SEJONG, Nov. 21 (Korea Bizwire) – The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced Sunday that a new revision to United Nations regulations will make it mandatory for carmakers to include a seat belt warning light or alarm for all seats in passenger vehicles and small trucks (up to 3.5 tons) as early as 2019.
The revision was passed on November 16 in Geneva, during the 170th UNECE World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29), said an official.
According to the ministry, the South Korean government has been working on a more effective seat belt alarm for years, as part of efforts to increase seat belt use rates for passengers riding in the back of a vehicle. Based on Korean research, government officials suggested during a 2014 UN conference that international regulations be revised to expand the requirement for seat belt warning devices to all seats.
Following the suggestion, Korean officials cooperated with official bodies from the E.U. and Japan to come up with the new guidelines, which were officially accepted with majority consent at this month’s WP.29.
The ministry also plans to revise domestic laws and implement its mandate in line with the UN revision’s execution, which is expected to apply to new vehicle models from September 1 of 2019 and newly-manufactured vehicles of existing models from September 1, 2021.
“We believe the new warning system will increase seat belt use rates from the current 20 percent to up to 70 percent in Korea, reducing the annual number of deaths from car accidents by at least 100,” said a ministry official.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)