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Old 05-15-2012, 05:16 AM   #1
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hauling 3 in the back

Got a problem - my young daughter wants to take 2 friends on vacation, plus the wife unit and me, makes 5.

The girls are small, and would physically fit back there.....is it legal to add a lapbelt for the 3rd rear seat occupant?

I think I know the answer....

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Old 05-15-2012, 05:35 AM   #2
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I remember reading a thread a while back where someone took a lap belt from an XJ and put it in the middle of the seat in their TJ. As far as legal goes I would think that as long as they were in a seat belt you should be fine. Just a guess on the legality. I would definitely check my state laws before trying it.

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Old 05-15-2012, 05:39 AM   #3
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Do you have to have a seatbelt in the back? I believe in AL it's only the front occupants that have to be wearing a seatbelt.

Here's your state law for seatbelts, it looks like they have to have them

http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/pdotforms.../chapter_5.pdf
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:33 AM   #4
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I added a seatbelt from Autozone. Very simple and when I got pulled over, while I didn't ask the officer if it was OK that I did that, he did check that they were all buckled and didn't mention that again.
I'm in IN, so laws and leo's may vary in your state.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:43 AM   #5
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I am not sure about legality or not but would check with my insurance carrier for liability if something was to happen.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:24 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by SinfulDragon View Post
I added a seatbelt from Autozone. Very simple and when I got pulled over, while I didn't ask the officer if it was OK that I did that, he did check that they were all buckled and didn't mention that again.
I'm in IN, so laws and leo's may vary in your state.
I bought one from Autozone also, bolted it through the floor board and good to go.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:36 AM   #7
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I'm going to say that it is not legal in PA. No, I don't know 100 percent but you are modifying a vehicles capacity and not doing it in the same matter as the original equipment. Even if you installed the seatbelts the proper way ( just bolting them into the floor boards is not the proper way ) there is no crash testing on them and you are still exceeding the maximum capacity of the vehicle. And forget about the lawsuits and criminal charges if something god forbid happened while you were driving. I know that if I saw you I would pull you over and impound your vehicle for putting a child in danger by having them in the middle but that's because I know vehicles, not very police officer does. Just my 2 cents
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:41 AM   #8
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I have my seat belt bolted to the same bolts as the other seat belts are bolted into. That way I know it is safe. Safety is priority #1.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:01 PM   #9
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I have my seat belt bolted to the same bolts as the other seat belts are bolted into. That way I know it is safe. Safety is priority #1.
But the anchor points for the original seat belts were never certified for a second belt so it will not meet FMVSS.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:09 PM   #10
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I have my seat belt bolted to the same bolts as the other seat belts are bolted into. That way I know it is safe. Safety is priority #1.
I did the same.

For you others...
We could debate this all day as to what is legal and not legal in your state, but regardless....having a 3rd seat belt in the back seat is better then having an unbuckled loose kid back there.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:11 PM   #11
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Key words: Young Daughter. So I'm guessing under 10.

My suggestion? She brings ONE friend. I know if something happened to my kid under your charge because you stuffed 3 kids in the back I'd want to end you. Be smart and don't compromise safety, especially when it comes to children.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:33 PM   #12
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But the anchor points for the original seat belts were never certified for a second belt so it will not meet FMVSS.
Well la-tee-dah that it wouldn't meet FMVSS, that is for manufacturers. He's talking about doing the right thing by adding another seat belt for a little girl. It's going to be fine and far safer than if he didn't strap her in. And if you think about it, seat belt mount standards are designed with big full-size adults in mind. If you don't think that mount would be sufficient to add a little girl, I believe you should re-think that.

I used to have to haul around Boy Scouts when I was a Boy Scout leader and that's exactly what I did for those times I needed to carry three smaller size Boy Scouts in the back seat of my TJ.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:53 PM   #13
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I'm going to say that it is not legal in PA. No, I don't know 100 percent but you are modifying a vehicles capacity and not doing it in the same matter as the original equipment. Even if you installed the seatbelts the proper way ( just bolting them into the floor boards is not the proper way ) there is no crash testing on them and you are still exceeding the maximum capacity of the vehicle. And forget about the lawsuits and criminal charges if something god forbid happened while you were driving. I know that if I saw you I would pull you over and impound your vehicle for putting a child in danger by having them in the middle but that's because I know vehicles, not very police officer does. Just my 2 cents
Like I said, state to state, your local LEOs may very.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:03 PM   #14
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I'm going to say that it is not legal in PA. No, I don't know 100 percent but you are modifying a vehicles capacity and not doing it in the same matter as the original equipment. Even if you installed the seatbelts the proper way ( just bolting them into the floor boards is not the proper way ) there is no crash testing on them and you are still exceeding the maximum capacity of the vehicle. And forget about the lawsuits and criminal charges if something god forbid happened while you were driving. I know that if I saw you I would pull you over and impound your vehicle for putting a child in danger by having them in the middle but that's because I know vehicles, not very police officer does. Just my 2 cents
Do you think crash testing was done on all the Jeeps with 4" lifts and 33: tire combinations? LOL While I know what you are trying to say, the reality is that what you are saying goes way beyond just seatbelts.

I personally would trust a grade 8 bolt(s) holding in a lap belt long before many other typical Jeep modifications.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:11 PM   #15
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One more thing to note... for those who are so caught up in things like FMVSS and other equally esoteric things, what do you say to those installing 5-point racing harnesses who use the mounts provided with them? They include a small round backing plate that goes under the floor and the mounting point is simply a drilled hole in the floor backed up by that little backing plate. That doesn't exactly meet FMVSS either now does it?

