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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-15-042
Details
Synopsis: On September 26, 2014, about 9:05 p.m., a 2013 Peterbilt truck-tractor in combination with a 2014 Great Dane semitrailer, operated by Quickway Transportation Inc., was traveling north in the left lane of Interstate 35 (I-35), near Davis, Oklahoma. About the same time, a 2008 Champion Defender 32-passenger medium-size bus—transporting 15 members of the North Central Texas College (NCTC) softball team—was traveling south in the right lane of I-35. The college owned and operated the bus. In the vicinity of milepost 47, after negotiating a slight rightward curve at a speed of about 72 mph, the truck-tractor departed the left lane and entered the 100-foot-wide depressed earthen median at an approximate 2 degree angle. The truck-tractor continued through the median, traveling over 1,100 feet without evidence of braking or steering. The combination vehicle then entered the southbound lanes of I-35 at an approximate 9 degree angle and collided with the bus.
Recommendation: TO THE FIFTY STATES, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND PUERTO RICO: Enact legislation that provides for primary enforcement of a mandatory seat belt use law for all vehicle seating positions equipped with a passenger restraint system. (Safety Recommendation H-15-042 supersedes Safety Recommendation H-97-2)
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Await Response
Mode: Highway
Location: Davis, OK, United States
Is Reiterated: Yes
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: HWY14MH014
Accident Reports: ​Preliminary Report Highway HWY14MH014 Truck-Tractor Semitrailer Median Crossover Collision With Medium-Size Bus on Interstate 35, Davis, Oklahoma, September 26, 2014
Report #: HAR-15-03
Accident Date: 9/26/2014
Issue Date: 12/14/2015
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Commonwealth of Kentucky (Open - Await Response)
Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Open - Await Response)
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Open - Await Response)
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Open - Await Response)
Commonwealth of Virginia (Open - Await Response)
District of Columbia (Open - Await Response)
State of Alabama (Open - Await Response)
State of Alaska (Open - Await Response)
State of Arizona (Open - Await Response)
State of Arkansas (Open - Await Response)
State of California (Open - Await Response)
State of Colorado (Open - Await Response)
State of Connecticut (Open - Await Response)
State of Delaware (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of Florida (Open - Await Response)
State of Georgia (Open - Await Response)
State of Hawaii (Open - Await Response)
State of Idaho (Open - Await Response)
State of Illinois (Open - Await Response)
State of Indiana (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of Iowa (Open - Await Response)
State of Kansas (Open - Await Response)
State of Louisiana (Open - Await Response)
State of Maine (Open - Await Response)
State of Maryland (Open - Await Response)
State of Michigan (Open - Acceptable Response)
State of Minnesota (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of Mississippi (Open - Await Response)
State of Missouri (Open - Await Response)
State of Montana (Open - Acceptable Response)
State of Nebraska (Open - Await Response)
State of Nevada (Open - Await Response)
State of New Hampshire (Open - Await Response)
State of New Jersey (Open - Await Response)
State of New Mexico (Open - Await Response)
State of New York (Open - Acceptable Response)
State of North Carolina (Open - Await Response)
State of North Dakota (Open - Await Response)
State of Ohio (Open - Await Response)
State of Oklahoma (Open - Await Response)
State of Oregon (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of Rhode Island (Open - Await Response)
State of South Carolina (Open - Await Response)
State of South Dakota (Open - Await Response)
State of Tennessee (Open - Await Response)
State of Texas (Open - Await Response)
State of Utah (Open - Await Response)
State of Vermont (Open - Await Response)
State of Washington (Open - Await Response)
State of West Virginia (Open - Await Response)
State of Wisconsin (Open - Await Response)
State of Wyoming (Open - Await Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: State of Alabama
