Summary: The Consumer Product Safety Commission's announcement in the Federal Register of March 23, 1995 that it had adopted an Interim Rule for bicycle helmets that would apply until its own standard went into effect, and action that did not occur until 1999.
[Federal Register: March 23, 1995] ======================================================================= [[Page 15231]] CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 1203 Interim Rule: Safety Standards for Bicycle Helmets AGENCY: Consumer Product Safety Commission. ACTION: Interim rule. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- SUMMARY: The Commission announces that certain voluntary standards for bicycle helmets will become interim mandatory standards pursuant to the Children's Bicycle Helmet Safety Act of 1994. These interim mandatory standards shall remain in effect until replaced by a final standard to be issued by the Commission. These statutory interim standards are the American National Standards Institute (``ANSI'') standard Z90.4-1984, the Snell Memorial Foundation standard B-90, and ASTM standard F 1447- 1993. The Commission also announces its determination, pursuant to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Act, that five additional voluntary safety standards for bicycle helmets are appropriate as interim mandatory standards. These standards are ASTM F 1447-1994, Snell B-90S, N-94, and B-95, and the Canadian voluntary standard CAN/CSA-D113.2-M89. Failure of a bicycle helmet manufactured after the effective date of the interim mandatory standards to comply with at least one of the interim standards shall be considered a violation of a consumer product safety standard promulgated under the Consumer Product Safety Act. DATES: The interim mandatory standards for bicycle helmets will become effective March 15, 1995, and shall apply to all bicycle helmets manufactured after that date. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulation is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of March 23, 1995. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Heh, Project Manager, Directorate for Engineering Sciences, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D.C. 20207; telephone (301)504-0494 ext. 1308. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 16, 1994, the Children's Bicycle Helmet Safety Act of 1994 (the ``Act'') was enacted. Secs. 201-207, Pub. L. 103-267, 108 Stat. 726-729; 15 U.S.C. 6001-6006. This Act provides that bicycle helmets manufactured 9 months or more from that date (i.e., on or after March 16, 1995) shall conform to one of the following interim safety standards: (1) The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard designated as Z90.4-1984, (2) the Snell Memorial Foundation standard designated as B-90, (3) the ASTM, formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials, standard designated as F 1447, or (4) any other standard that the Commission determines is appropriate. In this notice, the Commission codifies these interim mandatory standards as 16 CFR part 1203 and clarifies that ASTM standard F 1447 means the 1993 version of that standard. This is the version of the F 1447 standard that was in effect at the time the Act was enacted. The Act provides that failure to conform to an interim standard shall be considered a violation of a consumer product safety standard issued under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), 15 U.S.C. 2051-2084. The Act also directs the Consumer Product Safety Commission to begin a proceeding under 5 U.S.C. 553 to: 1. Review the requirements of the interim standards described above and establish a final standard based on such requirements, 2. Include in the final standard a provision to protect against the risk of helmets coming off the heads of bicycle riders, 3. Include in the final standard provisions that address the risk of injury to children, and 4. Include additional provisions as appropriate. The Act provides that the final standard shall take effect 1 year from the date it is issued and that the standard shall be considered to be a consumer product safety standard issued under the CPSA. However, the Act also provides that the provisions of the CPSA regarding rulemaking procedures, statutory findings, and judicial review (15 U.S.C. 2056, 2058, 2060, and 2079(d)) shall not apply to this proceeding or to the final standard. When the final standard becomes effective, it will replace the interim standards. The Commission reviewed the bicycle helmet standards identified in the Act (ANSI, ASTM, and Snell B-90), as well as international bicycle helmet standards and draft revisions of the ANSI, ASTM, and Snell standards that were under consideration. Based on this review, the Commission developed a proposed mandatory safety standard for bicycle helmets. 