General Motors Co. is introducing a system to fleet customers that will require both front-seat passengers to buckle up before a vehicle can be driven, the company announced.
The manufacturer’s “belt assurance system” will be available later this year on 2015 model year vehicles, including the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size picks, and Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup. It functions via a diagnostic module that recognizes when a driver or passenger are present in the front seats. The sensor then communicates with the brake transmission shift interlock system to either allow or block the driver from shifting out of park. This system works only with automatic transmissions, a GM spokeswoman told Truck Fleet Management.
“It is essential for the safety of our customers’ and all drivers’ safety to develop the habit of buckling up each and every time they get into their vehicles,” said Jeff Boyer, GM’s vice president for global vehicle safety.
In addition, from May 19 to June 1, subscribers to GM’s OnStar communications system will be reminded to buckle up whenever the driver or passenger presses the system’s blue nonemergency button.
The timeframe coincides with the dates of the “Click it or Ticket” seat belt usage campaign being conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency estimated that 87% of people riding in automobiles used seat belts during 2013.