Front seat lap belt anchors became mandatory in 1962. I can't find a
reference as to when front seat lap belts themselves became mandatory,
but it was later than 1962 and earlier than 1968. 3-points in the
front became mandatory in 1968. Airbags *or* "mouse belts* were
mandatory after April 1, 1989. Not sure whether mouse belts still
meet the requirements for passive restraint or not, but after a few
years pretty much everyone had gone to airbags.
I don't think '63 is right. ISTR Studebaker advertisements of the day
touting the fact that they had seat belts as standard equipment, which
would seem to imply that they didn't have to. I'm thinking that it
was either '64 or '65 when they became mandatory.
I don't care enough to look it up, but IIRC, they had to have the
anchors somewhere in 62-63 era. Might have been a calendar year running
change, so early model year 63s might not have had them. Idea was people
who wanted them could have dealer install the kit. IIRC, CY 64 or 65 was
first year for standard front lap belts on all cars. I <think> 67 on up
had the anchors for the shoulder belts, but they were not installed as
standard until 69 or 70, somewhere in there. The first couple years, you
had to buckle the shoulder belt separately, so almost nobody used them,
and they collected grunge bigtime in their little caddies (no
retractors) up at the edge of the roof.
They finally started fitting proper 3-point belts in 72, or maybe 73.
Somewhere in 70s, they also started including anchors for rear shoulder
belts, but again they were a dealer option until just a few years ago.
I may (probably) have the years wrong, but the sequence is correct. Some
new models probably met standards a little earlier. (If they knew a new
standard was kicking in following year, not worth tooling and certifying
a 1-year-only design.)
Agree with previous poster about the motor-mouse belts. Idiotic concept,
and it crossed some otherwise-interesting cars off my shopping list at
the time. Life is too short to put up with crap like that every time you
get in and out of a car.
It may not have had belts, but the mounting points were there. Shoulder
belts were required starting in 1968, but they were separate from the
lap belts and were usually left tucked away in the headliner.
The requirement was for cars manufactured in or after 1968; I had a '68
model built in December '67 without the shoulder belts.
Starting in 1974, the familiar three-point seat belts were required.
Also in 74, an interlock was required that would not allow the engine to
start unless the seat belts were fastened. That law was very unpopular
and was repealed sometime in '75.
On Sun, 10 Apr 2011 13:33:34 -0400, Kurt Ullman wrote:
Check local state law, too - IIRC anything after 1965 up here in MN has
to have belts fitted (my truck's a '67 and has lap-belts for the two
'outer' passengers, but there's no center belt for the middle of the
bench seat - so I think that technically I can't have three people in it).
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