The back seat of your car is supposed to have a seat belt warning system

Law passed in 2012, no action taken
Posted at 5:05 PM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-17 18:19:49-04

In 2012, Congress passed a law requiring a safety belt warning system with chimes or dashboard indicators for anyone sitting in the rear seats of vehicles.

"Everything was supposed to be finished on this particular regulation by October 2015, and nothing has even been issued, nothing," said Janette Fennell, President and Founder of KidsAndCars.Org.

Because of that lack of action, KidsAndCars.Org, along with The Center For Auto Safety, are taking the Government to Federal court. They say people sitting in the back of vehicles need protection just like up front.

Each year about 1,000 back seat passengers are killed because they aren't wearing a seat belt. Simply buckling up lowers the risk of death by 44 percent. 

Unfortunately, many people think wearing seat-belts in the rear is optional.  A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found 28 percent of adults don't ever buckle-up in the back.

"Literally anything we can do to get more people to buckle up is going to save thousands of lives and thousands upon thousands of injuries," Fennell said.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday and seeks to speed-up the Department of Transportation to implement the five-year-old legislation.

"When the Federal Governemnt breaks the law there's very little recourse,” said Fennell. “So that's the only reason we've had to sue because there's nothing else that we've tried to do that works."

New Hampshire is the only state that does not require adults to buckle up while sitting in the front. And 29 states, including Maryland, require back-seat passengers to wear a seat belt.