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DOT/NHTSA RIN: 2127-AL37 Publication ID: Fall 2015 
Title: +Rear Seat Belt Reminder System 

This rulemaking would amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208, occupant crash protection, to require automobile manufacturers to install a seat belt reminder system for the front passenger and rear designated seating positions in passenger vehicles. The seat belt reminder system is intended to increase belt usage and thereby improve the crash protection of vehicle occupants who would otherwise have been unbelted. This rulemaking would respond in part to a petition for rulemaking submitted by Public Citizen and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, as well as to requirements in MAP-21.

Agency: Department of Transportation(DOT)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation:  
CFR Citation: 49 CFR 571.208   
Legal Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30101    delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95   
Legal Deadline:
Action Source Description Date
NPRM  Statutory  Initiate  10/01/2014 
Final  Statutory  Final Rule  10/01/2015 

Statement of Need:

Based on recent FARS data, there was an annual average of 1,695 rear-seat passenger vehicle occupants killed. Of these fatalities, 1,057 rear-seat occupants (62.4%) were known to be unrestrained. According to recent NASS-GES data, there was an annual average of 46,927 rear-seat occupants injured, of which 15,254 (32.5%) were unrestrained. These unrestrained occupants who were killed or injured represent the rear-seat occupant target population. There was an annual average of 3,846 front outboard passenger seat occupant fatalities in the FARS data. Of these fatalities, 1,799 occupants (46.8%) were unrestrained. In addition, according to NASS-GES data, there was an annual average of 67,948 injured occupants in front outboard seating positions in crashes. Of those front outboard seat occupants injured, 20,369 (30%) were unrestrained. These unrestrained occupants who were killed or injured in crashes represent the front outboard passenger seat occupant target population.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

MAP-21 required the Secretary to initiate a rulemaking proceeding to amend FMVSS No. 208 to provide a safety belt use warning system for designated seating positions in the rear seat.[1] It directed the Secretary to either issue a final rule, or, if the Secretary determined that such an amendment did not meet the requirements and considerations of 49 U.S.C. section 30111, to submit a report to Congress describing the reasons for not prescribing such a standard.


The agency considered several alternatives, including 1) Low cost front outboard passenger system without occupant protection; 2) requiring a SBRS for the front center seat; 3) system hardening from inadvertent and intentional defeat; and 4) awarding points through NCAP for rear SBRSs.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The proposed rule would result in 43.7-65.4 equivalent lives saved (ELS) and 33.7-60.6 ELS at 3% and 7% discount rates, respectively. The estimated total cost range is $164.3 million to $324.6 million.

Note: These are preliminary agency estimates only. They have not been reviewed by others outside of DOT. The estimates could change after interagency review.


The agency believes there are no substantial risks to this rulemaking.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  10/00/2016 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL:   Public Comment URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Carla Rush
Safety Standards Engineer
Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE,
Washington, DC 20590
Phone:202 366-4583