Home Menu Search

Seat Belt Safety Enhanced

24 August 2018

 As reported by ETSC The EU is set to adopt updated UNECE regulations on seatbelts that will require seatbelt reminder systems in all front and rear seats on new cars from September 2019.

Existing EU vehicle safety rules agreed in 2009 only require seatbelt reminder systems on the driver’s seat.  The updated requirements also include the front and rear passenger seats.

In the front seats, the systems will need to be able to detect a passenger sitting and make an audible warning at the start of the journey if the belt is not attached.  The requirements for rear seats are weaker in that the audible warning will only sound if a belt is unbuckled during the journey.

The seatbelt remains the single most effective passive safety feature in vehicles.  As shown in research available on The Road Safety Observatory, seat belt reminder (SBR) systems can significantly increase seat belt wearing rates . A cross European study found that wearing rates were 97.5% in vehicles fitted with SBR and 85.5% in vehicles without. A study in the USA found that there were 2% fewer driver fatalities in vehicles fitted with SBR, after accounting for differences in vehicle age between cars with and without SBR.

Despite the legal obligation to wear a seatbelt across the EU28, seatbelt use in cars in the EU is estimated to be only 88% for front seats and as low as 74% for rear seats in the countries that are monitoring wearing.

Related news, events and information

Seat Belt Interventions in the News

30 April 2019 – Failure to use seatbelts is a major contributing factor to road fatalities. The use of seatbelts has been one...

A review of seat belt advertising

23 April 2018 – The UK's 1966 legislation made it compulsory for all new cars to have seatbelt fittings. This simple change has...

Vehicle and road construction rules to improve safety

5 March 2015 – New vehicle technologies and extension of EU infrastructure safety rules could prevent thousands of collisions...

Failure to wear seat belts remains a challenge

14 March 2020 – New PACTS report highlights the need for better evidence. Noting that almost a third (31%) of the people who...

12,000 killed in cars in EU in 2012

29 April 2014 – Transport safety campaigners are calling on the European Union to accelerate progress on reducing the number of...

Green light for mandatory fitting of new safety technology.

26 May 2015 – ETSC reports that a major new study for the European Commission has identified a range of new vehicle safety...

UN Regulation on Advanced Emergency Braking Systems for cars to significantly reduce crashes

13 February 2019 – Some 40 Countries have agreed on a draft United Nations Regulation for Advanced Emergency Braking Systems...

Invitation from the European Transport Safety Council

1 September 2015 – This event is kindly hosted by Dieter-Lebrecht Koch MEP. 500 people die on EU roads every week and road...

Company drivers fail to obey the seatbelt law

1 February 2008 – Welcoming the news today that twenty five years of seatbelt wearing laws have helped save 60,000 lives,...