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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-15-015
Synopsis: On April 10, 2014, about 5:40 p.m., a 2007 Volvo truck-tractor in combination with double trailers, operated by FedEx Freight, Inc., was traveling southbound in the right lane of Interstate 5 (I-5) in Orland, California. At the same time, a 2014 Setra motorcoach, operated by Silverado Stages, Inc., was traveling northbound on I-5 in the right lane. In the vicinity of milepost 26, the combination vehicle moved into the left lane, entered the 58-foot-wide center median, and traveled into the northbound traffic lanes of I-5. The truck-tractor collided with a 2013 Nissan Altima four-door passenger car, which then rotated counterclockwise and departed the highway to the east. The truck-tractor continued moving south in the northbound lanes and collided with the front of the motorcoach, and both vehicles partially departed the highway to the east. A postcrash fire ensued. Both the truck and the motorcoach drivers died, along with eight motorcoach passengers. The remaining 37 motorcoach passengers received injuries of varying degree. The two occupants of the passenger car received minor injuries.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ASSOCIATION: Update your website guidance to include information on the mandated three-point restraints effective November 2016 for all new over-the-road buses and for other than over-the-road buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 11,793 kilograms (26,000 pounds).
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Orland, CA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: HWY14MH009
Accident Reports: Truck-Tractor Double Trailer Median Crossover Collision With Motorcoach and Postcrash Fire on Interstate 5, Orland, California, April 10, 2014
Report #: HAR-15-01
Accident Date: 4/10/2014
Issue Date: 8/4/2015
Date Closed: 12/6/2017
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FMCSA (Closed - Acceptable Action)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
Date: 12/6/2017
Response: We are pleased that you updated your website guidance to include the recommended information on the mandated three-point restraints. This action satisfies Safety Recommendation H-15-15, which is classified CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

Date: 6/20/2017
Response: -From Michael J. Jordan, USDOT/FMCSA MC-PRS, Strategic Planning and Program Evaluation: • FMCSA completed the update of its Web site guidance to include and encourage the use of seat belts on buses and motorcoaches, if available. • FMCSA’s Web site is located at • The updated materials include audio files and written transcripts, which are available in English and multiple other languages. • FMCSA requests NTSB close safety recommendation H-15-015.

From: NTSB
Date: 7/21/2016
Response: We are pleased that you are amending your regulations to cross-reference the new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s restraint requirement to ensure proper device maintenance. We also note that you are updating your website with the recommended restraint guidance. Accordingly, pending completion of these actions and our review of the final product, Safety Recommendation H 15 15 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

Date: 1/28/2016
Response: -From T.F. Scott Darling, III, Acting Administrator: On November 25, 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a final rule updating Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 571.208, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, Occupant Crash Protection. NHTSA revised FMYSS No. 208 to mandate that a lap and shoulder seat belt (3-point restraint system) be provided for each passenger seating position in (a) all new over-the-road buses and (b) new buses other than over-the-road buses with a G VWR greater than 11,793 kilograms (26,000 pounds). The effective date of the revision to FMVSS No. 208 is November 28, 2016. FMCSA will amend 49 CFR 393 to cross-reference NHTSA requirement to ensure motor carriers maintain the new restraints. Prior to receiving notification of safety recommendation H-15-15, FMCSA had already committed to updating the materials available on its website to include information concerning three-point restraint systems on motorcoaches. The update is scheduled to be completed prior to the effective date of NHTSA's rulemaking for FMYSS No. 208. FMCSA will update NTSB when the guidance material is updated. FMCSA respectfully requests NTSB classify this safety recommendation as "Open - Acceptable Response."

From: NTSB
Date: 1/25/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), “Driving of Commercial Motor Vehicles: Use of Seat Belts,” which was published in the Federal Register, vol. 80, no. 237 (December 10, 2015). The FMCSA proposes to revise the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) by amending the existing requirement that drivers of property carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMV), including CMVs transporting hazardous materials, as defined in 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 390.5, “commercial motor vehicle,” paragraph (4), use the seat belt assembly whenever the vehicles are operated on public roads. This NPRM would hold motor carriers and drivers responsible for ensuring that all other occupants in property-carrying CMVs are also using seat belts as required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs). The NTSB fully agrees that the proposed rule to modify the FMCSRs, at 49 CFR 392.16, provides a sound approach for extending the use of seat belts from drivers to all occupants of property-carrying CMVs that now have the equipment available. Almost all CMVs with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds are equipped with seat belts at each occupant position as a result of the provisions in 49 CFR 393.93, which require compliance with FMVSSs 207, 208, and 210. The Orland, California, crash occurred on April 10, 2014, and involved a truck that crossed the median of Interstate 5 and struck a motorcoach, resulting in nine fatalities (among motorcoach occupants) and 10 people seriously injured, in addition to 27 who received minor injuries. The NTSB investigation determined that only one passenger in the motorcoach was wearing the available seat belt. Safety Recommendation H-15-14 to the FMCSA emphasized the importance of wearing seat belts and including instructions for proper seat belt use. Safety Recommendation H-15-15 called on the FMCSA to improve guidance and information on the recently mandated three-point restraints for motorcoaches and other large buses. Cranbury, New Jersey The Cranbury, New Jersey, crash occurred on June 7, 2014, and involved a truck striking multiple vehicles at a construction zone on Interstate 95. A limo-van was one of the vehicles struck. One occupant in the van was fatally injured, four were seriously injured, and two received minor injuries. The limo-van had a GVWR of less than 10,000 pounds. Although seat belts were required equipment for all seat positions, there were no requirements for the driver to ensure that passengers were wearing the available seat belts. State seat belt use laws were in effect but not obeyed by most of the occupants. The NTSB attributed occupant injuries in part to the passengers’ failure to use the seat belts. The NTSB further concluded that the guidance provided to limousine operators concerning passenger seat belt use was inadequate. As a result of this investigation, the NTSB reiterated Safety Recommendation H-15-14 from the Orland crash, and issued a new recommendation to develop pretrip safety briefings directing passengers to use seat belts where required by law and to strongly encourage seat belt use when not required by law.