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NHTSA Seeks Public Comment On Vehicle Roof Crush Testing

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

NHTSA Seeks Public Comment On Vehicle Roof Crush Testing

October 18, 2001

NHTSA 54-01
Thursday, October 18, 2001
Contact: Tim Hurd
Tel. No.: (202) 366-9550

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today issued a formal request for public comment on changes to procedures for testing the strength of vehicle roof structures under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 216, "Roof Crush Resistance." NHTSA is responding to a petition for rulemaking and public interest in the topic based on the changing mix of passenger vehicles on the road.

"The United States was the first country in the world to set a roof crush standard, and we must assure that it reflects current designs and vehicle trends in the United States," said Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta.

Roof crush intrusion is estimated to occur in about 7,000 of the 26,000 rollover crashes a year, potentially contributing to serious or fatal occupant injury. The current roof crush standard became effective in 1973, and has been modified only slightly since then. In its notice of request for comments, NHTSA has posed multiple questions covering all aspects of current test procedures, alternative dynamic tests, and ways to limit roof intrusion.

"We expect that our request for comments will provide new insights leading to better occupant protection in rollover crashes," said Dr. Jeffrey W. Runge, the NHTSA administrator.

Those wishing to have their comments considered must provide them to NHTSA within 45 days of publication of the request for comments in the Federal Register,/i>, when the docket, NHTSA-1999-5572, Notice 2, will close. After that, the agency will review the comments to determine what further actions should be taken.

Comments may be submitted in writing to the Department of Transportation's Docket Management Section, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street S.W., Washington, DC 20590. It is requested, though not required, that two copies of the comments be provided. The docket section is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Members of the public who are providing comments should cite the docket number: NHTSA-1999-5572, Notice 2.

Alternatively, comments may be submitted electronically by logging onto the docket management system website at http://dms.dot.gov. Click on "Help" or "Electronic Submission" to obtain instructions for filing the document electronically. The electronic docket number is 5572.

The notice of request for comments is at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/crashworthy/RoofCrResist/FMVSS216Notice.html.


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