Bryce Pfister, P.E.
Director of Operations
Collins Bus Corporation
P.O. Box 2946
Hutchinson, KS 67504-2946
Dear Mr. Pfister:
This responds to your request for an interpretation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 222, School bus passenger seating and crash protection. You ask whether you may equip school bus seats with Type 2 seat belt assemblies if the upper torso restraint is attached to the same structure required to meet FMVSS No. 222 forward displacement energy-absorbing performance criteria and if the application of force on that upper torso restraint causes the seat back to no longer meet FMVSS No. 222.
The answer is no. The issue you raise was addressed in our letters dated July 12, 2000, to Mr. Turner of the Blue Bird Body Company, and October 28, 1999, to Mr. Perea (copies enclosed). Please take particular note of our response to the first question in the letter to Blue Bird. We stated that Vehicle Safety Act provisions would prohibit Blue Bird from installing Type 2 belts if such a modification would cause a seating system not to comply with FMVSS No. 222, or any other applicable FMVSS.
I hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Dorothy Nakama of my staff at this address or by telephone at (202) 366-2992.
Stephen P. Wood
Assistant Chief Counsel
for Vehicle Safety Standards and Harmonization