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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."

Source: Detroit News

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Just another..
By CCrunnernb on 8/30/2013 9:38:52 AM , Rating: 3
Just another annoying step when playing musical cars in the morning.

Seat belts are obviously nice when in an accident, but if someone refuses to use them who cares? Can't protect everyone from everything all the time.

RE: Just another..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/2013 9:47:58 AM , Rating: 3
Didn't you know? The roll of government is to protect us from ourselves or some such. Uncle Sam is one kickass nanny.

RE: Just another..
By ipay on 9/3/2013 3:34:33 PM , Rating: 1
Same tired old bull from someone who can't see, or refuses to see, nuance. Nothing is as simple as some seem to suggest.

Imagine, if you will, a parent why refuses to wear a seat belt. They have their child in the car. In an accident the unbuckled parent can become a potentially lethal object. What choice did the child have?

It's not necessarily a case of the gov protecting us from ourselves, sometimes it's a case of the gov protecting us from each other.

RE: Just another..
By Rukkian on 8/30/2013 11:57:20 AM , Rating: 3
The problem is if I were to get into an accident and the other person were not wearing a seatbelt, I would have to pay for his stupidity.

If there was some way to make a law that you get no money for injuries from my insurance or your insurance, you sustain if it is proven you were not wearing a seatbelt, then sure, I would not care.

The people that don't wear them and cost more money due to injury are raising everybody's insurance rates.

I would love to say that they could take out the extra measures to protect unbelted passengers, but then you have the same insurance issues.

The third option they were talking about sounds about right. My new forrester has a warning that does not start going off until you hit 5mph. After that, it does not stop until you put it on, or slow down. Just make the car not able to do over 10mph if the seat belt is off.

It also allows choice for the customer, as if you want to go without a seatbelt, don't buy a car with this feature. Insurance rates should go down if you have a car with this feature.

I see no problem with this as long as it is not mandated by the government (at least at this point).

RE: Just another..
By Dr of crap on 8/30/13, Rating: 0
RE: Just another..
By Jeffk464 on 8/30/2013 12:45:44 PM , Rating: 3
I'm fine with higher risk paying higher premiums so long as its within reason.

RE: Just another..
By headbox on 8/30/2013 10:16:57 PM , Rating: 2
My wife works for a hospital, and we take a voluntary health test to get a large discount on our medical insurance. The majority of Americans are fat and unhealthy, so offering a discount is a better way to go.

RE: Just another..
By Camikazi on 9/1/2013 10:12:38 AM , Rating: 3
We are at around 25% obesity rate (last I checked and second now no longer first) how is that a majority exactly?

RE: Just another..
By ForceCredit on 9/3/2013 12:50:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not aligning myself either way in this particular debate between you two, but I did want to give you actual numbers to work with:

US Population Obese in 2010: 36%
US Population Overweight & Obese in 2010: 69%

As a final note, "obese" isn't the dividing line between "normal" and "fat".

RE: Just another..
By Solandri on 8/30/2013 1:46:58 PM , Rating: 5
Insurance is supposed to help spread out of the cost of random incidents and accidents.

If you choose to overeat, choose to smoke, choose not to wear a seat belt, or choose not to wear a helmet, those aren't random incidents or accidents. You're making a conscious choice which directly inflates your risk. I have no problem with taking people who choose a riskier lifestyle and putting them into a more expensive insurance pool.

RE: Just another..
By Rukkian on 8/30/2013 2:20:35 PM , Rating: 3
So basically you are against any kind of personal responsibility, and others need to pay for your bad habits.

I have no problem with anything you are suggesting, it sounds like the correct way to do it. You are good at convincing me this is the correct course of action.

Why should I have to pay more for my insurance when I never have an accident, pretty much never speed, don't run red lights, don't tailgate and wear my seatbelt. I think it all goes hand in hand.

To me, if we could have penalties for idiots, we wouldn't need more laws like the seatbelt laws.

RE: Just another..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/13, Rating: -1
RE: Just another..
By SeeManRun on 8/30/2013 3:39:58 PM , Rating: 2
You are 100% wrong. If you have a 200k accident, does your insurance go up by 200k? Insurance spreads out the cost. When your insurance company pays out less in claims because there are fewer thefts, or fewer accidents, or fewer whatever, they can either give you back some money on your insurance, or pay out to shareholders.

Either way, it gets cheaper for them and the money they saved goes somewhere. The exact opposite is true too. If your insurance has stayed the same in 20 years with no increases, then you have one hell of an insurance company, because I haven't had a claim in 10 years and my rates fluctuate as I described above.

