Patrick Boyd, Head Mechanic
Manchester Local Schools
6075 Manchester Road
Akron, OH 44319
Dear Mr. Boyd:
This responds to your request for a ruling or clarification on the extent to which diodes on school bus light emitting diode (L.E.D.) lighting must be burned out for the school bus to be taken out of service. Our answer is provided below.
By way of background, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is authorized under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301 to issue and enforce safety standards applicable to new motor vehicles and items of motor vehicle equipment. NHTSA does not approve motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment, nor do we endorse any commercial products. Each State has the authority to regulate the operation and use of motor vehicles, including school buses, which travel on the public roads of that State.
The question you pose relates not to the manufacture and/or sale of a new school bus but to operational requirements (i.e, which lights or diodes on the school bus must function) for school buses to be permitted to travel on Ohio roads. The agency notes that L.E.D. lamps are certified to our lighting standard (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment) by manufacturers at the time of sale with a full one hundred percent of the diodes operating.
However, the determination of when a school bus is taken out of service is entirely up to State law. Further, your State motor vehicle administration should be able to tell you which State official has the final authority in making decisions about which school buses will be permitted to be used on Ohio roads.
I hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions, please contact Ms. Dorothy Nakama at this address or at (202) 366-2992.
Anthony M. Cooke