Advocates Push for Rear Seatbelt Laws
They reduce fatalities by up to 73%
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jun 15, 2009 9:50 AM CDT
Only 21 states require adult passengers to wear seatbelts in the back seat.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Highway safety advocates are pushing for a federal transportation bill to include incentives for states to make safety belts mandatory for all passengers, but opponents say the move would set a precedent for the government to tell citizens what to do, USA Today reports. Though studies show that rear seatbelts reduce fatalities for all passengers, only 21 US states require them by law.

"When it comes to my own life, I believe I should be able to make that kind of decision myself," says the National Motorists Association president. A recent survey shows that rear seatbelt use is more prevalent in states that require it, and that wearing belts reduces fatalities by 44% in passenger cars and 73% in larger vans and SUVs.