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CPSC's Announcement of its Bicycle Helmet Standard




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]


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[[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.



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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          
          






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