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Alaska
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Arizona
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Arkansas
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of California
Date: 4/18/2017
Response: From the NTSB Highway accident report "Motorcoach Collision with Crash Attenuator in Gore Area, US Highway 101, San Jose, California, January 19, 2016" HAR-17-01, PB2017-101430, which was adopted on March 28, 2017: 2.5.2.2 Rate of Seat Belt Use and State Laws. State laws provide another approach for increasing seat belt use. Although the enforcement of seat belt use laws in motorcoaches may be challenging, even the promotion of such laws would educate passengers about the minimum requirements for safe operation of a motorcoach. Additionally, pretrip safety briefings would be more effective if they included a reminder to passengers that state law (if applicable) requires the use of seat belts. The nationwide seat belt use rate was 90 percent in passenger vehicles in 2016, which is the highest rate in history (NHTSA 2016b). In the 34 states with a primary enforcement seat belt use law for at least the front seats, the average seat belt use rate was 92 percent, compared with 83 percent in the rest of the country. The seat belt use rate in New Hampshire?the only state without any mandatory seat belt use laws?was 69 percent in 2015 (NHTSA 2016c). With regard to seat belt use in motorcoaches, the numbers are substantially lower. In a recent NHTSA report on the feasibility of retrofitting motorcoaches with passenger lap/shoulder belts, the agency noted a lack of statistics on the passenger seat belt use rate in motorcoaches in the United States. The usage rate is estimated to be less than 15 percent in buses equipped with seat belts (NHTSA 2016a). Seat belt use saves lives, regardless of the seating position or the vehicle. For more than 25 years, the NTSB has advocated legislation requiring the use of seat belts. As a result of a 2014 crash in Davis, Oklahoma?which caused four fatalities to ejected occupants and in which none of the passengers in the medium-size bus were restrained?the NTSB issued the following safety recommendation to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico (NTSB 2015d): H-15-42 Enact legislation that provides for primary enforcement of a mandatory seat belt use law for all vehicle seating positions equipped with a passenger restraint system. This recommendation was issued based on (1) the considerable research showing an increase in seat belt use (Beck and West 2011; Chen 2015) and a decrease in fatalities (Farmer and Williams 2004; Douma and Tilahun 2012) following the transition from secondary to primary enforcement; (2) the NHTSA rulemaking requiring seat belts on motorcoaches; (3) the lack of state seat belt use laws pertaining to passengers in motorcoaches and other buses equipped with seat belts; and (4) the very low rate of seat belt use by motorcoach occupants. The overall status of Safety Recommendation H-15-42 is “Open—Await Response.” As of December 2016, California has a primary enforcement seat belt use law that applies to all seating positions in passenger vehicles. Passengers in motorcoaches are not required to be restrained. However, the limitations of this law have recently been re-examined. The California senate took up a bill on December 5, 2016, that would require passengers in buses equipped with safety belts to be properly restrained.78 If enacted, this bill would amend the state’s seat belt use law to include motorcoaches. State laws mandating the use of seat belts would significantly improve the effectiveness of pretrip safety briefings in increasing the likelihood of passengers using available restraints. A combination of education, pretrip briefings, and seat belt use laws would increase usage rates. For example, one of the largest carriers in Sweden reported motorcoach passenger seat belt use rates as high as 66 percent in 2015.79 Since 2006, seat belt use has been mandatory in Sweden in all vehicles so equipped?and the government has also required pretrip safety briefings.80 The NTSB concludes that the primary enforcement of mandatory seat belt use laws for all vehicles, in conjunction with pretrip safety briefings, could increase the rate of seat belt use in buses. Thus, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendation H-15-42 to the state of California.

