Mr. Gene Byrd
Anderson Technology
17 Ross St.
Jamestown, NY 14702-0759

Dear Mr. Byrd:

This responds to your letter to former Chief Counsel Pansel

Enclosure ref:222 d:8/19/95 losure ref: 222 NCC-20:MVersailles:mar:62992:7/28/94 U:\NCC20\INTERP\222\10195.MLV cc: NCC-10, Subj/Chron, NCC-20 MV, NRM-01, NEF-01 Interps: 222, Redbook (2)stions about NHTSA's safety standards, please feel free to contact Marvin Shaw of my staff at this address or by telephone at (202) 366-2992.


John Womack Acting Chief Counsel

ref:VSA d:8/18/94 makes inoperative" compliance with any safety standard.

NHTSA is concerned that the "Belly Safe" could be used in a way that adversely affects crash forces on the occupant. Standard No. 208 includes requirements that have the effect of ensuring that the lap and shoulder belts distribute the crash forces to the occupant's skeletal structure, a part of the body that can better withstand the forces. For example, Standard No. 208 requires the shoulder belt and the lap belt to intersect off of the abdominal area. The "Belly Safe" places an object between the legs of the occupant. This change in the distribution of crash forces could have serious safety implications for the wearer of the belt.

There are other concerns about the "Belly Safe." The realigning of the lap belt through the "Belly Safe" could increase the amount of webbing in the belt system. If the straps which attach around the back of the seat or the Velcro holding the lap belt are unable to withstand the forces of a crash, there would be excessive slack in the lap belt. Slack in the lap belt would increase the risk of the occupant sliding under the lap belt (submarining) and slack in the belt system generally introduces higher crash forces, both of which would increase the risk of injury. In addition, should a non-pregnant occupant use the "Belly Safe," the device could do more harm than good.

I have enclosed a consumer information sheet titled "Pregnancy: Protecting Your Unborn Child in a Car." This sheet explains that the lap belt should be placed low, across the hips and over the upper thighs. If a woman takes the time to adjust the belt as recommended (an action also needed to install the "Belly Safe"), NHTSA is unaware of any need for a device to keep the lap belt in this position.

I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any other questions, please contact Mary Versailles of my staff at this address or by phone at (202) 366-2992.


John Womack Acting Chief Counsel

Enclosure ref:208 d:7/14/94 he address provided in the enclosed information shted; however, the substantive requirements described in the sheet have not changed.