NHTSA Grants Exemption to 13 Bus Manufacturers for Two-Point Belts at Side-Facing Seats

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has granted an exemption to 13 final stage manufacturers of entertainer-style motorcoaches to allow them the option to install two-point seat belts at side-facing seating locations.  The exemption is effective June 1, 2022 and is valid for two years, subject to renewal upon application.

The agency agreed with the manufacturers that an exemption will not impact general motor vehicle safety because the exempted buses will provide overall safety at least equal to that of nonexempted buses.  Further, the petitioners each produce a small number of affected vehicles annually.

The exemption permits the petitioners to install Type 1 seat belts (lap belt only) at side-facing seating positions, instead of Type 2 seat belts (lap and shoulder belts) at those positions, on the OTRBs they manufacture.  This exemption does not apply to forward-facing designated seating positions on the manufacturers’ vehicles.  Under FMVSS No. 208, the forward-facing seating positions must have Type 2 lap and shoulder belts.

Each of the 13 manufacturers must place a label or sticker on the windshield or side window of all vehicles manufactured under this exemption.  The sticker is the vehicle's certification label and should read as follows: "THIS VEHICLE CONFORMS TO ALL APPLICABLE FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS IN EFFECT IN [Month, Year] EXCEPT FOR THE SHOULDER BELT REQUIREMENT FOR SIDE-FACING SEATS (STANDARD NO. 208, OCCUPANT CRASH PROTECTION) EXEMPTED PURSUANT TO NHTSA EXEMPTION NO. EX-____."

The Exemption Number is set forth below for each petitioner:

EX 21-01        (All Access Coach Leasing LLC)

EX 21-02         (Amadas Coach)

EX 21-03        (Creative Mobile Interiors)

EX 21-04        (D&S Classic Coach Inc.)

EX 21-05        (Farber Specialty Vehicles)

EX 21-06        (Florida Coach, Inc.)

EX 21-07        (Geomarc, Inc.)

EX 21-08        (Integrity Interiors LLC)

EX 21-09        (Nitetrain Coach Company, Inc.)

EX 21-10        (Pioneer Coach Interiors LLC)

EX 21-11        (Roberts Brothers Coach Company)

EX 21-12        (Russell Coachworks LLC)

EX 21-13        (Ultra Coach Inc.)

This is notice to all prospective purchasers and to enforcement personnel that the coach is manufactured pursuant to the exemption.

If you have any questions, please contact ABA General Counsel Rick Schweitzer at or (202) 223-3040 (office) or (703) 946-2548 (mobile).

May 31, 2022