From: NTSB
To: State of California
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Colorado
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Connecticut
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Delaware
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Delaware
Date: 2/1/2016
Response: We understand from Secretary Mosley’s letter and Ms. Simpler’s subsequent communication with NTSB staff, that the Delaware legislature passed a primary seatbelt law applicable to all seating positions in 2003. We examined the legislation and found that it satisfies Safety Recommendation H-15-42. Because your actions were taken before we issued the recommendation, Safety Recommendation H-15-42 is classified CLOSED—RECONSIDERED. We commend Delaware’s leadership in improving highway safety and encourage you to continue your efforts in this area.

From: State of Delaware
To: NTSB
Date: 12/17/2015
Response: -From James N. Mosley, Secretary, Department of Safety and Homeland Security, State of Delaware: In response to your letter dated December 14, 2015 regarding safety recommendations aimed at reducing crashes and injuries, Delaware is pleased to report that, in reference to recommendation H-15-42, our legislature passed a primary seatbelt law applicable to all seating positions in 2003.

From: NTSB
To: District of Columbia
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Florida
Date: 1/4/2018
Response: The following Safety Recommendation was reiterated and reclassified in the NTSB Highway Accident Report “Agricultural Labor Bus and Truck-Tractor Collision at US-98-SR-363 Intersection Near St. Marks, Florida, July 2, 2016.” Report number HAR-17-05. Adopted on November 28, 2017 and published on January 4, 2018. 2.7 Occupant Protection 2.7.1 Truck Driver Seat Belt Use 2.7.1.2 Safety Recommendation. Seat belt use, regardless of the seating position or type of vehicle, can save lives. For more than 25 years, the NTSB has advocated legislation requiring the use of seat belts. As a result of a 2014 crash in Davis, Oklahoma, which resulted in four fatalities—and in which none of the passengers in the medium-size bus were restrained—the NTSB issued the following recommendation to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico (NTSB 2015b): Enact legislation that provides for primary enforcement of a mandatory seat belt use law for all vehicle seating positions equipped with a passenger restraint system. (H-15-42) The state of Florida has not responded to Safety Recommendation H-15-42, which is classified “Open—Await Response.” Although it is unknown whether additional enforcement of seat belt use laws would have affected the truck driver’s poor decision not to wear his safety belt on the day of the crash, research has shown that primary enforcement of seat belt use laws is effective. Because the Florida safety belt law excludes some vehicles, including trucks with a GVWR exceeding 26,000 pounds, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendation H-15-42 to the state of Florida.

From: NTSB
To: State of Florida
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Georgia
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Hawaii
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Idaho
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Illinois
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Indiana
Date: 4/7/2016
Response: We understand from Mr. Murtaugh’s letter that Indiana has a primary seat belt law, enacted in 1991 and amended in 2007, that applies to all seating positions. We examined the legislation, along with the related definition section, and found that it satisfies Safety Recommendation H 15-42. Because the law was in effect before we issued the recommendation, Safety Recommendation H-15-42 is classified CLOSED--RECONSIDERED. We commend Indiana’s leadership in improving highway safety in this way and encourage you to continue your commitment to highway safety.

From: NTSB
To: State of Indiana
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: State of Indiana
To: NTSB
Date: 2/1/2016
Response: -From David R. Murtaugh, Executive Director, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, Governor’s Highway Traffic Safety Office: In response to your letter regarding NTSB recommendation H-15-042, Indiana is pleased to announce there are multiple mandatory seat belt usage laws for both operators and passengers. Ind. Code 9-19-10-2, which was enacted in 1991 and amended in 2007, requires an occupant of motor vehicle equipped with a safety belt to have the safety belt properly fastened at all times when the vehicle is in forward motion. Ind. Code 9-19-11, which was enacted in 1991 and last amended in 2009, requires the use of a safety belt or child passenger restraint system at all times when the vehicle is in motion for children 15 years of age and younger. Currently the Indiana General Assembly has proposed legislation that would require a school bus or special purpose bus in operation after June 30, 2017 to have a 3-point lap and shoulder safety belt as each seating location. The proposed legislation has yet to pass the 2016 General Assembly. The safety of Hoosier motorists and motor vehicle passengers has long been a concern, and Indiana will continue to maintain and propose legislation requiring the use of passenger and child passenger restraint systems.

