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Weinberger Issues Seat Belt Directive

December 10, 1985

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger has issued a new directive making the use of seat belts mandatory while traveling in government-owned cars or driving on military installations.

The directive, issued Nov. 15 and released Monday, expands on rules already followed at many bases around the country.

The directive states that ″all personnel″ riding ″in a DoD motor vehicle shall wear safety belts ... whether on or off a DoD installation.″

Furthermore, any individual traveling on a military base, even if using a privately owned or rented car, must also buckle up, the directive states.

The directive, which is ″effective immediately,″ also bans the use of portable headphones or earphones while driving a motor vehicle or ″jogging, walking, bicycling or skating on roads and streets on DoD installations.″

Lt. Col. Pete Wyro, a Pentagon spokesman, said the directive was the outgrowth of a yearlong effort to upgrade the department’s traffic safety program. About 14 states have adopted mandatory seat belt laws in recent years in a bid to reduce traffic fatalities.