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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-12-020
Details
Synopsis: On March 12, 2011, about 5:38 a.m., a 1999 Prevost 56-passenger motorcoach, operated by World Wide Travel of Greater New York, headquartered in Brooklyn, was traveling southbound on Interstate 95, en route from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, to New York City, and carrying 32 passengers. While in the vicinity of mile marker 3.2, the motorcoach departed from the travel lanes to the right, driving over the rumble strips on the right shoulder edge. The motorcoach then crossed over the 10-foot-wide paved shoulder and struck a strong-post W-beam guardrail, traveling about 480 feet alongside and on the guardrail, before finally overturning 90° onto its right side and flattening the guardrail. The front of the vehicle subsequently collided with a vertical highway signpost consisting of two vertical 8-inch-diameter steel tubular poles linked by cross-beam diagonal metal supports. The front roof also collided with a steel electrical box mounted to the sign support structure. After the motorcoach struck the support structure and electrical box, the two poles entered the passenger compartment along the base of the passenger windows as the vehicle slid forward. The impact resulted in the roof panel being torn from the bus body for almost the entire length of the bus. As a result of this accident, 15 passengers were killed, 17 passengers received serious-to-minor injuries, and the bus driver received minor injuries.
Recommendation: TO THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION: Develop performance standards for advanced speed-limiting technology, such as variable speed limiters and intelligent speed adaptation devices, for heavy vehicles, including trucks, buses, and motorcoaches.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Unacceptable Response
Mode: Highway
Location: New York City, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: Yes
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: HWY11MH005
Accident Reports: Motorcoach Run-Off-the-Road and Collision With Vertical Highway Signpost, Interstate 95 Southbound
Report #: HAR-12-01
Accident Date: 3/12/2011
Issue Date: 7/12/2012
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: NHTSA (Open - Unacceptable Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 11/13/2017
Response: We note that you worked with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to develop a speed limiter system regulation. Although we applaud your collaborative rulemaking efforts, your proposed set-speed system does not meet the intent of these recommendations. We continue to believe that advanced speed-limiting technology, such as variable speed limiters and intelligent speed adaptation devices, would reduce the instance and severity of accidents involving heavy vehicles. Pending a final rule that incorporates use of the recommended advanced speed-limiting systems, Safety Recommendations H-12-20 and -21 are classified OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 11/2/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) joint Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), “Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations; Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Speed Limiting Devices,” which was published at 81 Federal Register 61942 on September 7, 2016. The notice proposes a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) requiring that each new multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, bus, and school bus with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds be equipped with a speed limiting device. The proposed FMVSS would also require each vehicle, as manufactured and sold, to have its device set to a speed not greater than a specified speed and to be equipped with means of reading the vehicle’s current speed setting and the two previous settings through its On-Board Diagnostic connection. The FMCSA is proposing a complementary Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation to require devices meeting the requirements of the proposed FMVSS. Motor carriers operating such vehicles in interstate commerce would be required to maintain the speed limiting devices for the service life of the vehicle. NTSB Investigations of Speed-Related Crashes The NPRM understates the NTSB’s crash investigation history by describing only one motorcoach crash in which excessive vehicle speed was cited as a major safety risk. In addition to the high-speed, nine-fatality motorcoach crash in Mexican Hat, Utah, referenced in the NPRM, the NTSB investigated other crashes in which speed was found to be a contributing factor. On March 12, 2011, a 56-passenger motorcoach was traveling southbound on Interstate 95 in New York, New York, in an area with a posted speed limit of 50 mph. The fatigued bus driver allowed the motorcoach to depart from the travel lanes to the right. The bus subsequently struck a guardrail, overturned 90 degrees onto the guardrail, and collided with a signpost. The impact resulted in the roof panel being torn from the bus body for almost the entire length of the motorcoach. As a result of the crash, 15 passengers were killed and 17 passengers received serious to minor injuries. The bus ECU was governed to limit the vehicle’s maximum road speed to 78 mph. Data from the ECU indicated that vehicle speeds ranged from 61 to 78 mph during the 60 seconds leading up to the crash, and the