RE: Just another..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/2013 4:29:48 PM , Rating: 1
because I haven't had a claim in 10 years and my rates fluctuate as I described above.

What in the hell DOESN'T go up? Is food or gas or just about anything cost the same as it did 10 years ago? No.

Insurance goes up for many many reasons. But it's completely disingenuous to say that someone not wearing a seat belt directly drove up your insurance rates. That's hyperbole, and you can't honestly use it to propose whatever you want.

RE: Just another..
By SeeManRun on 8/30/2013 4:37:07 PM , Rating: 3
My rates have only gone up once in my life, and it was because of me, not some faceless person who didn't wear a seat belt.

I am only going on what you're saying. If you mean something else it would really be awesome if you said what you mean instead of mean what you say.

Anyway, insurance only goes up for 1 reason, not many; costs. Now, costs go up for many reasons, including administration, taxes, number of accidents, dollars per claim, fraud investigation, litigation, lobbying... The list goes on. But, if you believe wearing a seatbelt, or having an airbag statistically reduces the odds of being injured in a crash, then you can say that motorists not wearing seatbelts will have a direct impact on your rates (assuming they were wearing them before, if they never wore them then your rates are higher than they could be if they were wearing them).

RE: Just another..
By Rukkian on 8/30/2013 4:03:53 PM , Rating: 2
How about uninsured motorist?

Also, if it were only based on me, mine would be pretty much zero, but I currently pay for all the idiots that also have insurance that are not safe drivers.

This is where I like things like progressives snapshot - easy 30% discount for me by proving I am not an idiot. Give me seat belt lockout and drop another 10% off my bill, and I will be happy.

RE: Just another..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/13, Rating: 0
RE: Just another..
By Paladin21 on 8/30/2013 4:59:48 PM , Rating: 2
What they're actually saying is that they want to cut safety features that only matter if you aren't buckled. The knee bolsters they refer to are to keep your ass from getting launched out of the car if you don't have a belt on. If you do have a belt on, they do nothing. Trying to claim they want to make the car "less safe" is a gross overstatement. If you meant to say "less safe for me because I'll wire around the lock and not wear a seatbelt anyway"...well, that could very well be the case (or not).

RE: Just another..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/13, Rating: 0
RE: Just another..
By SeeManRun on 8/30/2013 3:35:36 PM , Rating: 2
The cost of his health care is passed onto you, either by taxes if he goes to a free hospital, or via increased premiums for health insurance due to his injury. You have a vested interest in not having people get hurt.

RE: Just another..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/2013 3:39:26 PM , Rating: 3
You have a vested interest in not having people get hurt.

Nope. I'm not my brothers keeper.

RE: Just another..
By SeeManRun on 8/30/2013 3:42:06 PM , Rating: 1
Nope. I'm not my brothers keeper.

You are whether you acknowledge it or not.

That is a good quote actually, your brothers keeper. If your brother gets hurt it takes the resources of your parents to care for him, thus less resources for you. Maybe you don't get a car for your birthday, or don't get that new baseball glove because your brother broke his femur and needs a bunch of physio that your parents have to pay for.

RE: Just another..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/2013 4:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry I'm not interested in the lies you Collectivists use to justify your warped ideology to everyone.

And I love how you use this argument to highlight some issue and drum up support for your little crusade; but as soon as someone like me mentions taxes, debt, or the entitlement state we're just selfish greedy bastards.

So hey, we all have things we have to pay for that we don't like.

RE: Just another..
By SeeManRun on 8/30/2013 4:32:31 PM , Rating: 5
Warped? It is utter logic man. If your expenses go up, your discretionary spending goes down. You should know this since you hate tax. If spending goes down, then taxes can go down...

You can be macro about it if you like, think of your own spending and income. If you lose your job you will have to spend less. If your wife loses her job, then the kids get fewer luxuries.. If your upstairs neighbour nearly burns down your entire building, strata fees will go up to pay for damage/increase insurance.

There is nothing at all warped about what I am saying. It translates perfectly to the auto insurance world. The fewer people getting hurt in accidents, the less your insurance will cost (or at least it should work that way, you know how they aren't in the business of charging you less for their service).

There is nothing wrong with changing your stance/opinion based on new information. So feel free to acknowledge that you hadn't thought about it in this perspective and now see how it is in your best interests to not have people getting hurt unnecessarily in auto accidents.

RE: Just another..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/2013 4:39:39 PM , Rating: 3
Warped? It is utter logic man.

It's also "logical" to say we should force McDonalds to close because some fat guys health problems impact others.

