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Discussion Starter #1
This is a 2 part question. What year did shoulder belts become mandatory?
and #2. What year did they start equiping cars with them?
thanks
 

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Mandatory in 1967. (However, many 1968 models did not have them installed until partway through the production run)
Volvo started the shoulder belt lap belt combo in 1959.
Madatory use in 1983.
 

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If trying to get around the law (this car wasnt built with them) you may still need to install them. Its not a real bad thing. Saved my butt once. Shoulder hurt real bad for a while.
 

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My 1965 Beetle has them. It came with lap belts but the tapped mount for the shoulder point was in the B pillar and even for the back seat passengers there is a shoulder mount point behind the quarter window.


My 1974 Caprice had the shoulder belt that you could attach to the lap belt if you wanted. If not, it could be be folded out of the way.
 

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My 1981 Scrambler didn't come with shoulder belts, but some CJ5s and 7s did have them that year. Scramblers got them in 1982. That doesn't answer the question, but at least as late as '81 they weren't mandatory.
 

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My 1965 Beetle has them. It came with lap belts but the tapped mount for the shoulder point was in the B pillar and even for the back seat passengers there is a shoulder mount point behind the quarter window.


My 1974 Caprice had the shoulder belt that you could attach to the lap belt if you wanted. If not, it could be be folded out of the way.
My 59 Beetle has no mounts for any seatbelts. I think VW was one of the more safty consious auto producers of that era because I have had a '64 with seatbelt mounts.
 

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My 59 Beetle has no mounts for any seatbelts. I think VW was one of the more safty consious auto producers of that era because I have had a '64 with seatbelt mounts.
Ford made seatbelts available as options in 1956 but a very small percentage of buyers opted for them. My 66 Galaxie has them and my friends 62 Galaxie now has them since he installed a set from a 63 he junked into the existing mounting holes. Ford also had the "deepdish" steering wheel as a safety feature in 1956. American cars get short-shrifted on a lot of advancements in auto-related features. I get started on this when someone mentions a foreign car manufacturer as being more _ _ _ _ _ _ whatever.:p
 

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Ford made seatbelts available as options in 1956 but a very small percentage of buyers opted for them. My 66 Galaxie has them and my friends 62 Galaxie now has them since he installed a set from a 63 he junked into the existing mounting holes. Ford also had the "deepdish" steering wheel as a safety feature in 1956. American cars get short-shrifted on a lot of advancements in auto-related features. I get started on this when someone mentions a foreign car manufacturer as being more _ _ _ _ _ _ whatever.:p
I know VW had safety concerns (as did may auto manufactures) well before the 1960's yet I also recognize that the '50's & '60's VW bus' had a headlight bucket, a piece of tin and a piece of cardboard in front of the driver to protect them from head on collisions too. :cry: Nobody is perfect.
 

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Mandatory in 1967. (However, many 1968 models did not have them installed until partway through the production run)
Volvo started the shoulder belt lap belt combo in 1959.
Madatory use in 1983.
LAP belts where manditory for '68, shoulder harnesses came later.
 

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SAAB and Cadillac had the first dual master brake cyl. around '61. SAABs however was diagonal...much safer. It took until '68 for law makers to force auto makers to enforce such things. U.S. automakers didn't give a flyin' flip about saftey unless it sold cars.
SAAB also had one of if not the first shoulder harness.
 

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LAP belts where manditory for '68, shoulder harnesses came later.
The U.S. National Highway Safety Bureau required automobile manufacturers to install lap belts for all seats and shoulder belts for front seats in 1968 vehicles.
 

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SEAT BELT LAWS, USAGE, HISTORY & CHRONOLOGY

This chronology of events related to the development and use of motor vehicle seat belts may provide some perspective for those unfamiliar with these topics.

