- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced a proposed rule that would require every passenger in a commercial motor vehicle to use a seat belt, if one is installed for the passenger.
- The rule is in response to a 2013 petition filed by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, which requested a mandate for all occupants in a "property-carrying commercial vehicle" to use a seatbelt when the vehicle is being drive, according to Land Line Mag.
- The notice is seeking public comment, which is due in late January.
The FMCSA's new ruling comes at a time when the industry is pushing for more safety, especially among truck drivers and passengers.
"SWANA sent out an Advocacy Alert yesterday about the proposed rule, and is reviewing whether to file comments," said SWANA CEO David Biderman. "The proposal will particularly impact companies and local governments with manual rear loading trucks that use helpers to collect waste and recyclables. Fortunately, waste trucks do not overturn frequently, but when they do, drivers and helpers can be killed if they are not wearing their safety belts."
The OOIDA Regulatory Affairs Director Scott Grenerth explained that, because states already enforce seat belt laws, the proposed rule should not be too drastic of a change for truckers. However, due to the frequency of trash haulers entering and exiting the trucks, it may create quite a hassle.
In another push for safety, the FMCSA also recently announced an electronic logging device (ELD) mandate that would require truck drivers to ditch paper logbooks and replace them with ELDs within two years. The FMCSA estimates that this new rule will save an average of 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries each year.