Federal Regulators Consider Seat Belt Ignition Interlocks on Automobiles
August 30, 2013 8:32 AM
comment(s) - last by
Seatbelt ignition interlocks haven't been used since the 70s
Seatbelts have been mandatory in the United States for decades, but many drivers and passengers still refused to wear them. Federal regulators are currently conducting more research on whether or not they will allow automakers to install seatbelt ignition interlocks that would allow the manufacturer to skip crash tests designed to protect unbelted motorists.
The seatbelt ignition interlock would prevent the automobile from starting unless the
seatbelt was clasped
. Back in 1974 the government required interlocks on nearly all 1974 year model vehicles. However, public outcry led Congress to banish the mandate.
This week the NHTSA reportedly rejected a petition from BMW that would allow the German automaker to skip certain crash testing requirements if it installed seatbelt interlocks in front seats. BMW apparently feels that it could make better use of its resources by not catering to those who refuse to buckle up. In essence, this means that if you choose not to buckle up, you’re own your own, as there won’t be any additional safety features to protect you in the event of a crash.
BMW M4 Coupe Concept
Although the NHTSA denied BMW’s petition for now, the agency said that more information was needed before it can grant such a request.
BMW maintains that having seatbelt ignition interlocks could save hundreds of lives by increasing seatbelt use. BMW also says that using these interlocks could make vehicles lighter and more spacious by allowing them to remove knee bolsters designed to protect unbelted occupants.
Lighter weight vehicles mean vehicles with not only improved fuel efficiency, but improved performance as well.
BMW outlined three different potential types of interlocks including one that would prevent the vehicle from being started without a seatbelt in place. Another would prevent the driver from shifting out of Park and a third would allow the vehicle to be driven only at low speeds without the seatbelt being buckled.
BMW concluded that the third option would be the "least annoying and most accepted type of interlock."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
8/30/2013 10:46:07 AM
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are solely that of my own and are not representative of Ford Motor Company or its affiliates.
"BMW also says that using these interlocks could make vehicles lighter and more spacious by allowing them to remove knee bolsters designed to protect unbelted occupants."
Yea, that might work if and only if you're well under the limit of the SORB crash test limits/structure/performance.
Otherwise, you're still going to have a problem. And if people have knee injuries, you run the risk of them not being able to drive your cars; so, like airbags, it's generally NOT a good idea to kill or injury your customers to the point where they can no longer BE your customers.
8/30/2013 12:42:10 PM
Because of the US requirement for protecting beltless idiots, we end up with these ridiculous knee bolsters to stabilise the said beltless idiot while an otherwise unnecessarily huge airbag protects him/her from their own stupidity. That's all very well but it actually makes life more dangerous for the rest of us who wear a belt. This is because you hit the knee bolster with your knees much sooner and faster than you would hit the inside the car without the bolster because the seatbelt hasn't had time to slow you down. So you put much higher crash loads on your femurs and knees. Also, as has already been posted, the airbag has to be much bigger than a Eurostyle airbag which is designed for a belted driver, so it can easily kill a small driver sitting close to the steering wheel. This is sort of reverse Darwinian- you protect the idiots at the expense of the prudent. European manufacturers usually fit smaller airbags outside the US but quite often the ridiculous bolster is harder to design out so is left in place. I had an exchange of emails with the European safety testing organisation Euroncap on this topic and they confirmed my point on this issue.
“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs
Ford: Inflatable Seatbelt Could Help Save Lives
November 6, 2009, 9:53 AM
Report: Samsung Begins Patenting EV Tech, But Will it Sue or Build?
December 20, 2013, 6:54 PM
California Gives Tesla Motors $34.7 Million Tax Break to Boost Vehicle Production
December 19, 2013, 11:00 AM
Energy Department: Gas-Powered Vehicles to Dominate Market through 2040
December 19, 2013, 8:30 AM
NHTSA Expected to Announce Vehicle-to-Vehicle, Advanced Braking Plans by End of Year
December 18, 2013, 11:11 AM
Porsche Macan V6 Diesel Bound for the U.S.
December 17, 2013, 10:36 AM
GM Could Release New EV, Updated Chevrolet Volt in 2016
December 16, 2013, 11:30 AM
Most Popular Articles
China's Moon Rover Lands Safe and Sound, Starts Snapping Pics
December 16, 2013, 1:22 PM
Top Microsoft Graphics Genius Defects to Google
December 17, 2013, 4:27 PM
Report: Fusion Fail? Softbank Wants to Merge Sprint and T-Mobile
December 15, 2013, 6:12 PM
NSA Debates Granting Snowden Amnesty if He Keeps His Mouth Shut
December 16, 2013, 1:17 PM
Harvard Undergrad Busted by Wi-Fi after Making Bomb Threat to Avoid Finals
December 18, 2013, 10:37 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
Is The Period Becoming an Expression of Anger?
Nov 26, 2013, 2:02 PM
NSA and Congress -- You Will Never Kill the Constitution, It's an Idea
Nov 10, 2013, 2:00 PM
AT&T Explores $100B+ USD Deal to Acquire Vodafone's European Operations
Nov 4, 2013, 7:34 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information