Retrofit Assessment for Existing Motorcoach: A Report to Congress

This report, Retrofit Assessment for Existing Motorcoaches, is submitted in response to Section 32703(e)(2) of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), enacted on July 6, 2012, and Conference Report Number 112-557, pages 414-416. MAP-21 requires the Secretary of Transportation to issue a report to Congress on the feasibility, costs, and benefits of retrofitting motorcoaches with lap/shoulder belts. On November 25, 2013, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a final rule requiring lap/shoulder belts for each passenger seating position in all new over-the-road buses, and in new buses other than over-the road buses with gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR) greater than 11,793 kg (26,000 lb), see 78 FR 70416. This report discusses the findings of the final rule, and in addition includes additional analysis of the retrofitting issue in light of the decision of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to increase its value of a statistical life, as well as the subsequent adoption of electronic stability control (ESC) technology in new motorcoaches. Among the findings of the final rule and this report are: (1) The cost of retrofitting motorcoaches with lap/shoulder belts is expected to range from $14,650 to $40,000 per vehicle. (2) Retrofitting would produce a significant burden on the small entities that would be responsible for accomplishing it. (3) Safety benefits are a function of belt use rates. The final rule estimated that if 15 percent of motorcoach passengers wore belts, about 1.5 fatalities and 140 injuries would be prevented annually. If 83 percent of motorcoach passengers wore belts (the then current rate for passenger cars and light trucks), about 8 fatalities and 790 injuries would be prevented. (4) Belt use rates for motorcoaches are much lower than for other passenger vehicles, typically under 10 percent even in countries where usage in passenger vehicles is 90 percent. (5) Given low belt use rates, retrofitting was unlikely to produce substantial safety benefits. (6) After adjusting for a higher value of statistical life and the installation of ESC in new motorcoaches, NHTSA finds that, due to the substantial impact on small entities, the phase-in of lap/shoulder belts on new motorcoaches, and low belt use rates, it would be impractical to require retrofitting on older vehicles.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 37p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01594586
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT HS 812 242
  • Created Date: Mar 15 2016 10:43AM