See where I'm going here? You're crazy if you think you're dropping "new information" on me. You apparently are not getting the crux of my argument.

I've increasingly seen this type of argument used by others, like you, to petition for increased laws, Government regulations, and mandates. Resulting in less freedoms and more misery for everyone.

That's where I just automatically draw the line. Regardless of how well-reasoned or logical it might be. Go sell your totalitarian utopia somewhere else, we're not buying here.

RE: Just another..
By SeeManRun on 8/30/2013 4:53:00 PM , Rating: 3
Oh, you're arguing based on some abstract concept of freedom. I think this subthread got started because someone claimed that it didn't impact them if someone else drove without a seatbelt, and myself and others pointed out the contrary.

Now, if you can acknowledge that then we are free to debate the should part of the argument. Your example is good, McDonalds probably could be closed for the damage that it does to society, but then there is the should part. And I would say no it should not, even though I can logically understand how one could make that argument.

There are all sorts of things that could be banned because of costs or safety or risk, like drinking, skydiving, snowboarding, surfing, swimming, canoeing, driving, guns, bacon... But that doesn't mean people like me want them to be.

I have no problem with seatbelt laws because they inconvenience me very little and the payoffs could be huge. I would not, however, take a discount on my insurance if the insurance company installs a box on it telling them how fast I go and how many miles I drive. There is a limit to everyone's willingness to give up freedom for security/convenience/cost.. Mine is just a bit higher than yours.

See Reclaimer, we're just the same you and me. Forever linked on Dailytech, going round and round.

Unbuckled start
By othercents on 8/30/2013 9:40:55 AM , Rating: 3
I typically start my vehicle without the seatbelt buckled. Many times it it is because I'm just trying to warm up the car while packing the groceries into the back, or I'm still strapping in a child while trying to get the AC rolling. There are times that I will move the car out of the garage and turn it back off, so the third option is optimal, but I'm certain that the second option wouldn't be an issue.

Obviously I'm a seatbelt user, but I'm certain that people who don't use seatbelts will be outraged that the Government is taking away their choice. I like the benefits of a lighter vehicle due to the seatbelt interlock which in turn should reduce cost of owning a vehicle (which they add back on by requiring a backup camera).


RE: Unbuckled start
By DanNeely on 8/30/2013 10:03:16 AM , Rating: 2
With remote starters common, I assume that although they're calling it an ignition lock it would function as a gearshift lock and hold you in park until you buckle.

RE: Unbuckled start
By Samus on 8/30/2013 12:20:35 PM , Rating: 3

Ignition lockout=stupid
Gear lockout=plausible

RE: Unbuckled start
By jeepga on 8/30/2013 10:06:15 AM , Rating: 2
When I read the headline my immediate thought was "not more nanny legislation". But, I was pleased to find out that it was about a private company asking to not have to do government testing if they implemented the technology.

I'm all for private companies making that choice. You can then choose to purchase or not purchase their cars. Either way the company shouldn't have to do safety tests to cater to people breaking the law (even though it shouldn't be a law).

RE: Unbuckled start
By lagomorpha on 8/30/13, Rating: -1
RE: Unbuckled start
By DanNeely on 8/30/2013 10:41:12 AM , Rating: 5
Airbags are designed to work with seatbelts; not as a substitute for them. Anyone who thinks that airbags mean they can safely unbuckle is asking to get badly messed up in an accident.

PS If you're really determined to disable them now, I think you can just pull a few fuses. Don't be surprised if following a serious accident your insurance company does something nasty if they discover you did it though.

RE: Unbuckled start
By othercents on 8/30/2013 10:57:08 AM , Rating: 2
That's a good point. How much more would insurance be without Federal level vehicle standards and testing requirements for vehicles?

Now the standards might need to be based on choice (IE. every vehicle should have a non-airbag and airbag version), so that the buyer can choose and the insurance company can insure based on the safety level you choose.

RE: Unbuckled start
By Philippine Mango on 8/30/2013 1:07:32 PM , Rating: 2
Airbags were suppose to be mandated in 1984 for passenger vehicles because there were so many unbelted fatalities. Since Reagan was president during that time, he postponed that rule and then as a concession in the late 80s early 90s, car makers could choose to outfit their vehicles either with an Airbag or with automatic seatbelts. But because we had a liberal president from '93 onward (clinton) the democrats got what they wanted and so they mandated airbags anyway with no exemptions.