motorcoach was traveling at least 64 mph prior to impacting the guardrail. The NTSB investigation indicated that had the bus driver been operating the motorcoach at or below the posted 50 mph speed limit, the rollover and subsequent collision with the vertical highway signpost would most likely have been prevented. As a result of the New York motorcoach crash investigation, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendations H-12-020 and -021 recommending that NHTSA – Develop performance standards for advanced speed limiting technology, such as variable speed limiters and intelligent speed adaptation devices, for heavy vehicles, including trucks, buses, and motorcoaches. (H-12-020) (Open—Acceptable Response) After establishing performance standards for advanced speed limiting technology for heavy commercial vehicles, require that all newly manufactured heavy vehicles be equipped with such devices. (H-12-021) (Open—Acceptable Response) Further highlighting the need for advanced speed limiting technology were heavy vehicle truck crashes in Chesterfield and Cranbury, New Jersey. The Chesterfield crash occurred on February 16, 2012, and involved an intersection crash between a fully loaded dump truck transporting a load of construction debris and a school bus transporting elementary school students. One bus occupant was killed and 15 others were injured. The NTSB investigation determined that the speed of the truck contributed to the severity of the crash. The Cranbury crash occurred on June 7, 2014, on Interstate 95 (New Jersey Turnpike). A truck-tractor semitrailer was traveling northbound at 65 mph in a work zone that had a posted speed limit of 45 mph. The truck struck the rear of a slowly moving limo van, which led to a series of impacts with other vehicles in the area. The limo van overturned and came to rest on its side. One limo van occupant was killed and four others were seriously injured. A technical reconstruction determined that, had the truck been traveling at 45 mph, it could have stopped before it struck the limo van. Because ISA technology can provide a much needed countermeasure to excessive heavy vehicle speed in speed-restricted zones, the NTSB reiterated Safety Recommendations H-12-020 and -021 to NHTSA.

From: NHTSA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/18/2015
Response: -From Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D., Administrator: NHTSA is working to publish its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish requirements for speed-limiting technology and will require installation of such systems in new trucks, buses, and motorcoaches. We request that these recommendations remain classified as "Open--Acceptable Response."

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 9/8/2015
Response: Reiterated in the Highway Accident Report “Multivehicle Work Zone Crash on Interstate 95 Cranbury, New Jersey, June 7, 2014” HAR-15-02, Notation 8717, Adopted August 11, 2015, Published September 8, 2015. As a result of its investigation of a 2011 motorcoach crash in New York City, the NTSB issued a pair of safety recommendations that called on NHTSA to develop speed countermeasure technology for heavy vehicles (NTSB 2012a). They read as follows: H-12-20 Develop performance standards for advanced speed-limiting technology, such as variable speed limiters and intelligent speed adaptation devices, for heavy vehicles, including trucks, buses, and motorcoaches. H-12-21 After establishing performance standards for advanced speed-limiting technology for heavy commercial vehicles, require that all newly manufactured heavy vehicles be equipped with such devices. In response to those recommendations, NHTSA acknowledged that it had received a 2006 petition to initiate rulemaking to amend the FMVSSs to require vehicle manufacturers to limit the speed of heavy trucks. In 2007, NHTSA and the FMCSA jointly responded to that petition with a request for comments notice in the Federal Register. In 2011, NHTSA announced that it anticipated publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking on this issue by the end of 2012; to date, it has not done so. Both recommendations are in “Open—Acceptable Response” status. Intelligent speed adaptation technology may provide a needed countermeasure to excessive vehicle speed, particularly in work zones, where restricted speeds are unexpected. Therefore, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendations H-12-20 and -21 to NHTSA.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 2/7/2013
Response: We note that NHTSA is developing rulemaking to address the use of speed limiting technology on heavy vehicles and expects to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in May 2013. Pending publication of a final rule that establishes standards for advanced speed limiting technology and requires installation of such systems in new trucks, buses, and motorcoaches, Safety Recommendations H-12-20 and -21 are classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NHTSA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/16/2012
Response: -From David L. Strickland, Administrator: We refer you to the discussion under recommendation H-12-21. We intend to address the appropriate performance requirements for advanced speed-limiting technology, through public participation. as part of our larger initiative on heavy vehicle speed limiting equipment. Based on our plans, we recommend that the status of this recommendation be classified as Open—Acceptable Response.