Time to Comment on NHTSA Proposal to Change Roof Crush Standards Closes Thursday

In August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a proposal to change the roof crush resistance standards on vehicles involved in rollover accidents. Among the proposed changes are applying the standard to vehicles up to 10,000 pounds, increasing the applied force to 2.5 times each vehicle's unloaded weight, and to eliminate an existing limit on the force applied to passenger cars.

As with all national safety standards, the proposed changes are open to the public for commentary for 90 days after its publication. The 90 days given for public response to the NTSA proposed changes to the roof crush resistance standard expires on Thursday, November 17, 2005.

Consumer safety advocate Ralph Nader recently submitted commentary on the proposal, sharing his letter to the Administration with members of the press. In his letter, he openly supported the work of the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) Council saying that, "the safety implications of this standard--and proper automotive glass replacement in general--can hardly be understated."

In his press release, Nader also outlined faults with the current roof crush resistance standard by way of realistic application and direction of force to simulate a rollover accident and that it doesn't take into account the windshield's current role in providing roof strength. He also urged the NHTSA to issue a consumer advisory on safe windshield installation and to revise the roof crush resistance standard to eliminate the windshield's role as a component to structural integrity of the vehicle.

The window for public commentary remains open for three more days only. Commentary can be made through one of five different ways: Via the website http://dms.dot.gov, following the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site; via fax at 202/493-2251; via mail, directed to Docket Management Facility; US Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590-001; via hand-delivery to Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, DC, between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays or via Federal eRulemaking Portal by visiting http://www.regulations.gov and following the online instructions for submitting comments.

To read the press release issued by the NHTSA about the proposal, click here.

To read the proposal in its entirety, click here.

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