NHTSA issues proposed safety standard for motorcoaches and large buses

Rule’s aim is improved window glazing and emergency exit latches

Posted May 2, 2016

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing new manufacturing standards that would improve the integrity and usability of windows and emergency exits during bus rollover crashes.

The proposed rule would establish a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 217a, “Anti-ejection glazing for bus portals.” Among the new requirements would be for manufacturers of high-occupancy buses to hurl a 57-pound weight at their bus windows at 13 miles per hour, to simulate a passenger impacting a window during a crash.

According to NHTSA, the new standard would drive the installation of advanced side, rear, and emergency windows to help prevent passengers from being ejected from the vehicle.

In addition, the proposed rule would improve emergency exits in motorcoaches and large buses by requiring that emergency exit latches remain operable and do not get in the way of the emergency openings.

In 2014, NHTSA issued a proposal for improved rollover structural integrity that would also ensure window glazing does not pop out of its mounting and emergency exits do not open inadvertently during a rollover crash. The agency is now proposing performance requirements for preventing the windows and roof panels themselves from becoming ejection portals due to occupant loading during a rollover crash.


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