deadline, they have not done so. Instead of issuing the law, the NHTSA has been sending out posters, PSAs and Tweets in attempt to get people to buckle their seat belts. There is absolutely no excuse for not issuing this life-saving regulation.
Therefore, on October 30, 2017, KidsAndCars.org and the Center for Auto Safety filed a Petition for Mandamus suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to compel the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to implement a law passed by Congress in 2012 requiring DOT to issue a standard requiring a rear seat safety belt warning system in all vehicles.