And for those cops who would pull over someone who had added a 3rd seat belt for a little girl, would you also pull over Jeeps that have 5-pt. seat belts and shoulder harnesses because they weren't a factory option or specifically approved by FMVSS?

This whole thing is getting made beyond stupid by a few hand-wringers. Adding a third seat belt so three little girls can be held into the back seat shouldn't be made into a frigging federal crime as some are trying to do here. Come on people, a little common sense here?
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:16 PM   #16
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Someone else was smart in previously posting you should check with your insurance provider. Go ahead and install it if you do plan to have three in the back seat - it is definitely the logical and safest thing to do. I would seriously doubt there is much likelihood a LEO would ever cite you for that if all three were buckled in. But, if god forbid you were in an accident, and your insurance provider decided to hold you personally liable for the injuries of the passenger who was in the middle seat with the aftermarket belt, or worse, waive your coverage completely for all passenger injuries because of some fine print exception which states any failure to properly follow safety protocol excludes you from coverage (or something of that nature), that would be horrible. I think the insurance question is the biggest concern here.

Either way - good luck!
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:30 PM   #17
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I got stopped for having 3 adults in the back seat of my TJ... Well there may have been more than 3 back there, but he asked me how many belts I had and told me to never go over it again. All depends on the Cop and state laws.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:44 PM   #18
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One more thing to note... for those who are so caught up in things like FMVSS and other equally esoteric things, what do you say to those installing 5-point racing harnesses who use the mounts provided with them? They include a small round backing plate that goes under the floor and the mounting point is simply a drilled hole in the floor backed up by that little backing plate. That doesn't exactly meet FMVSS either now does it?

And for those cops who would pull over someone who had added a 3rd seat belt for a little girl, would you also pull over Jeeps that have 5-pt. seat belts and shoulder harnesses because they weren't a factory option or specifically approved by FMVSS?

This whole thing is getting made beyond stupid by a few hand-wringers. Adding a third seat belt so three little girls can be held into the back seat shouldn't be made into a frigging federal crime as some are trying to do here. Come on people, a little common sense here?
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:44 PM   #19
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Someone else was smart in previously posting you should check with your insurance provider. Go ahead and install it if you do plan to have three in the back seat - it is definitely the logical and safest thing to do. I would seriously doubt there is much likelihood a LEO would ever cite you for that if all three were buckled in. But, if god forbid you were in an accident, and your insurance provider decided to hold you personally liable for the injuries of the passenger who was in the middle seat with the aftermarket belt, or worse, waive your coverage completely for all passenger injuries because of some fine print exception which states any failure to properly follow safety protocol excludes you from coverage (or something of that nature), that would be horrible. I think the insurance question is the biggest concern here.

Either way - good luck!
Probably a good time to also ask one's insurance providor about quick discos, the death wobble issue from the big ol' gumbo mudders, and the fact that I need ~400yards for my brakes to stop me from my massive cool tires.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:59 PM   #20
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When I was a kid riding in the back of a truck was considered standard procedure. Reckon we ought we ought to regulate hayrides too
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:02 PM   #21
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When I was a kid riding in the back of a truck was considered standard procedure. Reckon we out we out to regulate hayrides too
You can bet some here would outlaw hayrides unless equipped with seatbelts if they could.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:06 PM   #22
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/\ agreed
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:07 PM   #23
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Rent a mini van...
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:08 PM   #24
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Anybody find it strange that School Buses dont have seatbelts at all ?
Or I can ride my motorcycle with no helmet, but yet we are worried about much less worse.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:15 PM   #25
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I vote this thread be "locked"...it's not going anywhere useful anymore.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:16 PM   #26
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[Rant] Welcome to a world too full of hand-wringers who will try to legislate the steering wheel out of existance as too dangerous once Google's automatic cars become ready for the world. We are on a long slow march towards everything being legislated and regulated, mark my words. You think not? There is a town back east that recently made it illegal to text on a cell phone while walking. WTF? Next they'll make it illegal to drink water or a coke or eat a snack while driving. [/RANT]
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:18 PM   #27
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And once everyone has a google automatic car, they really will be able to control everything, speeding, off road, three kids in the back according to the pressure plates but only two buckled, now the car won't even start.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:44 PM   #28
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Whatever... Do what you like...
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:58 PM   #29
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I personally do not care what anyone does with them and their lives, but if it is my kid i do what needs to be done to protect them. Now when having someone else's kid under my watch, I also do what ever is possible to protect me from any sue happy parents. Too many folks try to get rich and keep up with the Jones through lawsuits versus hard, honest work.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:04 PM   #30
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Whatever... Do what you like...
It's not "do what we like", it's simply using a little mature common sense that some people won't give others credit for having. I'm EXTREMELY safety conscious. As a 14 year old, I even made my late dad install seat belts in our then-new '62 Oldsmobile Starfire before we left on a long road trip to Texas. In those days, new cars didn't come with seat belts but even then at that young age I knew they were a good idea so I insisted on them before we left for Texas from California.

I installed a third seat belt in the back of my TJ for the occasional use by a young Boy Scout and I had no doubt that center Boy Scout was held in as securely as the factory outboard seat belts did for the other two Boy Scouts. If there was any doubt as to the safety of that third seat belt I added, I absolutely would not have added it. Period.

The TJ's back seat is more than wide enough for three little girls and it's not brain surgery or difficult to install a third seat belt that can safely hold that third little girl in. Not to mention that the law only specifies that each occupant must have their own seat belt, the law doesn't say additional or replacement seat belts may not be added by the vehicle owner.

For those who don't think it's possible to install seat belts that are up to the task and are safe, then I don't know what to tell you.

As I said above... Come on people, a little common sense here?

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