59 FR 41719 (August 15, 1994). The proposed final safety standard contains requirements for general construction, labeling, peripheral vision, impact attenuation, and dynamic strength of the retention system of bicycle helmets. In addition to requirements derived from one or more of the voluntary standards applicable to this product, the proposed standard includes requirements specifically applicable to children's helmets and requirements to prevent helmets from coming off during an accident. The Commission also proposed testing and recordkeeping requirements so it can ensure that helmets subject to the standard meet its requirements. The August 15, 1994, proposal also described the statutory interim standards, explained that the Commission could determine that additional interim standards were appropriate, and stated that the Commission had not yet done so. Two comments received by the Commission on that notice requested that the Commission designate certain other voluntary standards for bicycle helmets as interim mandatory standards. The Snell Memorial Foundation requested that, in addition to the Snell B-90 standard specified by the Act, three other Snell standards be determined appropriate as interim mandatory bicycle helmet standards. These additional Snell standards are: (1) B-90S (a supplemental revision of the Snell B-90 standard), (2) N-94 (a multi-purpose helmet standard), and B-95 (the latest revision of the Snell bicycle helmet standard, which will take effect in 1995). Snell states that helmets certified to any of these three standards will also conform to the Snell B-90 standard specified in the Act. The Health Protection Branch of Health Canada recommended that the Canadian voluntary standard (Cycling Helmets-CAN/CSA-D113.1-M89) be determined as an appropriate interim mandatory standard. Health Canada stated that such action would comport with Article 906 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (``NAFTA''), which states that ``the Parties shall, to the greatest extent practicable, make compatible their respective standards-related measures * * *.'' In addition to reviewing the provision and test methods of the requested Snell and Canadian interim standards, the Commission also evaluated the 1994 revision to ASTM F 1447. The Commission concluded that these standards are comparable to, and in some cases exceed, the safety performance criteria of the interim standards identified in the Act. Accordingly, the Commission determines that these additional voluntary standards are appropriate as interim mandatory safety standards for bicycle helmets. [[Page 15232]] List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 1203 Consumer protection, Bicycles, Incorporation by reference, Infants and children, Safety. For the reasons given above, the Commission adds a new part 1203 of Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations, to read as follows: PART 1203--SAFETY STANDARD FOR BICYCLE HELMETS Sec. 1203.1 Purpose and basis. 1203.2 Scope and effective date. 1203.3 Interim safety standards. Authority: Secs. 201-207, Pub. L. 103-267, 108 Stat. 726-729, 15 U.S.C. 6001-6006. Sec. 1203.1 Purpose and basis. The purpose and basis of this rule is to protect bicyclists from head injuries by ensuring that bicycle helmets comply with the requirements of appropriate existing voluntary standards, as provided in 15 U.S.C. 6004(a). Sec. 1203.2 Scope and effective date. (a) Bicycle helmets manufactured after March 15, 1995, shall comply with the requirements of one of the standards specified in Sec. 1203.3. This requirement shall be considered a consumer product safety standard issued under the Consumer Product Safety Act. (b) A bicycle helmet is any headgear marketed as suitable for providing protection from head injuries associated with bicycle use. (c) These interim mandatory safety standards will not apply to bicycle helmets manufactured after the effective date of a final bicycle helmet standard to be issued in the future by the Commission. Sec. 1203.3 Interim safety standards. (a) Bicycle helmets must comply with one or more of the following standards, which are incorporated herein by reference: (1) American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard Z90.4- 1984, Protective Headgear for Bicyclists, (2) ASTM standards F 1447-93 or F 1447-94, Standard Specification for Protective Headgear Used in Bicycling, incorporating the relevant provisions of ASTM F 1446-93 or ASTM F 1446-94, Standard Test Methods for Equipment and Procedures Used in Evaluating the Performance Characteristics of Protective Headgear, respectively, (3) Canadian Standards Association standard, Cycling Helmets CAN/ CSA-D113.2-M89, (4) Snell Memorial Foundation (Snell) 1990 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling (designation B-90), (5) Snell 1990 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling, including March 9, 1994 Supplement (designation B-90S), (6) Snell 1994 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Non- Motorized Sports (designation N-94), or (7) Snell 1995 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use with Bicycles B-95. (b) This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies of the standards may be obtained as follows. Copies of the ANSI Z90.4 standard are available from: American National Standards Institute, 11 W. 42nd Street, 13th Floor, New York, NY 10036. Copies of the ASTM standards are available from: ASTM, 1916 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Copies of the Canadian Standards Association CAN/CSA-D113.2-M89 standard are available from: CSA, 178 Rexdale Boulevard, Rexdale (Toronto), Ontario, Canada, M9W 1R3. Copies of the Snell standards are available from: Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 493, 7 Flowerfield, Suite 28, St. James, New York 11780. Copies may be inspected at the Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East-West Highway, Bethesda, Maryland 20814, or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 N. Capitol Street NW, Room 700, Washington, DC. Dated: March 16, 1995. Sadye E. Dunn, Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission. [FR Doc. 95-7082 Filed 3-22-95; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P