General Motors might be in the middle of a recall crisis, but safety advancements for new cars is still top of mind. In coordination with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Click It or Ticket campaign, the automaker is announcing a new, optional Belt Assurance System on some of its fleet models for later this year.
The system ensures that both the driver and front passenger are wearing their seat belts by not letting the vehicle shift out of Park if it detects that they aren't buckled. GM spokesperson Jennifer Ecclestone tells Autoblog that the system uses the same sensor as the airbag to detect whether someone is in the seat. The vehicle can still turn on, just not drive.

The feature will be offered as an option in 2015 model year examples of the Chevrolet Cruze, Colorado, Silverado and GMC Sierra. However, this won't be a option that normal buyers will be able to order. "We are rolling it out with a small group of fleet customers first," said Ecclestone. The fleets will be able to spec the Belt Assurance System for no additional cost beginning in the third or fourth quarter of 2014. With a positive response, Ecclestone indicated GM could offer the technology more widely.

According to NHTSA, 87 percent of drivers already wear seat belts as of 2013, but they are still the best way to save lives in a car accident. Of course, we can totally see how this system could become a nuisance if the sensors malfunction. What do you think? Is it a good idea to not let a vehicle move unless the front passengers are belted? Let us know in the poll below, and scroll down to read all of the details about it in the company's release.

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GM and OnStar Aim to Help Buckle Up America
NHTSA's 'Click it or Ticket' campaign opens amid rise in unbelted deaths

DETROIT – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's 'Click it or Ticket' public safety campaign opens this year amid the first increase in fatalities in five years for unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants.

General Motors and OnStar are joining in the effort to get people to buckle up whenever they're in a vehicle.

According to NHTSA, wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. The Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization aims to continue to help raise the national seat belt use rate beyond the estimated 87 percent in 2013.

In support of the Click it or Ticket campaign, GM is announcing plans to launch a new Belt Assurance System on select fleet vehicles later this year. This belt assurance system was developed by GM to help ensure the driver and right front passenger are belted prior to the vehicle being driven. This system does not allow shifting from "park" until the driver and right front seat belts are buckled.

"Customer safety is on the forefront of everything we do. It is essential for the safety of our customers' and all drivers' safety to develop the habit of buckling up each and every time they get into their vehicles," said Jeff Boyer, vice president, GM global vehicle safety. "We continue to support this program by NHTSA to remind our drivers to buckle up each time they start their vehicles while also developing other safety features like our Belt Assurance System."

According to NHTSA, seat belts saved an estimated 12,174 people from dying in 2012. From 2008 – 2012 seat belts saved nearly 63,000 lives.

OnStar will be supporting the effort by reminding subscribers who press the blue OnStar button for non-emergency requests to "Remember to stay buckled up." The reminder will take place throughout the duration of NHTSA's Click it or Ticket campaign today through June 1.

General Motors applauds the efforts of law enforcement officers and safety officials who are mobilizing across the nation May 19 through June 1 to enforce safety belt use laws in order to save lives and prevent injuries, Boyer said.

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About General Motors Co.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at

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About OnStar LLC
OnStar, LLC (OnStar) is a wholly owned subsidiary of GM Holdings LLC ("GM"). Along with its affiliate Shanghai OnStar Telematics Co. Ltd (a joint venture involving OnStar, Shanghai General Motors Co., Ltd (SGM) and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC)), OnStar serves more than 6.5 million subscribers in the U.S, Canada and China. OnStar is a provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology and is available on 39 GM branded 2013 model year vehicles. OnStar's key services include automatic crash response, stolen vehicle assistance, remote door unlock, turn-by-turn navigation, vehicle diagnostics and hands-free calling.

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