KidsAndCars.org and The Center for Auto Safety filed suit in federal court Wednesday to compel the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to implement a law passed by Congress in 2012, and issue a standard requiring a rear seat safety belt warning system.
“They were set to meet the deadline by October of 2015,” said Amber Andreasen, Director at KidsAndCars.org. “Two years later, it’s 2017 and they have yet to issue the rule. In fact, there hasn’t even been a proposed rule.”
Nearly 1,000 unrestrained rear seat passengers were killed in 2015 alone.
“NHTSA has the authority and the moral obligation to require seat belt reminders,” said Andreasen. “It’s completely absurd that they haven’t done so yet.”
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that up to 28 percent of adults surveyed admit not wearing their seat belt in the rear seat all the time.
“A lot of people feel like they are safer in the back seat and they don’t need to buckle up,” said Andreasen. “That’s a very common misconception. That’s very
dangerous, because somebody who is unbuckled in the back seat becomes a danger for everybody else in the car. No one in the vehicle is safe unless everyone in the vehicle is buckled.”
In 2015, the Governors Highway Safety Association found that rear seat passengers are three times more likely to die in a crash if they are unbelted.