Petition for Mandamus to Compel the Department of Transportation to Issue a Safety Standard for Rear Seat Belt Reminder

We have filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus to require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue a long-overdue safety standard that would trigger an audio warning in vehicles when people in the back seat were not wearing their seatbelts.  We represent KIDS AND CARS, Inc. and the Center for Auto Safety. Every year thousands of people, including many children, die in automobile crashes because they are not wearing their seat belts. The problem is particularly acute for passengers in the back seats of cars, which is where most parents place their children, because children often do not buckle up, do not buckle their seat belts correctly, or unfasten their seat belts at some point while the car is in motion.  A current motor vehicle safety standard already requires an audio warning if the driver of the car is not fastened up, but no such standard is in place for the rear seat passengers.  In 2012 Congress sought to remedy this problem by requiring DOT to issue a rear seat belt warning standard in all new cars. Although the legislation required DOT to publish a proposed rule by October 1, 2014 and a final rule by October 1, 2015, to date, DOT has not even issued a proposed rule. The Petition for Mandamus seeks to have the Court of Appeals compel DOT to move forward expeditiously with promulgation of this much needed safety standard. A copy of the Petition can be found here.