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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-05-009
Details
Synopsis: The recommendation addresses the identification and appropriate use of speed-restricted tires on motorcoaches. The recommendation is derived from the Safety Board’s investigation of the motorcoach run-off-the-road accident that took place in Tallulah, Louisiana, on October 13, 2003, and is consistent with the evidence we found and the analysis we performed. As a result of this investigation, the Safety Board has issued 11 safety recommendations, 1 of which is addressed to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). Information supporting this recommendation is discussed below. The Safety Board would appreciate a response from you within 90 days addressing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement our recommendation.
Recommendation: The National Transportation Safety Board makes the following safety recommendation to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance: Revise the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria to provide guidance on inspecting and examining tires to ensure that they have the proper speed rating for a vehicles intended use.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Reconsidered
Mode: Highway
Location: Tallulah, LA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: hwy04mh002
Accident Reports: Motorcoach Run-Off-The-Road Accident
Report #: HAR-05-01
Accident Date: 10/13/2003
Issue Date: 4/27/2005
Date Closed: 11/12/2008
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (Closed - Reconsidered)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
Date: 11/12/2008
Response: During a random roadside inspection, CMVs are inspected according to applicable highway safety regulations that are determined by the FMCSA and any violations of the regulations are then cross-referenced in the NAS OOSC to determine whether they are likely to constitute an imminent hazard. Because no regulatory authority restricts the operation of a CMV on a highway with a posted speed limit greater than the speed rating on the tire, identifying and enforcing the violation is difficult. The Safety Board notes that NAS Inspection Procedure steps 15, 18, 20, 23, 25, and 27 instruct inspectors to Check for markings on the tire that would exclude its use on a steering axle. Any violation would be cross-referenced against the OOSC for tires, which specifies a violation for Any Tire on Any Front Steering Axle(s) of a Power Unit Labeled ‘Not For Highway Use’ or carrying other markings which would exclude use on steering axles. The Board further notes that the OOSC is not a U.S. Department of Transportation standard, but a set of guidelines for law enforcement officials to use when determining whether a driver and/or vehicle constitute an imminent hazard, based on regulatory authority. Because the NAS Inspection Procedure and OOSC were in place prior to issuance of this recommendation and depend upon the authority of Federal regulations, which do not address this issue, Safety Recommendation H-05-9 is classified Closed Reconsidered.

From: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
To: NTSB
Date: 12/10/2007
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 12/11/2007 4:20:17 PM MC# 2070733: We appreciate the active participation of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the activities of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and helping to support our mission of Promoting Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety and Security. As a result of our collective efforts, the purpose of this letter is to provide the NTSB with a status update and closure on NTSB Safety Recommendation H-05-9. CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Our mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial motor vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security. The Alliance works to closely monitor, evaluate and identify potentially unsafe transportation processes and procedures as well as to help facilitate and implement best practices for enhancing safety on our highways. Commercial motor vehicle safety continues to be a challenge and we need the involvement of all affected parties to help us better understand these issues and put into place practical solutions. Once this NTSB Safety Recommendation was issued, CVSA conducted a comprehensive review and discussed the issue within the Vehicle, Training and Passenger Carrier Committees of the Alliance to determine what changes to the North American Standard Inspection Program (attachment 1) were required. A random roadside inspection includes many inspection elements of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), and at this time, it was determined that the information contained in the North American Standard Level I Inspection Procedure (attachment 2), the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria (OOSC) (attachment 3) and the training materials provided in the North American Standard Level I - Part B (Vehicle) Inspection Course were adequate and no further action was required. During a random roadside inspection, all CMV’s are inspected to applicable highway safety regulations, and any violation(s) identified are cross referenced to the OOSC to determine whether they are likely to cause or contribute to a crash or breakdown if the driver and/or vehicle is allowed to proceed. This is defined as an Imminent Hazard under 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 390.5. It is important to note, that since no regulatory authority exists, restricting the operation of a CMV on a highway with a posted speed limit greater than the speed rating on the tire, the inspection, and identification of speed limited tires would be difficult to enforce. The mere operation of a CMV with speed-limited tires is not in itself deemed to be an imminent hazard and therefore would not be considered to be in violation. The violation only occurs when the vehicle is observed traveling in excess of the speed rating on the tires and this can only be accomplished by using a speed monitoring device (i.e. radar, laser, etc.); unless, the tires are marked Not for Highway Use. Steps 15, 18,20,23,25 & 27 of the North American Standard Level I Inspection Procedure are illustrated below: STEP 15 INSPECT LEFT FRONT SIDE OF TRACTOR LEFT FRONT TIRE Check for proper inflation, cuts and bulges. Check for regrooved tires on steering axle. Check tread wear and measure major tread groove depth. Inspect sidewall for defects and improper repairs. Check for exposed fabric or cord. Check for tire contact with any part of the vehicle. Check for markings on the tire that would exclude its use on a steering axle. STEP 18 INSPECT LEFT REAR TRACTOR AREA WHEELS, RIMS AND TIRES Inspect as described in Step 15. CAUTION: NEVER PLACE YOURSELF BETWEEN TIRES OF TANDEM AXLES. Check inside tire of duals for inflation and general condition. Without placing yourself between the tires on tandem axles, check for debris between the tires. Check for tires touching one another, or any part of the vehicle. STEP 20 INSPECT LEFT REAR TRAILER WHEELS WHEELS, RIMS AND TIRES Inspect as described in Step 18. STEP 23 INSPECT RIGHT REAR TRAILER WHEELS WHEELS, RIMS AND TIRES Inspect as described in Step 18. STEP 25 INSPECT RIGHT REAR TRACTOR AREA WHEELS, RIMS AND TIRES Inspect as described in Step 18. STEP 27 INSPECT RIGHT FRONT SIDE OF TRACTOR WHEELS, RIMS AND TIRES Inspect as described in Step 15. Any vehicle violation identified during a random roadside inspection would be cross referenced to Part II of the OOSC, and if warranted, the vehicle would be placed out-of-service (00S) and not be allowed to proceed until the condition is corrected. The OOSC does not supersede or summarize any federal safety regulation or trade association standards. Although the OOSC was developed with the assistance of (and continues to rely on) a variety of applicable trade associations, it does not reflect their recommended manufacturing or maintenance standards. The North American Standard Inspection Program and the OOSC have been in place for more than two decades and were never intended to serve this purpose (attachment 4). As a result, CVSA has petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to remedy the confusion surrounding annual periodic inspections (attachments 5). Far too many drivers, roadside inspectors, mechanics, company safety professionals, owner operators and government officials reference the OOSC as the DOT standard. In our judgment, it is a mistake and a misuse of the intent of the OOSC. The OOSC serves as a uniform set of guidelines for law enforcement officials when determining whether a driver and/or vehicle are an imminent hazard based on a regulatory authority. Additionally, the Policy Statement under Part II of the OOSC states These criteria are neither suited nor intended to serve as vehicle maintenance or performance standards. The North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria for this violation is illustrated below: 10. TIRES a. Any Tire on Any Front Steering Axle(s) of a Power Unit (4) Labeled Not For Highway Use or carrying other markings which would exclude use on steering axles. (396.3(a)(1)) In closing, we appreciate the dedication and commitment of our partner organizations such as the NTSB in helping us address these challenges and hopeful that these actions are acceptable. For more on CVSA visit www.cvsa.org.

