Passenger vehicle safety targeted by 'global standardization'

| 11/23/2004

The United States and more than 20 other nations have agreed on a new standard intended to lead to safer passenger vehicles worldwide.

This “global standardization” establishes the first international vehicle safety regulation, Jeffrey W. Runge, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, announced at a press conference in Geneva Nov. 21.

The new door retention standard is the result of three years of research, development and negotiations. On the horizon are many additional standards that would regulate head restraints, motorcycle brakes, the installation of lighting devices, vehicle window glazing and pedestrian safety.

The new door retention regulation is the first international vehicle safety standard to be established under “The 1998 Global Agreement,” an accord reached by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, which includes the United States and other countries from around the world.

Countries that signed the 1998 agreement voted to establish the proposed standard, designed to improve door locks and door retention systems to help prevent injury and death because of passenger ejection.

Among other elements, the new global standard will strengthen safety requirements and test procedures for sliding doors used on many passenger vehicles, including mini-vans and 15-passenger vans.

NHTSA plans to publish a notice in the near future outlining the proposed new door standard for the U.S. market.