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SEATBELTS SAVE LIVES

If you drive a Mercer-leased commercial motor vehicle, both Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and Mercer Safety Policy require you to buckle up. Remember, 49CFR 392.16 requires the driver to be “properly restrained” which means the shoulder harness of units so-equipped must be worn across the body and not under the shoulder. Failure to buckle up, or buckling up improperly, carries a big 21 point hit (7×3) under CSA 2010. Regardless of whether or not a ticket is issued, the write-up, under the Unsafe Driving Basic, is a significant burn on Mercer’s safety rating. In some cases, even more than some speeding warnings or log violations.

Prior to CSA 2010, a seatbelt violation did not adversely affect Mercer’s SafeStat or a driver’s MVR so it wasn’t as serious of an issue. It is now. Seatbelt violations are problems, right up there with logs not current and warnings for speeding. They are problems which simply cannot occur. I personally believe that seatbelts save lives, the statistical evidence is overwhelming, and I don’t leave the lot without my belt fastened. My family buckles up and yours should, too. In a CMV, it is a requirement. It is not subject to debate.

I think it is pretty obvious to everyone by now that certain CSA 2010 points are going to be given up in this business. Headlights burn out, pigtails come loose, pancakes wear out, tires get punctured. Knowing that losing points for stuff like that is always a possibility means that it is even more important not to give up points on things we can control. Things like seatbelt use, speed, following distance, brake adjustment and cargo securement are things that drivers can control. No carrier can give up points for stuff like that. And we won’t continue trucking with drivers who do. We can’t. It is not fair to the ones here who do it right, and it is simply not safe.

Remember, seatbelts save lives. Buckle up. Do it right. Be safe.

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  1. Gerald Keifer-FMCSA
    September 28, 2010 at 10:41 am

    To elaborate more on Jason’s comments, as the trainer for FMCSA, when we teach inspectors, we emphasize that a seat belt not worn as designed should be written up on the inspection report the same as not have the seat belt worn.
    REMEMBER THIS TYPE OF VIOLATION IMPACTS MERCER’S CSA SCORE.

    • Jim Kidd
      October 1, 2010 at 7:39 pm

      My 1994 peterbilt has a “KOMFORT LATCH” and I’m 99.9% sure that it was installed at the factory (I didn’t buy the truck new). So if I where my belt loose this can be a violation or should I say, up to some one’s interpretation? Paul and jpdubois hit it on the head. How far does it go? If someone doesn’t where their seat belt and gets involved in a crash, what affect does that have on the OTHER vehicle’s occupants ? If someone wants to become a statistic it should be their choice not the governments! We’re all gonna die of something . Just saying.

  2. paul
    September 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    wish CSA 2010 would stay with safety issues. If seat belts would make me a better driver I would wear 2 seat belts, crash helmet and body protection. Its a wonder they don’t require that!

  3. jpdubois
    September 30, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    This subject is a real burr under my saddle. I understand the statistics and reasoning behind the use of seatbelts but consider the law a grandiose way to exert control over the masses, but is ineffective as shown by the compliance statistics. Some wise man once said that an unenforceable law is an illegal law. That being said you can accompany me for a few days and I can point out dozens of trucks that have safety issues, drivers that are careless and reckless and those that deliberately plan their trip to avoid encounters with authority. And now we are being told that inspectors are being trained not to check for seatbelt wear but to check for how they are being worn so that the write up can carry a heavy penalty. I am feeling particularly sad for the younger drivers and operators who are trying to sustain themselves in an industry which treats them like second class citizens. FMCSA promotes a goal of “zero” truck related deaths in the USA and we don’t need a Harvard degree to determine that can only be accomplished by eliminating all trucks from the highways. If anyone thinks that capricous seatbelt enforcement will have any effect on truck highway safety they should be prepared to provide income for those left unemployable by those silly laws.

  4. Neil
    October 2, 2010 at 9:37 am

    JP,that is an astute observation and an enjoyable read.

  5. Roger Osborn
    October 3, 2010 at 1:51 am

    New 4 point harnesses for sale….. Trucker strength & DOT approved ; ‘ )

  6. Jim Hudson
    October 3, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I agree with J.P. If you’re thinking that it’s only about mandatory seatbelt use, then you’ve missed the point. Unfortunately we live in an age where words like liberty and freedom are merely given lip service and abandoned when they become inconvenient. Where each successive generation has become increasingly more conditioned to the incremental loss of freedoms and self determination all in the name of the greater good. George Orwell was either prescient or a genius as he only missed it by 16 years. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, “Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.” Sorry if this post is a little heavy for the thread but I just saw a promo for the T.V. show “The Jersey Shore” and I am in the process of weeping for the future.

  7. Jim Hudson
    October 3, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    A correction to my previous post. It have read 26 not 16 years.

  8. Len Dunman
    October 4, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Wow, I go out of town for a few days and don’t read this and here we go. Folks, I understand the comments, but I will enforce the regs. The last driver we had killed in a traffic accident was involved in a 45 mph single vehicle rollover. Was thrown out of cab and landed under the truck, which crushed him. That’s not theory. Like it or not, seat belt use is required in a CMV and has a high point value. If you get many writeups for not using one, you’ll truck someplace else. Most carriers take the same stance, we have to.
    I do agree with Jim’s comments on society. His points are well stated and with much merit. That being said, I encourage everyone to VOTE. The trucking industry is huge, but most drivers statistically talk the talk but rarely vote. Change only happens when we flood the ballot boxes each primary and election. That is your right. Exercise it or we’ll soon see it going away, as well…in my opinion.

  9. Roger Osborn
    October 6, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    That’s right EVERYBODY!!! I agree with Len… GET OUT AND VOTE!!! Or those rights will soon go away too!! ..TAKE BACK AMERICA!!! : ” )

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