From: NTSB
To: State of Iowa
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Kansas
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Kentucky
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Louisiana
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Maine
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Maryland
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Michigan
Date: 5/26/2016
Response: We are encouraged by your ongoing efforts to reach your goal of zero highway fatalities and by your 93% seat belt?compliance rate. We are also pleased that you are taking action to address several issues that we identified in our Davis, Oklahoma, investigation that were the subject of safety recommendations we issued to other recipients. We note that your Occupant Protection Action Team is working to expand your seat belt law to cover all seating positions; however, no action has yet been taken on this measure. We urge you to continue your efforts to pass the recommended law to provide adequate and equal protection for all vehicle occupants. Pending enactment of such a law, Safety Recommendation H-15-42 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Michigan
To: NTSB
Date: 2/26/2016
Response: -From Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, Director, State of Michigan, Department of State Police: In response to the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) safety recommendation H-15-42, the Michigan State Police (MSP) supports all initiatives that aim to reduce traffic fatalities. The MSP is committed to improving highway safety through stricter laws, education, and collaboration with our traffic safety partners, such as the NTSB. In partnership with United States federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and private entities, the MSP is participating in a multi-year highway safety initiative known as the "Drive to Save Lives/Drive to Zero" campaign. The goal of this campaign is simple; achieve major reductions in highway fatalities. To accomplish this goal, the MSP is focused on implementing data-driven approaches to traffic safety and traffic incident management. The MSP enforces speed limits, seat belt use, impairment violations, and distracted driving laws, and actively responds to unsafe driving behaviors by operators of not only cars, but also motorcycles, large trucks, and buses. The NTSB's accident report (HAR1503) offers several initiatives, of which Michigan has already begun to institute. Some initiatives have given the MSP an insight as to those which will require legislative action. Below are some highlights of the MSP's efforts to support the NTSB's recommendations: In Michigan, the primary seat belt law does not cover all seating situations and there are a number of vehicle-specific exemptions for occupant restraints. The MSP supports vigorous seat belt enforcement and takes a "shall issue" stance regarding enforcement of the safety belt law. In response to this recommendation, the MSP also supports aggressively addressing impaired driving. Currently it is illegal to buy, se!!, or use synthetic drugs in Michigan. This law has been in effect since July 1, 2012. In addition, the MSP, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division (CVED) is designated as the state's Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program lead agency. The CVED has been recognized numerous times over the last several years by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for achieving a low traffic crash fatality rate. The CVED focuses on crash reduction/reducing traffic fatalities and is actively participating in the nationwide "Drive to Zero" campaign. The CVED is a highly-trained/specialized force, which is mobile, flexible, and responsive to emerging commercial motor vehicle safety needs. The CVED has partnered with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MOOT) in the "Drive to Zero" campaign and supports various MOOT initiatives through high visibility and enforcement. In return, the MOOT has also supported the NTSB recommendations by installing numerous safety enhancements. For example, in Michigan, median-crossover crashes present the highest risk of fatality and severe injury among all collision types on freeways. The primary countermeasure to reduce the opportunity for such crashes is installation of median barriers. The MOOT began installing high-tension cable median barriers in 2008 and has installed approximately 317 miles of high-tension cable median barriers on state freeways as of September 2013.

From: NTSB
To: State of Michigan
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Minnesota
Date: 3/29/2016
Response: We understand from Ms. Dohman’s letter that Minnesota has a primary seat belt law, passed in 2009, that applies to all seating positions. We examined the legislation, along with the related exemption and definition sections, and found that it satisfies Safety Recommendation H 15-42. Because the law was in effect before we issued the recommendation, Safety Recommendation H-15-42 is classified CLOSED—RECONSIDERED. We commend Minnesota’s leadership in improving highway safety in this way.

From: NTSB
To: State of Minnesota
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: State of Minnesota
To: NTSB
Date: 1/25/2016
Response: -From Ramona L. Dohman, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of the Commissioner: The NTSB Chair Christopher Hart's letter of December 14, 2.015 to Governor Mark Dayton made the recommendation that every state provide for the primary enforcement of a mandatory seat belt use law for all vehicle seating positions equipped with a passenger restraint system. Governor Dayton has asked me to respond on his behalf. Minnesota does have a primary enforcement law (M. S. 169.686 which is attached) requiring all occupants of passenger vehicles, commercial motor vehicles, type Ill vehicles, and type Ill Head Start vehicles to wear a seat belt in all seating positions equipped with a seat belt. This law went into effect in 2009. Please let me know if you have any questions about or concerns on the Minnesota law. We share your concern for the safety of travelers and thank you for your invaluable partnership with the states on decreasing traffic deaths and serious injuries.

