WASHINGTON (CN) – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rules upgrading school bus passenger crash protection requirements will remain essentially the same after the agency denied most requests in petitions for reconsideration.
School bus manufacturers Blue Bird Corporation and IC Bus, LLC; seat manufacturers C.E. White Company and M2K, LLC; and the Marietta City School District of Ohio petitioned primarily for changes in the rules that would have excluded the companies from having to comply with them.
In response to the petitions, the agency has made slight changes to the October 2008 final rule to clarify it.
The agency has made clearer the procedure specifying how it will measure the height of school bus passenger torso belts, and clarifies that a requirement that seat belts be integral to the passenger seat (a requirement adopted to reduce the likelihood of passengers getting injured by or tangled in loose belts) also applies to seats that have wheelchair positions or side emergency doors behind them, even if the seats are in the last row of vehicles.
The agency also slightly revises the procedure for testing the self-latching requirement for school bus seat cushions to make the language more consistent with that of a pre-existing seat cushion retention test in the standard.
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