Life-Saving Seat Belt Rule Delayed by Government BureaucracyJanuary 7, 2020
Seat belts are one of the most effective safety features when it comes to preventing serious, or even fatal, injuries caused by car accidents. Yet, there are some people who forget to fasten their seat belts, particularly if they are sitting in the backseat. This can have devastating consequences if they are involved in a serious car accident. Over 10 years ago, safety advocacy groups requested that the government pass a rule requiring seat belt warning systems; arguing that it could potentially save hundreds of lives each year, including young children.
Delay on Seat Belt Rule
According to the executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, the rear-seat belt reminder is taking longer than the typical amount of time. The Democrats who have control in the House Energy and Commerce Committee have been pressuring the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to explain why there is such a large delay to enforce the seat belt rule.
Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester and five of her colleagues urged the NHTSA to act so that injuries can be prevented, and lives can be saved. An NHTSA stated that they did not want to establish rules too rashly as it could prevent innovation. The agency did not make an official response to the lengthy rule-writing process but explained that major rulemaking requires a significant amount of research that can take years to complete.
Seat Belt Rule Designed to Improve Safety
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 25 percent of backseat passengers do not buckle their seat belts due to the false belief that the backseat is safer than the front. A report by the Governors Highway Safety Association found that unbelted backseat passengers are three times more likely to die in a car accident than front-seat passengers. This is also true for ridesharing passengers, who tend to keep seat belts unfastened, particularly if they are only in the car for a short period of time.
No Guarantee on Seat Belt Rule
Consumer advocates say that the current administration’s progress on safety standards, including the seat belt rule, has been especially slow. In fact, the rear seat belt reminder rule was listed on a Transportation Department disclosure since December 2016. The rule was ready to publish and the freeze, that applies to new federal rules, was lifted by the administration. Despite this, the rule remains dormant. According to a researcher at Public Citizen, a liberal advocacy group, there is no guarantee that the rule will be approved by the end of the administration.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Car Accident Victims
If you or someone you know was seriously injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact one of our Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton for legal counsel. In proper use, seat belts can save lives. Unfortunately, car accidents can still cause serious injuries. Our dedicated legal team will work with you throughout the claims process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) to schedule a free consultation.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, and Glen Burnie, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.