I'm annoyed at the revisionist history proponents of airbags keep touting. They like to point out that airbags are a safety feature that need seatbelts when in fact their entire design philosophy was based upon the idea of an unbelted passenger. Because the airbags were so powerful, the NHTSA and the automakers developed the standard for the advanced airbag where the force of the airbag would be calibrated depending on the weight of the passenger and if the passenger is unbelted, it would work at the full force of the original airbag standard.

Airbags have always been there primarily for the unbelted passengers. In Australia, they still sell cars to this day that don't have airbags because they're not required.

It's true airbags may help in a car crash by reducing injuries to the head. However, bendable, padded steering wheels and being properly belted at a safe distance is really all that is needed.

As an FYI there were 5 star crash rated vehicles made in the 1980s that did not have airbags and there were some 1 star crash rated vehicles that DID have airbags. An airbag means nothing if the kinematics of the body in the crash are wrong or if the steering wheel comes up and through the airbag, impaling the driver due to poor design. Also those crash test procedures and ratings are completely unchanged/valid all the way through the 2010 Model year. After 2010, I'm not sure what they changed but the NHTSA claims they're no longer comparable... Not really buying that but whatever.

RE: Unbuckled start
By Gondor on 8/30/2013 1:51:02 PM , Rating: 2
Everything else remaining the same, I will still opt for vehicle that has airbags (and side cushions) over one that doesn't have these. Maybe it won't do anything in 99.9% of situations but should I ever get into an accident, I wan the best odds of making it out with as few injuries as possible.

The only exception to this I can think of is the airbag disable switch (when using child seat), but this obviously doesn't apply to me sitting in front of that airbag.

FWIW, I wear seatbelt 100% of the time.

RE: Unbuckled start
By FaaR on 8/30/2013 3:26:53 PM , Rating: 1
But, I was pleased to find out that it was about a private company asking to not have to do government testing if they implemented the technology.

And how pleased will you be if BMW and/or other manufacturers gets their way, and someone crashes their car with an unbelted passenger where the switch in the seat failed to detect the passenger, and said passenger is killed in the crash due to lack of impact protection and the family then goes on to sue the car maker...?

RE: Unbuckled start
By danjw1 on 8/30/13, Rating: 0
RE: Unbuckled start
By othercents on 8/30/2013 10:49:27 AM , Rating: 2
The seat belt law in Colorado states that you can't be pulled over for not wearing the seat belt. You can only be ticketed for a seat belt violation if you were pulled over for a different violation first and was found to also not be wearing a seat belt. In most states that is the working rule even though the law says that they can pull you over just for a seatbelt violation.

RE: Unbuckled start
By othercents on 8/30/2013 11:12:00 AM , Rating: 2
I know in California, that can get you a ticket. I think most states that require seat belts to be used, require that your seat belt in on before your keys go into the ignition.

Actually your wrong about the California law. It specifically states:

(d) (1) A person shall not operate a motor vehicle on a highway unless that person and all passengers 16 years of age or over are properly restrained by a safety belt.

(e) A person 16 years of age or over shall not be a passenger in a motor vehicle on a highway unless that person is properly restrained by a safety belt.

So that only applies to driving on the Highway.

RE: Unbuckled start
By Flunk on 8/30/2013 11:41:58 AM , Rating: 2
You're right, I typically do that too. Even if it's great weather I still prefer to let the engine warm up until the revs drop before I actually start driving so I start the car the second I get in.

I could live with option 2, I'm not sure I'd really even notice because I never drive without a seatbelt on.

RE: Unbuckled start
By JDHammer on 8/30/2013 12:24:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well, how would this work if the drivers and passengers just simply buckle their belts first to the seat then sit over the seatbelt? How will automakers get around this kinda thing? I don't think it is possible because unless they install somekind of sensor in the belt itself and a failsafe should a fuse be pulled... that would be running up the costs...

RE: Unbuckled start
By DT_Reader on 8/30/2013 1:09:38 PM , Rating: 2
That's exactly what people did in the '70s. They left the belts buckled and just sat on them. Some cars had sensors that the belts had to be pulled out, as they would be if they were wrapped around you instead of tucked under you - so people pulled them out, tied them in a knot to keep them out, buckled them up, and sat on them.

RE: Unbuckled start
By Jeffk464 on 8/30/2013 12:41:26 PM , Rating: 2
I have changed a ton of side air bags in Nissans because of faulty codes. This costs Nissan a bunch of money, but guess what happens when these faulty codes lock out your ignition.

By bupkus on 8/30/2013 9:44:08 AM , Rating: 2
1. clip the seat belt buckle then sit on it
2. wear seat belt until motor starts then unbuckle.*

*Assuming no kill switch which would be very hazardous.

