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08-004149--19 Nov 08--sa

Mr. Cris Morgan

Associate Automobile Equipment Standards Engineer

California Highway Patrol

Commercial Vehicle Section, 062

444 N. 3rd Street, Suite 310

Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Mr. Morgan:

This responds to your email asking whether Item 5 glazing is permitted in the lower (curb side view) glazing on a 2008 Motor Coach Industries bus. As explained below, Item 5 glazing is not permitted in the location you described in your letter under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 205, Glazing Materials. Item 5 glazing is not permitted on buses in windows to the immediate right or left of the driver.

FMVSS No. 205 incorporates by reference American National Standard for Safety Glazing Materials for Glazing Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Equipment Operating on Land Highways-Safety Standard ANSI/SAE Z26.1-1996 (ANSI Z26.1). FMVSS No. 205 and ANSI Z26.1 specify performance requirements for various types of glazing (called Items), and specify the locations in vehicles in which each item of glazing may be used. As you explain in your letter, California has adopted FMVSS No. 205 by reference in the California Vehicle Code as an in-use glazing standard that must be met by all vehicles that have been sold and registered for operation on highways in California. You state that the California Highway Patrol (CHP) thus considers National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) interpretations of FMVSS No. 205 for enforcement purposes.

In your letter, you explain that a recent CHP inspection noted that the right front, swing open, entry door, lower (curb side view) glazing on a 2008 Motor Coach Industries (MCI) bus was labeled AS-5 (indicating Item 5 glazing installed in this location). You state in your letter that you believe neither FMVSS No. 205 nor ANSI Z26.1 permit Item 5 glazing in this location. We agree with your understanding.

In ANSI Z26.1, 4.2, Item 5, Safety Glazing Material for Use in Motor Vehicle Only in the Following Specific Locations at Levels Not Requisite for Driving Visibility, subsection (m) permits Item 5 glazing in windows and doors in buses at levels not requisite for driving visibility, and does not permit the glazing for the windshields, windows to the immediate right or left of


the driver, and rearmost windows if requisite for driving visibility. The phrase, requisite for driving visibility, appears twice in the discussion of Item 5 in ANSI Z26.1. The first use of the phrase, in the introductory paragraph of the Item 5 section, modifies windows and doors in buses, such that Item 5 glazing may be used in windows and doors in buses at levels not requisite for driving visibility. The second use of the phrase, in subsection (m), modifies the reference to rearmost windows in (m). Those phrases do not modify the express provision in (m) that Item 5 glazing may not be used in windshields and windows to the immediate right or left of the driver. In addition, we note that Table A1 of ANSI Z26.1 (summarizing permissible glazing locations for various vehicle classifications) also indicates that bus glazing immediately to the left and right of the driver is presumably always requisite for driving visibility.[1] Accordingly, NHTSA interprets windows to the immediate right or left of the driver in subsection (m) under Item 5 of ANSI Z26.1 4.2 as including glazing encompassing the lower (curb side view) glazing panel on a right front, swing open entry door of a coach bus.

Enclosed is an April 23, 2001, interpretation (copy enclosed) that this office wrote to Thomas F. Brown, concerning peep windows in Mack Trucks. The peep window was a small, separate additional fixed window located below the passenger doors main window, near the bottom of the door, which could be used to view objects near the passenger door of a medium or heavy duty truck. The letter involved Item 3 glazing and the issue of whether the window was at a level requisite for driving visibility. While those are different issues that the ones you raise regarding Item 5 glazing, it should be noted that NHTSA determined that the peep window was at a level requisite for driving visibility. Thus, even if we were to consider whether MCIs window is at a level requisite for driving, our answer would likely be yes.

Your letter also stated that MCI believes that ANSI Z26.1 permits Item 5 glazing in the location in question because the swing open, entry door on the coach is a folding door and because such glazing locations are standee windows in buses.[2] Based on NHTSAs understanding of 2008 MCI bus models, we disagree with MCIs categorization of the 2008 MCI bus door as either a folding door or a standee window. A single panel, swing open door on a motorcoach is not a folding door because it does not consist of two leaves or panels which operate together. A single panel, swing open door on a motorcoach is not a standee door because there is not an expectation that a passenger would be standing near a single panel, swing open motorcoach door while the motorcoach is in motion.


If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Sarah Alves of my staff at this address or by telephone at (202) 366-2992.

Sincerely yours,

Anthony M. Cooke

Chief Counsel

Enclosure

ref:205

d.1/14/09



[1] Although Table A1 is part of the ANSI Z26.1 Appendix, which is for information purposes only (i.e., is not a part of ANSI Z26.1), Table A1 is evidence of the intent of permissible locations of Item 5 glazing. Table A1 indicates that Item 5 glazing is not permitted in glazing to immediate right and left of the driver but that Item 5 glazing is permitted in rearmost window if not used for driving visibility.

[2] Both these locations are permissible Item 5 locations under subsection (b) and (c) of Item 5 in ANSI Z26.1, 4.2.