From: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
To: NTSB
Date: 7/27/2006
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 7/28/2006 11:05:16 AM MC# 2060368: At the CVSA 2005 Fall Workshop in Indianapolis, Indiana our Vehicle and Passenger Carrier Committees reviewed this recommendation to add a provision to the NAS OOSC concerning the examination of tire speed ratings. FMCSA indicated they are preparing a response to the issue and the Technology and Maintenance Council has indicated opposition to adding any criteria to the OOS due to the question of how a roadside inspector would prove the vehicle was being operated in violation of the tire’s speed rating. It was also mentioned that if this was an OOS item what would return the vehicle to service; a promise by the driver to slow down? The Vehicle Committee and the Passenger Carrier Committee agreed to table any action on this issue until more detailed dialogue could be established with one or more tire manufacturer representatives to provide information and guidance. We will inform the Board once this discussion takes place and of its outcome.

From: NTSB
To: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
Date: 1/18/2006
Response: The Safety Board notes that the CVSA's Passenger Carrier Committee, in consultation with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Passenger Carrier Technical Advisory Group, discussed a potential amendment to the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria Part II, Section 10, "TIRES," for speed-limited tires. The Board further notes that the issue of speed-limited tires was deliberated at length by the Vehicle and Passenger Carrier Committees at the CVSA Fall Workshop in September 2005, and will be discussed again at the April 2006 meeting in Hartford, Connecticut, with additional input from members of the tire industry. The Safety Board is pleased with the CVSA's prompt response to this recommendation; we encourage the Passenger Carrier Committee to move the proposed amendment forward to the Executive Committee as an action item. Pending approval of the proposal by the CVSA Executive Committee and its inclusion as an amendment to the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria, Safety Recommendation H-05-9 is classified "Open-Acceptable Response."

From: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
To: NTSB
Date: 6/21/2005
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 6/27/2005 3:18:36 PM MC# 2050269 The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is a not-for-profit organization of state, provincial, and federal officials responsible for the administration and enforcement of motor carrier safety laws in the United States, Canada and Mexico. CVSA was established to promote an environment free of commercial vehicle accidents and incidents. Its mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. CVSA's primary objective is to remove potentially unsafe drivers and imminently hazardous vehicles from North American highways. The process for adding, removal and/or modification to North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria includes having the criteria meet the standard or being an "imminent hazard." In response to your letter dated April 27,2005, CVSA has agreed to take the following action. 1.CVSA's Passenger Carrier Committee, in consultation with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Passenger Carrier Technical Advisory Group (TAG), will discuss a potential amendment to the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria Part II, Section 10. TIRES for speed limited-tires. 2.The entire Passenger Carrier Committee will review the proposal and the NTSB Safety Recommendation (H-05-09) in detail at its next scheduled committee meeting to be held during the CVSA Fall Workshop, September 4-29, 2005. We would greatly appreciate NTSB personnel attending and participating in the committee discussions and deliberations. Once the proposal for Safety Recommendation H-05-09 has been discussed and debated within the Passenger Carrier Committee, the Action Item will move before the CVSA Executive Committee for discussion. If the Action Item passes and is approved by the CVSA membership, it will be included in the next issue of the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria, which will be effective on April 1, 2006. The North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria is a guideline for commercial vehicle law enforcement to aid in the uniform application of roadside vehicle inspections. The North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria is not designed, and should not be used, as a periodic inspection standard as defined in 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 393; the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations appendix G to subchapter B Minimum Periodic Inspection Standards. CVSA is constantly evaluating all aspects of commercial vehicle safety, and currently is involved in several specific areas of tire safety. We appreciate the NTSB bringing this issue to our attention and will keep you updated on our progress.