From: NTSB
To: State of Mississippi
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Missouri
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Montana
Date: 4/25/2016
Response: As Mr. Tooley pointed out in his letter, Montana law, which applies to all vehicle seating positions, currently allows only for secondary, not primary, enforcement of seat belt violations. We note that a bill requiring primary enforcement of Montana’s seat belt law was unfortunately defeated by both houses in the 2015 legislative session. We urge you to continue your efforts toward passage of a primary enforcement law with mandatory seat belt use for all restraint equipped seating positions in all vehicles, to provide adequate and equal protection for all vehicle occupants. Pending such action, Safety Recommendation H-15-42 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Montana
To: NTSB
Date: 3/10/2016
Response: -From Michael Tooley, Director, Montana Department of Transportation: I am responding on behalf of Governor Bullock to your request for a response regarding the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)’s recommendation H-15-42. Recommendation H-15-42 directs states to enact legislation for primary enforcement of its seatbelt law. Montana law authorizes secondary enforcement of its seat belt law, which applies to all seating positions, and the fine for non-compliance is $20.00. The Montana Legislature considered primary seatbelt legislation most recently in the 2015 session; however the bill failed to pass. The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) has supported legislation in the past to strengthen Montana’s safety belt law, and will continue to do so in the future. Please contact myself or my staff if you have any questions regarding this response.

From: NTSB
To: State of Montana
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Nebraska
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Nevada
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of New Hampshire
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of New Jersey
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of New Mexico
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of New York
Date: 10/2/2019
Response: H-15-042 was reiterated to the state of New York in the Highway Safety Recommendation Report HSR-19-02, “Providing Occupant Protection for Limousine Passengers.” The report was published on October 2, 2019. In its report on a 2014 crash that took place in Davis, Oklahoma, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendation H-15-42 to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico: H-15-42 Enact legislation that provides for primary enforcement of a mandatory seat belt use law for all vehicle seating positions equipped with a passenger restraint system. The status of this recommendation for the state of New York is “Open—Acceptable Response.” Based on the lack of seat belt use by the passengers in the Schoharie crash, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendation H-15-42 to the state of New York.

From: NTSB
To: State of New York
Date: 3/22/2016
Response: We are encouraged by your ongoing efforts to reach your goal of zero highway fatalities and by your 92% seat belt compliance rate. Again, we commend you for being the first state to enact a primary enforcement law with mandatory seat belt use for front-seat passengers. We note that a bill requiring back-seat passengers to use seat belts was unfortunately defeated by both houses in the last legislative session. We urge you to continue your efforts toward passage of a primary enforcement law with mandatory seat belt use for all restraint equipped seating positions in all vehicles, to provide adequate and equal protection for all vehicle occupants. Pending such action, Safety Recommendation H-15-42 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: State of New York
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: State of New York
To: NTSB
Date: 12/23/2015
Response: -From Theresa L. Egan, Executive Deputy Commissioner, New York Department of Motor Vehicles: This is in response to your December 14, 2015 e-mail and letter to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo in regard to NTSB recommendation H-15-42 (formally H-97-2). Legislation was introduced in 2015 (S.1535-B/A.2449-B) that provides that no person sixteen years of age or over shall be a passenger in the back seat of a motor vehicle unless such person is restrained by a safety belt. This bill did not pass either the Senate or the Assembly in 2015. Even though 2014 was the safest year on New York's roadways, we will continue to implement evidenced based strategies until we reach our goal of zero fatalities. Seat belt compliance reached an all-time high in 2015 at 92%. The NTSB has always been a valued highway safety partner of ours and we look forward to continuing that relationship. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.

From: NTSB
To: State of North Carolina
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of North Dakota
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Ohio
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Oklahoma
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Oregon
Date: 3/15/2016
Response: We understand from Mr. Costales’s letter that Oregon has a primary seat belt law, last amended in 2011, that applies to all seating positions. We examined the legislation, along with the related exemption and definition sections, and found that it satisfies Safety Recommendation H 15-42. Because the law was in effect before we issued the recommendation, Safety Recommendation H-15-42 is classified CLOSED—RECONSIDERED. We commend Oregon’s leadership in improving highway safety in this way and encourage you to continue.

