NHTSA will not reconsider bus safety belts rule

November 4, 2010

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Oct. 29 denied certain petitions to reconsider a final rule on school bus safety belts and crash protection.

On Oct. 21, 2008, NHTSA published a final rule (.pdf file) that upgraded standards for school bus occupant protection requirements for passenger seating and crash protection, as well as safety belt assembly anchorages.

The agency received petitions for reconsideration relating to standards for safety features of small bus seats versus large bus seats. According to responses (.pdf file) published in the Oct. 29 Federal Register, NHTSA denied most of the requests for reconsideration, some of which questioned standards for safety features of small buses versus those for large buses.

The agency also made slight changes to the regulatory text from 2008 on standards for how the agency will measure the height of school bus passenger torso belts.

The rule is scheduled to go into effect April 27, 2011. Petitions for reconsideration must be received by Dec. 13.