153 Transfer Program-Reg


    Section 153

    23 CFR Part 1215



    Safety belts, Motorcycle helmets, Transportation, Highway Safety.

    In accordance with the foregoing, Part 1215 of Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations is added as follows:

    PART 1215 - USE OF SAFETY BELTS -- Compliance and Transfer-of-Funds Procedures

    Sec.
    1215.1   Scope
    1215.2   Purpose
    1215.3   Definitions
    1215.4   Compliance Criteria
    1215.5   Exemptions
    1215.6   Review and Notification of Compliance Status
    1215.7   Transfer of Funds
    1215.8   Use of Transferred Funds
    1215.9   Alternative compliance criteria for New Hampshire and Maine.


    Authority: 23 U.S.C. 153; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.48 and 1.50.

    1215.1 Scope.

    This part establishes criteria, in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 153 and the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995, for determining compliance with the requirement that States not having safety belt use laws be subject to a transfer of Federal-aid highway apportionments under 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(3) to the highway safety program apportionment under 23 U.S.C. 402.

    1215.2 Purpose.

    The part clarifies the provisions which a State must incorporate into its safety belt law to prevent the transfer of a portion of its Federal-aid highway funds to the section 402 highway safety program apportionment, describes notification and transfer procedures, establishes parameters for the use of transferred funds, and provides alternate compliance criteria for New Hampshire and Maine.

    1215.3 Definitions

    As used in this part:

    "FHWA" means the Federal Highway Administration.

    "Motor Vehicle" means any vehicle driven or drawn by mechanical power manufactured primarily for use on public highways, except any vehicle operated exclusively on a rail or rails.

    "NHTSA" means the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    "Passenger Vehicle" means a motor vehicle which is designed for transporting 10 individuals or less, including the driver, except that such term does not include a vehicle which is constructed on a truck chassis, a motorcycle, a trailer, or any motor vehicle which is not required on the date of the enactment of this section under a Federal motor vehicle safety standard to be equipped with a belt system.

    "Safety Belt" means, with respect to open-body passenger vehicles, including convertibles, an occupant restraint system consisting of a lap belt or a lap belt and a detachable shoulder belt; and with respect to other passenger vehicles, an occupant restraint system consisting of integrated lap shoulder belts.

    "Secretary" means the Secretary of Transportation.

    1215.4 Compliance Criteria

    (a) Except as provided in 1215.9, in order to avoid the transfer specified in 1215.7, a State must have a law which makes unlawful throughout the State the operation of a passenger vehicle whenever an individual in a front seat of the vehicle (other than a child who is secured in a child restraint system) does not have a safety belt properly fastened about the individual's body.

    (b) A State that enacts the law specified in paragraph (a) of this section will be determined to comply with 23 U.S.C. 153, provided that any exemptions are consistent with 1215.5.

    1215.5 Exemptions

    (a) Safety belt laws exempting persons with medical excuses, persons in emergency vehicles, persons in the custody of police, persons in public and livery conveyances, persons in parade vehicles, persons in positions not equipped with safety belts, and postal, utility and other commercial drivers who make frequent stops in the course of their business shall be deemed to comply with 23 U.S.C. 153.

    (b) Safety belt laws exempting vehicles equipped with air bags shall be deemed not to comply with 23 U.S.C. 153.

    (c) An exemption not identified in paragraph (a) of this section shall be deemed to comply with 23 U.S.C. 153 only if NHTSA and FHWA determine that it is consistent with the intent of 1215.4(a), and applies to situations in which the risk to occupants is very low or in which there are exigent justifications.

    1215.6 Review and Notification of Compliance Status

    Review of each State's laws and notification of compliance status shall occur annually, in accordance with the following procedures:

    (a) NHTSA and FHWA will review appropriate State laws for compliance with 23 U.S.C. 153. States initially found to be in non-compliance will be notified of such finding and of funds expected to be transferred under 1215.7, or in the case of New Hampshire or Maine, of the funds expected to be reserved under 1215.9(c) in the absence of certification under 1215.9(a), through the advance notice of apportionments required under 23 U.S.C. 104(e), normally not later than ninety days prior to final apportionment.

    (b) A State notified of non-compliance under paragraph (a) of this section may, within 30 days after its receipt of the advance notice of apportionments, submit documentation showing why it is in compliance to the Associate Administrator for Regional Operations, NHTSA, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, D.C., 20950.

    (c) Every fiscal year, each State determined to be in non-compliance with 23 U.S.C. 153 will receive notice of the funds being transferred under 1215.7, or in the case of New Hampshire or Maine, of the funds expected to be reserved under 1215.9(c) in the absence of certification under 1215.9(a), through the certification of apportionments required under 23 U.S.C. 104(e), normally on October 1.

    1215.7 Transfer of Funds

    (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, if at any time in a fiscal year beginning after September 30, 1994, a State does not have in effect the law described in 1215.4, the Secretary shall transfer 3 percent of the funds apportioned to the State for the succeeding fiscal year under 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(1), (b)(2) and (b)(3) to the apportionment of the State under 23 U.S.C. 402. Any obligation limitation existing on the transferred funds prior to transfer will apply, proportionately, to those funds after transfer.

    (b) If the State of New Hampshire or Maine continues in effect a law described in 1215.4 by January 27, 1996, the State shall be deemed as having that law in effect on September 30, 1995.

    1215.8 Use of Transferred Funds

    (a) Any funds transferred under 1215.7 may be used for approved projects in any section 402 program area.

    (b) Any funds transferred under 1215.7 shall not be subject to Federal earmarking of any amounts or percentages for specific program activities.

    (c) The Federal share of the cost of any project carried out under section 402 with the transferred funds shall be 100 percent.

    (d) In the event of a transfer of funds under 1215.7, the 40 percent political subdivision participation in State highway safety programs and the 10 percent limitation on the Federal contribution for Planning and Administration activities carried out under sectionc 402 shall be based upon the sum of the funds transferred and amounts otherwise available for expenditure under section 402.

    1215.9 Alternative compliance criteria for New Hampshire and Maine.

    (a) Nothwithstanding any other provison of this part, if the Secretary certifies in a fiscal year that the State of New Hampshire or Maine has achieved the safety belt use rate identified in paragraph (b) of this section, the State shall be treated as having in effect a law described in 1215.4 without the need for enactment of such a law, and shall not be subject to the transfer under 1215.7(a) in the succeeding fiscal year.

    (b) The safety belt use rate must be not less than 50 percent in each of fiscal years 1995 and 1996, and not less than the national average as determined by the Secretary in each fiscal year thereafter.

    (c) Except as provided in 1215.7(b), if at any time in a fiscal year beginning after September 30, 1994, the State of New Hampshire or Maine does not have in effect a law described in 1215.4, the Secretary shall reserve 3 percent of the funds to be apportioned to the State for the succeeding fiscal year under 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(1), (b)(2) and (b)(3) if the Secretary has not certified, in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, that the State has achieved the applicable safety belt use rate.

    (d) If, at the end of the fiscal year in which the funds are reserved under paragraph (c) of this section, the Secretary has not certified that the State achieved the applicable safety belt use rate, the Secretary shall transfer the funds reserved from the State to the apportionment of the State under 23 U.S.C. 402. Any obligation limitation existing on the transferred funds prior to transfer will apply, proportionately, to those funds after transfer.