JUPITER, FLORIDA. Connie Murray, president of E-Z-ON Products, Inc. of Florida, praised the widely-supported Final Rule issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on March 8, 2004, which “permanently” adopts the interim amendments permitting the manufacture of harnesses designed to attach to school bus seats.
In February of 2002, Murray petitioned NHTSA to exempt school bus seats from Section 5.3.1 of FMVSS213, the standard that prohibits child restraints from mounting to a vehicle’s seat back.
After reviewing comments, test results, and accident reports presented by the pupil transportation industry, NHTSA responded with an October 2002 interim ruling exempting school bus seats in order to “facilitate the transportation of preschool and special needs children and to relieve the restriction imposed by FMVSS213.”.
Concerned about over-loading of the seatback in an accident, NHTSA also added a labeling requirement warning that seat-mounted harnesses must only be used on school bus seats, and the seat behind the child wearing the seat-mounted harness must be either unoccupied or occupied by restrained passengers.
NHTSA noted in the final rule that “a large majority” of the 100 commenters supported making the exemption permanent, and listed supporters as including “state departments of education, school transportation associations, public and independent school districts, school transportation facilities, school bus operators, Head Start programs, individuals employed in the pupil transportation industry, physical therapists, child restraint manufacturers, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and a certified child passenger safety technician.”
Murray praised the pupil transportation industry for its “extraordinary” participation. “Professionals from many different levels and sectors of the pupil transportation industry responded to the call to relate their experiences, and some reported real-world school bus accidents. Their input helped NHTSA to make an informed decision. From school bus drivers to state directors of pupil transportation, everyone contributed to the process. It was also gratifying to see the overwhelmingly supportive comments that NHTSA received for making the exemptions permanent.”
Murray added, “The 20-year track record of seat-mounted safety harnesses was publicly scrutinized during a rigorous rule-making process. They were shown to be a safe and effective option highly valued by pupil transporters. Now, the federal safety standard reflects the pupil transportation industry’s long-standing, thoroughly tested, and field-proven practice of transporting pupils with Seat-Mounted Harnesses and Vests. I also believe the final rule’s labeling requirement will promote proper use of seat-mounted harnesses.”
After much patient anticipation, the new EZONpro.com has arrived, along with a plethora of new and updated features and information!
Our new web site will allow people all over the world to get instant and accurate information about our products. Whether you are looking for a vest or harness for a car or school bus, you can find distributors who can supply the safety products that you need.
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