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Old 05-02-2010, 3:21 PM
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Default 27315(d)(1) Question.

I see that this code says "A person shall not operate a motor vehicle on a highway unless that person and all passengers 16 years of age or over are properly restrained by a safety belt."

In looking through the 2009 CVC, I can't find a code which defines "properly restrained" or "safety belt."

Where should I look next? ...what I'm trying to find out is whether or not it is legal for a passenger to ride in the back of a Subaru Brat. They had factory seats and factory safety belts but I can't find the actual requirements for just how much of a seat belt is needed. I've read all the codes between 27302 to 27315 and don't know where else to look.

Thanks!
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Old 05-02-2010, 3:32 PM
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It based on the original equiptment provided in the car, and the passengers are using it in compliance with the manufactures guidelins.
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Old 05-02-2010, 3:35 PM
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IIRC, they came stock with retractable lap belts. If you have the stock seats and seatbelts securely fastened to your Brat, you should be ok.

Last edited by Samuelx; 05-02-2010 at 3:57 PM..
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Old 05-02-2010, 4:27 PM
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Someone can correct me, but I believe all 50 states' motor vehicle laws are written in conformance with the federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act and Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations. (See Standards 208 through 210.) In fact, CVC 27315(b) mentions the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

It's prolly a safe bet to think that if a passenger vehicle came equipped with original lap and shoulder safety restraints for all passenger seats when initially sold but then the restraints and seats were subsequently removed for whatever reason, re-installing with proper hardware similar lap/shoulder safety restraints and passenger seats would again meet current vehicle safety and legal requirements.

Anyway I used to casual carpool into SF from the East Bay. At least one time I sat in the back of some guy's Jeep, which didn't have any seat belts or seats. Man, was I ignorant at the time regarding the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Live and learn.
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Old 05-02-2010, 7:59 PM
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If the car came with seat belts, those are adequate for the code. There is nothing that says you need to upgrade your car to meet current safety requirements. You can add better restraints, but cannot remove. IIRC the Brat is the only truck that came with factory seats and belts in bed.
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Old 05-02-2010, 9:00 PM
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Ok...maybe to rephrase the question. If one were to add seats and belts to the bed of a truck that did not have them, what code would one reference to make sure it was being done legally?
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
Ok...maybe to rephrase the question. If one were to add seats and belts to the bed of a truck that did not have them, what code would one reference to make sure it was being done legally?
It can't be done. If the area was not designed or intended for passengers, you cannot add seats for passenger transport. The Brat is OK because it came from the factory, any other truck is not. If a car came from the factory with seats mounted to the bumper, that would be legal, but you couldn't strap seats to the bumper of another car. I'll dig up the code, I used to know it.

ETA:
Quote:
23116. (a) No person driving a pickup truck or a flatbed motortruck
on a highway shall transport any person in or on the back of the
truck.
(b) No person shall ride in or on the back of a truck or flatbed
motortruck being driven on a highway.
(c) Subdivisions (a) and (b) do not apply if the person in the
back of the truck is secured with a restraint system. The restraint
system shall meet or exceed the federal motor vehicle safety
standards published in Sections 571.207, 571.209, and 571.210 of
Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations
.
The kicker is that if you install seats in the bed of a pickup truck, there is no way you can show compliance with the above bolded sections of Title 49. Those sections deal with crashworthiness, and generally require extensive testing on the part of the manufacturer. The Brat is either grandfathered in, or met those crashworthiness guidelines when it was built. So the bottom line is even if you build a full cage, add 5-point racing harnesses, and a stout frame to bolt the seats down, you won't be in compliance.

Last edited by alex00; 05-02-2010 at 10:22 PM..
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