Suit Brought To Compel Trump Administration To Issue Critical Motor Vehicle Safety Standard to Protect Children from Death and Injury

Today on behalf of Kids and Cars, Inc. and the Center for Auto Safety, we filed a lawsuit in federal district court for the District of Columbia to compel the Secretary of Transportation (DOT) to issue a long overdue standard requiring a warning to go off if passengers in the back seats of cars are not wearing their seat belts, like the warning that is heard in cars if the driver is not wearing a seat belt.  In October 2012 Congress enacted legislation requiring DOT to initiate rulemaking for the rear seat warning system by October 2014 and to issue a final standard by October 2015.  To date, no rulemaking has even been initiated, and there is no sign that the Trump Administration is even working on the standard. DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 38 people each day who do not wear seat belts are killed in motor vehicle crashes each day, and that half of those would be alive if they had worn their seat belt—which means that 6,935 people each year would be saved if they wore their rear seat belt, or 13,879 since the standard was required to be in place. Many more people are seriously injured in crashes when they are not wearing seat belts. Parents put their children in the back seat believing it to be the safest position in the car.  Yet many parents forget to fasten their children’s seat belts, and children who are initially buckled in often remove their seatbelts.  Studies have confirmed that drivers using cars with seat belt reminders are 66% more likely to buckle up. Accordingly, prompt issuance of the standard mandated by Congress five years ago will unquestionably save many lives. The suit explains that by failing to comply with Congress’s mandated deadlines, DOT has “unreasonably delayed” and “unreasonably withheld” agency action required by law, and requests the federal court to order the Secretary to issue this critical safety standard. A copy of the Complaint can be found here: