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DOT/NHTSA RIN: 2127-AK56 Publication ID: Fall 2011 
Title: +Require Installation of Seat Belts on Motorcoaches, FMVSS No. 208 
Abstract: This rulemaking would require the installation of lap/shoulder belts in newly manufactured motorcoaches. Specifically, this rulemaking would establish a new definition for motorcoaches in 49 CFR part 571.3. It would also amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208 "Occupant Crash Protection" to require the installation of lap/shoulder belts at all driver and passenger seating positions. It would also require the installation of lap/shoulder belts at driver seating positions of large school buses in FMVSS no. 208. This rulemaking responds, in part, to recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board for improving bus safety. 
Agency: Department of Transportation(DOT)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 49 CFR 571.208; 49 CFR 571.3 
Legal Authority: 49 USC 30111; 49 USC 30115; 49 USC 30117; 49 USC 30166; 49 USC 322; Delegation of Authority at 49 CFR 1.50 
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: Over the 10-year period between 1999 and 2008, there were 54 fatal motorcoach crashes resulting in 186 fatalities. During this period, on average, 16 fatalities have occurred annually to occupants of motorcoaches in crash and rollover events, with about 2 of these fatalities being drivers and 14 being passengers. However, while motorcoach transportation overall is safe, when serious crashes of this vehicle type do occur, they can cause a significant number of fatal or serious injuries during a single event, particularly when occupants are ejected.

Summary of the Legal Basis: Section 30111, title 49 of the U.S.C., states that the Secretary shall prescribe motor vehicle safety standards.

Alternatives: In addition to the proposed installation of lap/shoulder belts in all passenger seating positions on motorcoaches, the Agency is also pursuing improvements to motorcoach rollover structural integrity, fire safety, electronic stability control, and emergency egress to improve occupant protection. Our detailed plans for improving motorcoach passenger protection can be found in NHTSA's Approach to Motorcoach Safety 2007 and the Department of Transportation 2009 Motorcoach Action Plan (Docket No. NHTSA-2007-28793), as well as the Agency's Vehicle Safety and Fuel Economy Rulemaking and Research Priority Plan 2011 to 2013 (Docket No. NHTSA-2009-0108). The Agency also alternatively evaluated proposing the installation of lap belts in all passenger seating positions on motorcoaches and is seeking comments on the issue of retrofitting older motorcoaches with seat belts.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: The anticipated total costs are expected to be $25.8 million for the 2,000 new motorcoaches produced each year, plus added fuel costs. The Agency estimates the proposal has the potential to save 1 to 8 fatalities and 144 to 794 non-fatal injuries annually assuming a range of seat belt use between 15 and 83 percent. The cost per equivalent life saved at a 7 percent discount rate is estimated to range from $1.8 to $9.9 million, based on an assumed seat belt use rate between 83 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

Risks: The Agency believes there are no substantial risks to this rulemaking, and that only beneficial outcomes will occur as the industry moves to reduce injuries of motorcoach occupants.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  08/18/2010  75 FR 50958 
NPRM Comment Period End  10/18/2010   
Final Rule  07/00/2012   
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of international interest.
RIN Information URL: www.regulations.gov   Public Comment URL: www.regulations.gov  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
David Sutula
Safety Standards Engineer
Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE,
Washington, DC 20590
Phone:202-366-3273
Fax:202-366-4329
Email: david.sutula@dot.gov

 
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