DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
[67 PA. CODE CH. 171]
Intent to Amend Regulations
The Department of Transportation (Department) hereby gives notice of its intent to amend 67 Pa. Code Chapter 171 (relating to school bus and school vehicle equipment standards). The Department has identified the following sections within Chapter 171 that are inconsistent with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) for school buses and require immediate clarification:
* In 67 Pa. Code § 171.50(b) (relating to doors and emergency exits), the first sentence states that ''Each school bus shall comply with FMVSS No. 217.'' This defines the Department's original intent; however, § 171.50(b) goes on to recite the minimum requirements to the incorrect subsection (49 CFR 571.217 S.5.2.1) that applies to all buses except school buses. It is the Department's intent to amend § 171.50(b) to adopt the minimum requirements for school buses outlined in 49 CFR 571.217 S5.2.3.
* In 67 Pa. Code § 171.68(b) (relating to seat belts), for the driver and all other designated seating positions, the first sentence states that ''Every Type A school bus shall be equipped with an integral Type 2 seat belt assembly at the driver's designated seating position and at the right front passenger's designated seating position, if any.'' At the time this regulation was amended, it was the Department's intent to recite the minimum requirement outlined in FMVSS No. 208, which only requires Type A1 school buses (GVWR < 10,000 pounds) to be equipped with an integral Type 2 seat belt assembly. It is the Department's intent to amend § 171.68(b) to adopt the minimum requirements for school buses outlined in 49 CFR 571.208 S.22.214.171.124.
* In 67 Pa. Code § 171.69(6) (relating to seats and crash barriers), the regulation states that ''Each school bus passenger seat shall have a minimum seat back height of 24 inches measured from the top of the seat cushion.'' This requirement is not consistent with FMVSS No. 222 because the Federal standard begins the measurement of the seat back height from the Seating Reference Point (SRP), not the top of the seat cushion. To eliminate any unnecessary confusion relating to whether an acceptable school bus seat is used, it is the Department's intent to amend § 171.69(6) to adopt the minimum requirements outlined in 49 CFR 571.222 S.5.1.2.
* In 67 Pa. Code § 171.74a(3) (relating to the crossing control arm), the regulation states that ''The crossing control arm shall extend a minimum of 60 inches from the front bumper when in the extended position.'' To eliminate any unnecessary confusion relating to whether the length of the crossing control arm meets the minimum standards, it is the Department's intent to amend § 171.74a(3) to include language to clarify that the measurement of the crossing control arm should begin at the pivot point.
The Department is developing a proposed rulemaking to formally effectuate these amendments. It is anticipated that the proposed rulemaking will be published for formal public comment in the fall of this year. The purpose of this notice is to provide outreach to the regulated and affected communities during the development of the rulemaking. The contact person for questions or concerns relating to this notice of intent to amend Chapter 171 is R. Scott Shenk, Manager, Driver Safety Division, Bureau of Driver Licensing, 1101 South Front Street, 4th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17104, (717) 787-2977.
ALLEN D. BIEHLER, P. E.,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 09-1557. Filed for public inspection August 21, 2009, 9:00 a.m.]
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