OTTAWA -- All new cars sold in Canada as of September 2015 will come equipped with shoulder safety belts for the rear centre seat, a change that's part of an alignment of auto-safety regulations in Canada and the United States.
New crash-test standards are also being adopted that could both improve automotive safety and save carmakers millions of dollars, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said Thursday as she took part in announcing the changes.
"Seatbelts do save lives," Aglukkaq said. "Improving (seatbelts) based on new tests and whatnot is important and we need to continue to do that."
On top of adding a mandatory requirement for lap and shoulder seat belts in the rear centre seat, new crash-test standards are being adopted.
Carmakers will have to use female- and child-sized dummies in their crash tests, says Transport Canada.
Those tests must also be conducted at higher speeds for front-end crashes and improvements will be required in airbag-deployment testing.
Canada has good auto-safety regulations now, but more can always be done, Transport Minister Denis Lebel told the news conference at a department testing facility in Gatineau, Que.
-- The Canadian Press