1930's Several U.S. physicians equip their own cars with lap belts and begin urging manufacturers to provide them in all new cars

1953
Colorado State Medical Society publishes policy supporting installation of lap belts in all automobiles

1954
Sports Car Club of America requires competing drivers to wear lap belts

American Medical Association House of Delegates votes to support installation of lap belts in all automobiles

1955
California Vehicle Code is amended to require State approval of seat belts before their sale or use

National Safety Council, American College of Surgeons, International Association of Chiefs of Police vote to support installation of lap belts in all automobiles

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) appoints Motor Vehicle Seat Belt Committee

1956
Volvo markets 2-point cross-chest diagonal belt as accessory

For and Chrysler offer lap belts in front as option on some models

Ford begins 2-year ad campaign based on safety, focusing heavily on belts

1957
Volvo provides anchors for 2-point diagonal belts in front

Special Subcommittee on Traffic Safety, U.S. House of Representatives, opens hearings on effectiveness of seat belts in automobiles

1958
Nils Bohlin, a design engineer with Volvo in Sweden, patents the "Basics of Proper Restraint Systems for Car Occupants," better known as a three-point safey belt. The device comprises two straps, a lap strap and shoulder strap. **

Volvo provides anchors for 2-point diagonal belts in rear

1959
Volvo introduces 3-point belt in front as standard, in Sweden. New York considers and rejects bill to require seat belts in new cars sold in State

1960
New York again considers and again rejects seat belt bill

1961
SAE issues standard for U.S. seat belts (J4)

New York requires seat belt anchors at front outboard seat positions (effective January 1, 1962)

Wisconsin requires seat belts in front outboard seat positions

Standards Association of Australia issues standard for "safety belts and harness assemblies"

1962
Association for Aid to Crippled Children and Consumers Union sponsor landmark conference on "Passenger Car Design and Highway Safety" with occupant protection the sole theme

Six U.S. States require front outboard seat belt anchors

U.S. manufacturers provide seat belt anchors in front outboard as standard

1963
Volvo introduces 3-point belt in front as standard, in USA

Some U.S. manufacturers provide lap belts in front outboard positions (23 States have laws to requires belts in front, most effective 1/64)

SAE issues revised standard (J4a)

U.S. Congress passes P.L. 88-201 to allow Commerce Department to issue mandatory standards for seat belts sold in interstate commerce

1964
About half the U.S. States require seat belt anchorages at front outboard

Most U.S. manufactures provide lap belts at front outboard seat positions

Victoria and South Australia require seat belt anchorages at front outboard positions in new cars (either 2- or 3-point permitted)

1965
U.S. Commerce Dept. issues first seat belt standard (adopted SAE standard)

SAE issues revised standard (J4c)

All U.S. manufacturers providing lap belts in front outboard positions by this time

Some U.S. manufacturers provide automatic locking retractors (ALRs) in front seat belts

1966
Swedish regulations prohibit 2-point cross-chest diagonal belt at seats next to a door, and Y-type of 3-point belt altogether

U.S. Commerce Dept. issues revised seat belt standard (SAE j4c)

U.S. Congress passes P.L. 89-593, establishing National Highway Safety Bureau (now NHTSA)

Sports Car Club of America requires competing drivers to wear a shoulder harness as well as a lap belt (perhaps 1967, according to ref. 131)

1967
Society of Automotive Engineers study at UCLA leads to calls for two-point seat belts, highback seats and other occupant protection strategies for school buses.

U.S. manufacturers provide lap belts at rear outboard positions (MY 1967)

NHSB issues initial Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 208, 209, setting standards for lap and shoulder belts in front outboard positions, lap belts in all other positions (to take effect 1/1/68 and 3/67, respectively)

Volvo introduces 3-point belt in rear as standard, certain markets

Great Britain requires 3-points in front outboard positions

Australian standard for belt anchorages issued

South Australia requires seat belts (lap belts OK) at front outboard positions

1968
Volvo provides emergency locking retractors (ELRs) as standard in front, in Sweden

Great Britain requires retrofit of 3-point belts in front in MY 65 and newer cars

Many U.S. cars this MY provide ALRs.

1969
Sweden requires 3-point belts of approved type in front

Volvo provides 3-point belt in rear as standard, all markets

Mercedes-Benz adds 3-point belt in rear outboard seats as standard, all markets

Japan requires seat belts, front and rear

Australia requires 3-point belts, front outboard seats, all cars registered since 1965

1970
Sweden requires belts in rear (diagonal and static allowed; lap-only not approved)

Victoria, Australia requires 3-point belts, front and rear and mandates use, front and rear

1971
Volvo provides ELRs as standard in rear, all markets

NHTSA amends FMVSS 208 to require passive restraints in front, to be effective 1973

New South Wales requires use of seat belts

1972
NHTSA begins rulemaking leading to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 222: Occupant Seating Protection in School Buses

Volvo introduces adjustable B-post anchor point (not standard) to permit better fitting of shoulder portion of front lap/shoulder belts

Last Australian state law requiring belt use, front and rear, goes into effect 1/1

New Zealand requires belt use, front and rear

W. Germany requires 3-point belts, front and rear

NHTSA requires anchorages for (detachable) shoulder straps for rear outboard (FMVSS 210)

VW displays 3-point belt system with webbing pre-tensioner (Transport 72, Washington, D.C.)