Perhaps the threat that insurance companies would not pay medical expenses if a seat belt were not used.??
Sure, like they never thought of this.

RE: Bypasses
By DanNeely on 8/30/2013 10:06:33 AM , Rating: 3
Gene Pool meet Clorox; Clorox, Gene Pool.

Assuming there's no regulatory restriction to prevent them from doing so I'd guess the only reason the insurance companies haven't done something like that is that whoever moves first would lose a bunch of customers as the idiots bailed resulting in a major short term revenue hit.

RE: Bypasses
By bah12 on 8/30/2013 10:06:40 AM , Rating: 2
Yah I don't get how you can get around that obvious flaw. You cannot just kill the car because I took off my seatbelt. Dead in the water if you ask me. Unless, knowing the path this nation is going, it is going to lock it buckled until you put it back in park.

RE: Bypasses
By Avatar28 on 8/30/2013 10:41:05 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. What if I'm driving down the road and I have to unbuckle momentarily for whatever reason. "Oops, you unbuckled. Let me just shut off your engine and power steering and power brakes." Yeah, that would be an accident waiting to happen.

RE: Bypasses
By Motoman on 8/30/2013 12:24:47 PM , Rating: 3
I don't see any way they can justify having it at all. Any kind of switch that kills the ignition is a horribly bad idea, and should never be anywhere near a car.

Because like anything else, it can malfunction. And when it malfunctions at 70MPH in the middle lane of a 10-lane highway at rush hour, you have carmageddon and a large number of dead people.

Intentions aside, this is one of the worst ideas anyone could ever have.

RE: Bypasses
By bah12 on 8/30/2013 5:17:18 PM , Rating: 2
Which is why I'd bet they do part 2 of my senario. That is not kill the car, but simply lock the belt until the car is parked or off again. Although that seems dangerous as well.

RE: Bypasses
By Avatar28 on 8/30/2013 11:17:47 PM , Rating: 2
No, they can't do that because, again, what if it malfunctions and you can't get out of your car or you're in an accident and aren't able to shift the car into park. I don't think the lawyers would let them get away with that.

RE: Bypasses
By alpha754293 on 8/30/2013 10:43:42 AM , Rating: 1
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are solely that of my own and are not representative of Ford Motor Company or its affiliates.

I know that some (probably in conjunction with universities) have experimented with belt tension sensors so that you can't just clip it into the seat buckle then sit on it like you suggested.

And I know that for some of the passenger seats now, they have a weight sensor in there as well, so that if a child sits in the front passenger, it will disable the airbag (because the deployment of such in the event of a crash, the force of the airbag can seriously hurt or kill a child). So, between the weight of the occupant that's actually sitting in the seat, you can generate a statistical probabilty of what the minimum tension the seat belt should be seeing; which, from there, you can set the minimum engagement standard. It's not that hard. At all.

I don't think that they're allowed to kill the automobile, but there's nothing that says say...they can't limit your vehicle's top speed and automatically throw on your 4-ways as well.

The massive integration of sensors and the generally electronic nature of vehicles nowadays makes it possible for the OEMs to do a LOT of things.

Or say for like GM vehicles equipped with OnStar, there's also nothing to say that they can't shut off your radio and have somebody coming on through the OnStar system asking you if there's a problem with the seatbelt (and pestering you enough until you put them on). (if they can detect airbag deployment, and can remotely start your car via satellite; it's really not that hard to do that either).

Course, I personally vote that if they can demonstrate (now that EDRs are required) that you weren't wearing your seatbelt in the event of an accident, you're 100% liable for all damages yourself. It voids your insurance. A $500,000 bill oughta make you think twice for a simple and "minor" inconvenience, the result of not using it maybe death.

The upside to people not using their seatbelts, if their insurance can be voided, and they die is that it removes them from the gene pool. yay!

RE: Bypasses
By invidious on 8/30/2013 11:52:55 AM , Rating: 3
So anyone who doesn't have a seatbelt on during a crash and is lucky enough to not die somehow deserves to suffer physically and financially for the rest of their life? As if anyone wears their seatbelt 100% of the time and has never taken it off for any reason even for a second. Why would you even care about who gets covered, you aren't paying their insurance premiums, at least not until ObamaCare mutates and takes over all types of insurance.

What happens when you pull up to a drive though and unbuckle to get your wallet, then the driver behind you rear ends you?

What happens when your child gets into an accident without their seatbelt dispite your direction? Now you have to chose between your child's medical care and losing your house.

What happens if your seatbelt latch breaks? Now you can't even drive it to the dealership to get it fixed without being insured and you have to get it towed.

