Prepare to Buckle Up Whether You Like It or Not

General Motors' new 'Belt Assurance System' safety feature will practically enforce fastening your seat belts before driving off by not allowing shifting from 'park' to 'drive' until the driver and front passenger seat belts are buckled up.
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Photo: Volvo Trucks
Doesn't it sound pretty similar to what the U.S. Government mandated back in 1974? If your memory serves you well, American drivers revolted in frustration and the development of the then groundbreaking seat belt starter interlock feature was scrapped altogether.

Not intimidated by the lessons history teaches us, the Detroit manufacturer wants to have a go at bringing this idea back by offering the 'Belt Assurance System' as a free option on a limited number of models. These will be the 2015 model year Chevrolet Cruze, Colorado, Silverado and the GMC Sierra pickup truck.

According to the carmaker, the safety feature may spread across the entire General Motors lineup only if customer feedback turns out to be favorable. But there are some major differences between the 1970s version and the all-new system. For starters, the 'Belt Assurance System' utilizes a suite of pressure sensors fitted in the car's front seats that detect if the driver and/or passenger are seated.

Based on weight, the software is programmed to turn the airbags on or off. However, if the driver and/or the passenger aren't latched properly, the vehicle won't move because the brakes will be engaged and the transmission won't allow you to swap 'park' for 'drive'.

We know what most of you are thinking right now - "Like the Nanny state wasn't enough, now we have to endure a restrictive Nanny car manufacturer as well." However, a safety belt isn't just a means for not getting a ticket, but the number one automotive safety feature capable of saving your life in case of an accident.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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