From: NTSB
To: State of Oregon
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: State of Oregon
To: NTSB
Date: 12/22/2015
Response: -From Troy E. Costales, Governor’s Highway Safety Representative: In your letter dated December 14, 2015, you recommend that Oregon "Enact legislation that provides for primary enforcement of a mandatory seat belt use law for all vehicle seating positions equipped with a passenger restraint system." Oregon currently has a law in place that meets this recommendation. Our safety belt law can be found in our Oregon Revised Statutes at 811.210 (attached). ORS 811.210 is a primary safety belt law for all seating positions and all ages.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Rhode Island
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of South Carolina
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of South Dakota
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Tennessee
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Texas
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Utah
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Vermont
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Virginia
Date: 3/21/2019
Response: From the Highway Accident Brief HAB-19-03, Record number 58377, Adopted on March 11, 2019, “Collision Between Passenger Train and Refuse Truck at Active Grade Crossing, Crozet, Virginia, January 31, 2018.” Injuries and Seat Belt Use The crash resulted in the death of one truck passenger, serious injuries to the second passenger, and minor injuries to the truck driver. Four train crew members and three train passengers sustained minor injuries. From interviews with the train crew and the first responders, NTSB investigators determined the location of the train employees and the passengers who sustained injuries. Three of the injured train employees were in the lead locomotive, and the fourth was in the first passenger car at the time of the crash. Two of the injured train passengers were in one of the passenger cars, and the third was in one of the café cars. As a result of the impact with the train and the subsequent rotation of the truck, the two truck passengers were thrown against the interior of the cab, were ejected through the passenger door, and landed on the ground to the right side of the truck. The truck passenger who died was sitting in the center seat position. The passenger who sustained serious injuries was sitting next to the passenger door. The driver was thrown forward and to the right but was not ejected. Although the truck was equipped with seat belts in all three seating positions, an examination of the truck showed that none were in use at the time of the crash.3 Research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has shown that the risk of fatalities in large vehicles, such as buses, can be reduced by 77 percent if lap/shoulder belts are installed and properly used.4 The reduced risk is achieved primarily by reducing occupant motion relative to the vehicle and preventing occupants from being ejected, particularly when the survival space is sufficiently retained, as it was in the cab of the refuse truck.5 Thus, the NTSB concludes that because the cab of the refuse truck retained sufficient survival space, had the truck occupants worn their seat belts, the belts could have kept them in their seats, prevented them from being ejected, and lessened their risk of serious or fatal injury. Seat belt advocacy has been a recurring topic of NTSB outreach since the agency’s inception.6 One facet of the NTSB’s multipronged approach includes advocating legislation requiring the use of seat belts. Most recently, in 2015, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendation H-15-42 to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico: “Enact legislation that provides for primary enforcement of a mandatory seat belt use law for all vehicle seating positions equipped with a passenger restraint system.”7 The overall status of this recommendation, as well as its individual status for the Commonwealth of Virginia, is “Open—Await Response.” States with primary enforcement laws for seat belt use have consistently exhibited higher use rates. In 2017, seat belt use in the 34 states with primary enforcement was 91 percent, compared with 82 percent in the rest of the country.8 Although Virginia has adopted Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations requiring commercial motor vehicle drivers and front seat passengers to use seat belts, the effectiveness of those regulations would be strengthened by enacting a state primary enforcement seat belt law. Thus, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendation H-15-42 to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Virginia
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Washington
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of West Virginia
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Wisconsin
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: State of Wyoming
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The nine crash avoidance technologies proposed in the RFC do not include seat belt reminder systems (SBRS). These systems are visual and audible devices that detect whether seat belts are in use for various seating positions and provide warnings until the belts are used. The SBRS are particularly important for passengers in rear seating positions, as they are less likely than front seat occupants to use seat belts. The benefits of SBRS have been recognized globally, and many NCAPs around the world award safety points for vehicles equipped with these systems, including Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, and Australasian NCAP. Japan NCAP was the first program to offer incentives for manufacturers to provide rear seat SBRS, and Australasian NCAP now requires a vehicle to be equipped with rear seat SBRS for the vehicle to receive its top safety rating. As a result of a 2014 median crossover crash near Davis, Oklahoma, in which four college students were ejected from a bus and died, the NTSB recommended that all states enact legislation mandating seat belt use in all vehicle seating positions equipped with seat belts (Safety Recommendation H-15-42). Many of the crashes that the NTSB has investigated involve fatal injuries to unrestrained passengers, and the SBRS represent proven means of increasing seat belt use by all vehicle occupants. Consequently, the NTSB encourages NHTSA to consider including SBRS in the new NCAP.