Obviously this is the internet and nonsense opinions are common, but is it really that difficult to give even a little consideration to the implications of your thoughts before you waste your own time broadcasting them to the world and making yourself look foolish?

RE: Bypasses
By Rukkian on 8/30/2013 12:01:46 PM , Rating: 1
The problem is, we are all paying the premiums to deal with the extra injuries involved due to some not wearing their seat belt. For the cases you state, if you get rear ended in a drive through at what - 2mph, your seat belt is not going to come into play either way.

As for not being able to take it to the dealer- how often does the seat belt break? I have never had one break in any car I have ever been in, or know of anybody that it happened to.

In that one case a year, maybe a tow would be a better option?

RE: Bypasses
By M'n'M on 8/30/2013 12:42:44 PM , Rating: 2
So anyone who doesn't have a seatbelt on during a crash and is lucky enough to not die somehow deserves to suffer physically and financially for the rest of their life?

Pretty much, yes. You get the consequences of your choice. I don't see why that's some odd concept. Ideally you'd be responsible for any added costs, beyond what would have happened if you had your seatbelts on. In practice this might be a bit hard to determine so I'm open for some compromise. Perhaps you could buy a "no belts" option, where you and others pay more for insurance, and don't have to belt up.

As if anyone wears their seatbelt 100% of the time and has never taken it off for any reason even for a second.

No but the odds of getting into an accident during those few seconds or few minutes is pretty remote. If you don't like the odds then keep the seatbelts on.

Why would you even care about who gets covered, you aren't paying their insurance premiums, at least not until ObamaCare mutates and takes over all types of insurance.

Already answered above. Your extra costs inflate my never-had-an-accident insurance bill.

RE: Bypasses
By Flunk on 8/30/2013 11:39:07 AM , Rating: 2
I could see a kill switch that shut down signals from the throttle and turns on hazard lights (almost all new cars have drive by wire throttles so it would be easy) and maintains all other functions.

I mean, there really is no point in having an interlock if there is no enforcement afterwards. If people are ignorant enough to drive around without seatbelts then they're ignorant enough to purposefully circumvent measures designed to keep them safe.

I'm not too sure this will ever happen, at least not in the US. Maybe here in Canada, I almost never see anyone driving without a seatbelt on here although that might have something to do with the fact that the cops can and do pull people over for not wearing one.

RE: Bypasses
By Flunk on 8/30/2013 11:42:33 AM , Rating: 2
The whole thing is a bit heavy-handed, I'm not too sure I'd be happy with it.

A better option
By wookie1 on 8/30/2013 12:09:19 PM , Rating: 2
I have an idea - why not just stop crash testing without seat belts AND not have seat belt interlocks. I think that people can make their own decision, and live with the consequences. I'd rather live in a country where we're "on our own" to decide what we do with our daily lives, and don't leave every decision in the hands of our benevolent masters.

RE: A better option
By Rukkian on 8/30/2013 3:06:04 PM , Rating: 2
I am all for that as long as my premiums don't increase to pay for their stupidity, unfortunately that is not currently the case.

RE: A better option
By wookie1 on 8/30/2013 3:34:39 PM , Rating: 2
Why is that not the case? Also note that the cost of your car is increased to pay for all of this crash testing as well.

RE: A better option
By Rukkian on 8/30/2013 4:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
Because right now, there is no way for me to prove to my insurance company that I use my seatbelt. Getting a car with one of these should lower insurance rates for you, since you can prove you do wear your seatbelts.

RE: A better option
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/2013 4:19:46 PM , Rating: 2
Getting a car with one of these should lower insurance rates for you, since you can prove you do wear your seatbelts.

"Should", but probably wont.

Maybe you haven't noticed, but companies aren't in business to charge you as little as possible for a service.

RE: A better option
By wookie1 on 8/31/2013 2:20:22 AM , Rating: 3
"but companies aren't in business to charge you as little as possible for a service. "

Actually they are, otherwise I'll buy the policy from their competition.

RE: A better option
By Reclaimer77 on 8/31/2013 7:23:09 AM , Rating: 2
And if the competition is similarly priced, what then?

RE: A better option
By corduroygt on 9/1/2013 10:56:29 PM , Rating: 2
Whistleblowers and class action lawyers make sure that any collusion/cartel efforts will eventually be detected and caught and punished.