1973
Mercedes-Benz provides ELR on 3-point belts in large ("S" class) cars

1974
Mercedes-Benz provides ELR on 3-point belts in midsize (300 Series) cars

Sweden requires ELR on belts in front seats

NHTSA requires 3-point belts (i.e., non-detachable shoulder straps) in front outboard positions

U.S. cars provide "vehicle-sensitive" ELRs in front outboard shoulder belts (lap belt portion has ALR)

First production tension relief device on U.S. vehicle.

1975
Sweden requires 3-point, ELR belts in rear; mandates front use by persons 15 and older

1977
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 222 "School Bus Passenger Seating and Occupant Protection" promulgated through rulemaking by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

1979
France mandates seat belts in rear: either 3 lap belts or 3-points at outboard positions and lap belt at center (most manufacturers choose later option)

New Zealand requires 3-point belts, front and rear outboard positions

1980
Mercedes-Benz provides driver side airbag and knee bolster, and pre-tensioner an all 3-point belts

1981
NHTSA rescinds requirements for eventual installation of passive restraint systems

1983
New Brunswick and Ontario make belt use mandatory, front and rear (front seat use mandatory in Ontario since 1/76)

Saab introduces 3-point in rear in all models sold in U.S. (had provided "for years" in Scandinavia and Europe)

1984
Austria makes belt use mandatory in rear for cars with vehicle approval after 1/84 (front seat use mandatory since 7/76)

W. Germany makes rear seat belt use mandatory in cars manufactured since 5/79 (mandatory use in front since 1/76)

Seven of Canada's 10 provinces by this time require occupants of moving vehicles to use whatever set belt system is available to them

1985
Nova Scotia makes belt use mandatory, front and rear

Norway makes rear seat belt use mandatory in vehicles registered after 1/84 (front seat use mandatory since 9/75)

New York makes belt use mandatory, front and rear (in rear for persons 10 years or older)

Mercedes-Benz introduces driver side air bag with knee bolster (in addition to pre-tensioned 3-point belts) in U.S. market

1987
New York becomes the first state in the nation to require seat belts on large school buses

1992
New Jersey becomes the second state in the nation to require seat belts on large school buses

1995
Great Britain requires seat belts on mini buses used in school transportation

1996
Economic Commission of Europe approves amendments to three directives relating to: [1] seat belts, [2] seat belt anchorages, and [3] seat strength for Minibuses and Medium and Large Coaches. Requires 3-point seat belts in all seating positions of minibuses (vehicles of less than 3.5 tonnes) and at least 2- point belts.

1998
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sends a report to Congress titled, "School Bus Safety: Safe Passage for America's Children," announcing a two-year research project to develop the next generation of occupant protection systems for school buses. The study is expected to be complete by the July 2000.

1999
Florida, Louisiana and California enact laws requiring improved occupant restraint systems on large school buses. Each state announces it will wait for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to complete an occupant protection study before deciding the exact system to use.

2001
The state of California extends implementation of AB 15 that required lap/shoulder belts on all new school buses purchased after January 1, 2002. The new law, SB 568, requires lap/shoulder restraint systems in new Type 2 small school buses by July 1, 2004, and lap/shoulder restraint systems in new Type 1 large school buses by July 1, 2005. The measures only affect new school buses procured after those dates. Retrofitting would not be permitted.

Source:The (National Transportation Safety) Board was unable to locate a single, complete history of seat belts and their use; the following has been pieced together from a number of sources (14, 33, 52, 69, 71, 78, 82, 89, 110, 131, and correspondence of Thomas Turbell, Chief Biomechanics Researcher, Swedish Road and Traffic Research Institute, to Safety Board, October 11, 1985). * "TRAFFIC SAFETY," National Safety Council, March/April 1998
 

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i thought the tucker was the first auto maker to install the seat belt.
 

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Don't know Tuckers seat belt history, but technically they weren't a production car because there were only 51 made.
 
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