NHTSA Seeks Global Harmony

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking feedback from the public regarding its preliminary recommendations for the first motor vehicle safety technical regulations to be considered under the United Nations/Economic Commission for Europe 1998 Global Agreement.

The 1998 Global Agreement calls for the establishment of global technical regulations regarding the safety, emissions, energy conservation, and theft prevention of vehicles, equipment, and parts. The agreement contains procedures for establishing global regulations either by harmonizing existing rules or by drawing up new ones. The United States became the first nation to sign the agreement.

“The establishment of global technical regulations is expected to lead to a significant degree of convergence in motor vehicles regulations at the regional and national levels,” NHTSA writes in the July 18 Federal Register.

NHTSA’s priorities for the Global Agreement include head restraints, test dummies, car tires, signal lamp visibility, and vehicle classification. Vehicle classification is important, NHTSA says, because of the different ways countries look at the same vehicle. For example, vans and SUVs are commonly considered passenger cars outside the United States and Canada.

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