RE: A better option
By M'n'M on 8/30/2013 8:59:06 PM , Rating: 2
Because right now, there is no way for me to prove to my insurance company that I use my seatbelt

I guarantee you than in the event of any serious accident, the insurance company can tell if the seatbelts were in use or not. Even if it's not monitored by the car's airbag "black box recorder", any investigator can look at the belt and see if it's been stretched and/or melted where the belt goes through the sliding buckle.

Unbuckled Drivers Impact Everyone
By OnTheOtherHand on 8/30/2013 11:08:46 AM , Rating: 3
The injuries and deaths unbuckled drivers experience impact my insurance bill, my hospital bill, and my taxes.

We should pass laws and force people to wear seatbelts because I'm sick and tired of paying for stupidity.

RE: Unbuckled Drivers Impact Everyone
By russki on 8/30/2013 11:24:02 AM , Rating: 2
I think a better alternative would be to limit vehicle speed to say 5 or 10 mph rather than not be able to start it.
I hate how the government is trying to tell us all how to live. Why dont these morons worry about themselves?

RE: Unbuckled Drivers Impact Everyone
By Etsp on 8/30/2013 11:33:42 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for reading the article! The one that states, this is NOT the government trying to implement this, and the one that states the the PRIVATE COMPANY behind this believes that a speed limiter is probably the best approach, rather than a kill-switch.

By wookie1 on 8/30/2013 3:33:26 PM , Rating: 2
The private companies are trying to avoid the government-mandated costs of crash tests with unbuckled occupants - that's how we end up with these choices that omit the option of not crash testing without seat belts nor forcing the extra crash testing.

By jRaskell on 8/30/2013 12:38:03 PM , Rating: 2
Telling everyone how to live is certainly one option.

On the other hand, changing the system so that their stupidity doesn't impact everyone elses insurance rates, taxes, and costs of healthcare would be more palatable for me. But then, I've always been all about personal accountability vs. nanny states. Sadly it looks like the majority of the world prefers nanny states to handle it for them.

RE: Unbuckled Drivers Impact Everyone
By KFZ on 8/30/2013 7:38:40 PM , Rating: 2
It already is the law where I live. I've gone through "seatbelt enforcement zones" staffed by a small army of law enforcement doing nothing but looking intimidating at passing cars rather than finding something better to do with their time and taxpayer money.

Your argument is a gigantic slippery slope that could equally justify all kinds of draconian laws. The AHCA here in the states already bankrupted common sense by tapping everyone for health insurance because there was no other way to support the system of providing coverage to people who couldn't afford it to begin with.

Seriously folks
By Ammohunt on 8/30/2013 1:12:19 PM , Rating: 2
What percentage of people do not wear seatbelts? Current laws are more that sufficient. Its not unlike the health care act inconvenience 90% of people to accommodate 10%.

I frankly don't give a rats ass if an adult choses not to wear a seatbelt it their personal choice; where are all the Libertarians on this issue?

RE: Seriously folks
By Rukkian on 8/30/2013 3:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, if you maybe read the article you are commenting on, you would see this is a private company trying to implement this to get around the regulation to crash several cars and add expensive, heavy equipment just to make up for unbelted idiots. This is not a government mandate to install them. Libertarians should be all for this, as it adds choice and takes away some regulation.

RE: Seriously folks
By Ammohunt on 8/30/2013 3:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
I understand its a private company pushing for this. That still doesn't change my argument. Freedom of choice is a double edge sword this is freedom from choice.

RE: Seriously folks
By Rukkian on 8/30/2013 4:00:40 PM , Rating: 2
How is it freedom from choice? You have a choice to buy a BMW or not. Nobody is forcing you to buy a BMW. BMW is trying to get out of a government mandate which takes away your choice as well as car companies. They should have the right to design a car that is meant to protect people who follow the law, and should not be forced by the government to put extra safety equipment in and crash more cars to deal with idiots who wont wear their seatbelts.

RE: Seriously folks
By M'n'M on 8/30/2013 8:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
But you aren't guaranteed to have choices. You have the choices the people selling stuff give you. If you don't like the choice Company A gives you, buy from somebody else.

What's sad is that Nannism leads to BMW seeking this type of trade-off. Just make the idiots pay for their idiocy and this wouldn't be talked about.

This is Why America has Problems
By GlobleWarmingisbunk on 8/31/2013 2:25:34 AM , Rating: 2
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
By knightmike on 8/31/2013 12:01:54 PM , Rating: 2
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.

By Reclaimer77 on 8/31/2013 12:26:34 PM , Rating: 2
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.

By Gunbuster on 8/30/2013 10:23:00 AM , Rating: 2
So they have to crash a car separately just for unbelted asshats?

