Federal Regulators Consider Seat Belt Ignition Interlocks on Automobiles
August 30, 2013 8:32 AM
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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."
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This is Why America has Problems
8/31/2013 2:25:34 AM
This is why America has the problems it does. We always find new ways to protect the stupid. If someone chooses not to buckle their seat-belt and dies in a crash, that is their problem, they made a choice. The one thing I hate most is that people try to force other people to do something that they don't want to do. We are slowly giving up our ability to make choices on our own. Life in a way is simple. The Strongest and Smartest will survive; and the Stupid will die.
RE: This is Why America has Problems
8/31/2013 12:01:54 PM
What if they don't die? What if they spend the next 3 months in a hospital? Insurance rates will increase whether they are insured or not.
What if there are other people in the car and the person not wearing a seat belt bounces around knocking everybody in the head and all of them spend the next 3 months in a hospital?
What if the driver isn't wearing a seat belt and gets tossed to the back? Had he been wearing a seat belt, he would have been in a position to regain control of the vehicle before it runs into that little girl.
"It's my life. I'll do what I want." is a great philosophy except when it isn't.
RE: This is Why America has Problems
8/31/2013 12:26:34 PM
The quest to use Government to solve every issue is collapsing around our ears. I'm sorry you feel we can make life fair and equal to all with rules and laws, but that's never worked to the actual betterment of any society.
I feel people should wear safety gear, its just not my our your place to force them to.
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