Federal Agency Extends Effective Date Of School Bus Body Joint Strength Rule

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a final rule Nov 5, 1998, that amended Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #221, School Bus Body Joint Strength, and announced an effective date of May 5, 2000, for those amendments. In a final rule published March 6, 2000, NHTSA delayed the effective date of this final rule to May 5, 2001, and corrected a typographical error in the November 1998 final rule. NHTSA now has extended the effective date of the final rule published Nov 5, 1998, until June 1, 2002.

Any petitions for reconsideration of this final rule were to have been received by NHTSA before June 4, 2001.

The purpose of FMVSS #221, School Bus Body Joint Strength, (49 CFR Section 571.221) is to reduce deaths and injuries resulting from structural collapse of school bus bodies during crashes. Standard #221 establishes requirements for the strength of the “body panel joints” in school bus bodies.

For technical issues, phone Charles Hott, Office of Crash-worthiness Standards, at 202-366-0247. His fax number is 202-493-2739. For legal issues, phone Dorothy Nakama, Office of the Chief Counsel, at 202-366-2992 or fax her at 202-366-3820.

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