Jesus whats next? Maybe they should crash test a car with the dummys feet up on the dashboard or out the window too.

Can we just agree that people are stupid and when they do stupid things they should get hurt...

RE: Wastefull
By Jeffk464 on 8/30/2013 12:49:58 PM , Rating: 2
Not only that they have to do it four times, two for the government, and two for insurance companies crash test. No biggie for Honda and Toyota but sucks for companies like Ferrari.

Oh God, No!
By DT_Reader on 8/30/2013 1:05:26 PM , Rating: 2
I remember the bad old days of ignition interlocks. Apparently Congress does not. It was by far the single most unpopular legislation ever. The public outcry was so huge they couldn't repeal it fast enough. You couldn't put a bag of groceries on the passenger seat without buckling it in, or the car wouldn't start. People took to leaving the belts buckled all the time and just sitting on them - not exactly what the law was intending.

RE: Oh God, No!
By wookie1 on 8/30/2013 3:36:41 PM , Rating: 2
An excellent point on the futility of these regulations!

Don't forget airbags
By IBKevin on 8/30/2013 10:41:08 AM , Rating: 1
Manufacturers also have a mandate that airbags must work for unbelted passengers. The extra explosive force required for this actually can kill smaller drivers that sit close to the wheel.

It is so ass backwards that such efforts are made to protect those who don't even make the effort to buckle up. You know what I'd like to see? If you are injured in an accident and are unbelted, insurance companies on both sides pay ZERO. Watch premiums drop, and maybe even seatbelt use go up.

RE: Don't forget airbags
By M'n'M on 8/30/2013 12:30:34 PM , Rating: 2
Manufacturers also have a mandate that airbags must work for unbelted passengers. The extra explosive force required for this actually can kill smaller drivers that sit close to the wheel.

That was the regulation when airbags were first introduced as a "supplemental restraint system". They had to stop a 200 lb male from eating the windshield.

But, as you said, the force needed to do that caused some deaths and injuries and the regs were changed (after many years) to no longer require airbags alone perform the task. This of course should make you wonder why we even have airbags. If you wear your seatbelt properly, then frontal airbags do very little for you safety-wise. You could make a case for side bags but the majority of accidents are frontal.

By alpha754293 on 8/30/2013 10:46:07 AM , Rating: 1
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.

By Isidore on 8/30/2013 12:42:10 PM , Rating: 2
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.

Reverse exemption?
By rhangman on 8/30/2013 10:44:34 AM , Rating: 2
So no reverse exemption in the US? Here you don't have to wear one while reversing. So for example, perfectly legal to start the car, reverse out of a spot, then put on your seatbelt.

By knightmike on 8/30/2013 11:42:40 AM , Rating: 2
How do they know it's a person on the seat and not cargo?

By bobsmith1492 on 8/30/2013 12:11:19 PM , Rating: 2
All that's needed is the annoying "beep beep beep" that sounds when not buckled. Eventually the driver will buckle up just because they are annoyed.

Nanny state
By FITCamaro on 8/30/2013 8:56:35 PM , Rating: 2
I will wear seat belts regardless of whether or not its required. But I don't believe in forcing people to.

But there is very little this government doesn't believe in forcing you to do.

By Thardy0ne on 9/1/2013 12:13:03 AM , Rating: 2
I love these comments about the government infringing on our lives and how we should be able to not wear seatbelts if we choose. So, when you go ahead and get badly injured and you have no health insurance or it expires, or you get killed and leave your family w/o a wage earner, who do you think pays for the health care and the benefits for a widowed spouse? The government does, numbnuts. Except, that means US since we pay taxes. So, yes, I don't want to have to pay for your stupidity in not taking reasonable safety precautions. So, yes, I want ignition interlocks until seatbelts are on!!

By Stuka on 9/1/2013 12:07:54 PM , Rating: 2
There are 7 billion freaking people on this planet with no signs of slowing down. It's time to stop trying to save every single last human life. People have to die. Neither the planet, nor society, can withstand much more.

another option...
By Captain Awesome on 9/1/2013 1:44:59 PM , Rating: 2
How about they just get rid of the crash tests for unbuckled passengers?

I don't really want car makers coming up with another expensive part that will break down and need replacing for $200-$500.

Theres another $1000
By tomsan on 9/10/2013 7:10:43 PM , Rating: 2
So if they do mandate these, doesn't that basically guarantee the price of cars will go up $1000 to pay for the new feature. Also don't be surprise when you can't start your car because you have grocery bags in the front seat or Fido in the backseat going from side to side.

By Latanya1RPowell on 8/30/13, Rating: 0
"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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