WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) related to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 217, which establishes provisions for bus emergency exits and window retention and release.

In response to a petition for rulemaking from the School Bus Manufacturers’ Technical Council, NHTSA proposes to amend the standard to specify that the exterior handle for school bus rear emergency exit doors may be located opposite the door hinges. (The standard currently specifies that the exterior handle for rear emergency exit doors be located in the middle of the door.)

The NPRM would also clarify FMVSS No. 217 in regard to the number of force applications that are required to open a window or roof emergency exit. NHTSA believes that the specifications would be clearer if the requirements for releasing the release mechanisms are separated from the requirements for opening the exit.

For instance, for exits with one release mechanism, the exit would require two force applications to open. (The standard currently indicates that the “mechanism” requires two force applications to open.) For exits with two release mechanisms, there would be a total of three required force applications to open the exit: one force application would be applied to each of the two mechanisms to release them, and another force would be applied to open the exit.

The NPRM is currently available for comments. To view the full report and/or submit comments, click here.

The deadline to submit comments is Feb. 26, 2010.   


Staff Writer

Staff Writer