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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 19. Public Safety
Agency 30. Department Of State Police
Chapter 70. Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Regulations
12/6/2021

19VAC30-70-290. Seat belts; definitions.

A. Definitions:

"Bus" means a motor vehicle with motive power designed to carry more than 10 persons.

"Designated seating position" means any plain view (looking down from the top) location intended by the manufacturer to provide seating accommodations while the vehicle is in motion, except auxiliary seating accommodations as temporary or folding jump seats.

"Front outboard designated seating positions" means those designated seating positions for the driver and outside front seat passenger (except for trucks which have the passenger seat nearest the passenger side door separated from the door by a passageway used to access the cargo area).

"GVWR" means Gross Vehicle Weight Rating as specified by the manufacturer (loaded weight of a single vehicle).

"Multi-purpose passenger vehicle" means any motor vehicle that is (i) designed to carry no more than 10 persons and (ii) constructed either on a truck chassis or with special features for occasional off-road use. This shall include a mini-van.

"Open-body type vehicle" means a vehicle having no occupant compartment top or an occupant compartment top that can be installed or removed by the user at his convenience.

"Passenger car" means a motor vehicle with motive power except a multipurpose passenger vehicle or motorcycle designed for carrying 10 persons or less.

"Rear outboard front facing designated seating positions" means those designated seating positions for passengers in outside front facing seats behind the driver and front passenger seat, except any designated seating position adjacent to a walk-way, that is located between the seat and the near side of the vehicle and is designated to allow access to more rearward seating positions.

"Truck" means a motor vehicle with motive power designed primarily for the transportation of property or special purpose equipment.

B. Passive restraint system.

1. Inflatable occupant restraint (commonly known as air bags).

2. Passive belt system (automatic deployment around the occupant after the occupant enters the vehicle and closes the door).

C. Inspect for and reject if:

1. Not of an approved type; (see approved equipment section for seat belts)

2. Installation not in compliance as follows:

a. All motor vehicle seat belt anchorages and attachment hardware must meet the standards and specifications set forth by the Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 209 (49 CFR 571.209), for such anchorages and attachment hardware;

b. Any questions concerning the proper installation of seat belt assemblies should be directed to the nearest Safety Division office.

3. Any 1963 and subsequent model vehicle, designed and licensed primarily for private passenger use, is not equipped with adult safety lap belts for at least two front seats or a combination of lap belts and shoulder straps or harnesses.

4. Any passenger car manufactured on or after January 1, 1968, is not equipped with lap/shoulder or harness seat belt assemblies located at the front outboard designated seating positions (except in convertibles) and lap seat belt assemblies located at all other designated seating positions.

5. Any convertible passenger car manufactured on or after January 1, 1968, does not have a lap seat belt assembly for each designated seating position.

6. Any passenger car manufactured on or after December 11, 1989, (except convertibles) not equipped with lap/shoulder seat belt assemblies located at all forward facing rear outboard designated seating positions.

a. Any passenger car manufactured on or after September 1, 1991, (including convertibles) is not equipped with a lap/shoulder seatbelt assembly located at all forward facing rear outboard designated seating positions.

b. Any truck, multipurpose vehicle, or bus (except school buses and motor homes) with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or less, manufactured on or after September 1, 1991, is not equipped with a lap/shoulder seatbelt assembly at all forward facing rear outboard designated seating positions.

c. Any of the heretofore described vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 1992, are not equipped with lap/shoulder seatbelt assembly located at all forward facing rear outboard designated seating positions on a readily removable seat.

7. Any of the following motor vehicles manufactured on or after July 1, 1971, do not have a lap seat belt assembly for each designated seating position:

a. Open-body type vehicles;

b. Walk-in van type trucks;

c. Trucks (GVWR in excess of 10,000 pounds);

d. Multipurpose passenger vehicles (GVWR in excess of 10,000 pounds).

8. Any buses manufactured on or after July 1, 1971, do not have a lap seat belt assembly for the driver's seating position.

9. All other motor vehicles manufactured on or after January 1, 1976, except those for which requirements are specified in subdivisions 3 and 4 of this subsection, do not have lap/shoulder or harness seat belt assemblies installed for each front outboard designated seating position. Those vehicles originally equipped and sold by the manufacturer with only a lap belt installed for each designated seating position in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (49 CFR Part 571) will be deemed to be in compliance with this section.

10. Any seat belt buckle, webbing, or mounting is cut, torn, frayed or no longer operates properly.

11. Any seat belt anchorage is loose, badly corroded, missing or not fastened to belt.

D. Safety belts (motorized). Enter the vehicle and close the door. Insert the key into the ignition and turn to the on position. A motor causes the shoulder belt to slide along a track (Figure 1) starting at the front body "A" pillar and moving rearward to its locked position at the "B" pillar. The seat belt warning indicator lamp should illuminate with the lap belt unbuckled. When the ignition is turned to the off position and the door is opened, the shoulder belt moves forward to the "A" pillar.

NOTE: Do not reject if the motor is inoperative and the shoulder belt is permanently "locked" at pillar "B."

Description: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/RISImages/399201759042VSPRE_files/image001.gif

E. Air bag and air bag readiness light.

Inspect for and reject if:

1. Any defects in the air bag system are noted by the air bag readiness light or otherwise indicated;

2. The air bag has been deployed and has not been replaced (and is not deactivated because of a medical or other exemption and a notice is posted to indicate that it has been deactivated);

3. Any part of the air bag system has been disabled or removed from the vehicle; or

4. If the air bag indicator fails to light or stays on continuously.

NOTE: Checking the air bag readiness light. Turn the ignition key to the on position; the air bag readiness light will indicate normal operation by lighting for six to eight seconds, then turning off. A system malfunction is indicated by the flashing or continuous illumination of the readiness light or failure of the light to turn on.

NOTE: Any vehicle not originally manufactured with an air bag readiness light shall not be rejected for not having this item.

Statutory Authority

§ 46.2-1165 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR545-01-07 § 29, eff. May 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 8, eff. February 9, 1994; Volume 21, Issue 4, eff. September 22, 2004; Volume 24, Issue 8, eff. March 1, 2008; Volume 28, Issue 24, eff. August 1, 2012; Volume 35, Issue 1, eff. October 4, 2018.

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