Vol. 150, No. 40 — October 1, 2016

Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles)

Statutory authority
Motor Vehicle Safety Act

Sponsoring department
Department of Transport

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Executive summary

Issue: Rollover and loss of control crashes involving heavy vehicles are a serious safety issue. In Canada, from 2005 to 2012, there was an annual estimated average of 2 810 truck tractor collisions that included a rollover or loss of control event, 819 of which caused injury and 70 of which caused fatalities. The current Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations do not require the installation of electronic stability control (ESC) systems on heavy vehicles, nor do they specify performance requirements for vehicles that are voluntarily equipped with ESC systems. Requiring ESC systems would help reduce the occurrence of rollovers and assist the driver in maintaining directional control of the vehicle during, for example, emergency manoeuvres (swerving or braking to avoid an obstacle) or cornering on slippery surfaces.

Description: This proposed amendment would modify the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations by adding section 136, Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles. This section would incorporate by reference the United States’ ESC safety standard for heavy vehicles (the U.S. safety standard), thus creating a Canadian requirement that is aligned with that of the United States. The proposal would affect certain truck tractors and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 11 793 kg. The effective dates would reflect those published in the U.S. safety standard, which vary based on vehicle type, beginning with three-axle truck tractors manufactured on or after August 1, 2017. All targeted vehicles manufactured on or after August 1, 2019, must be equipped with ESC systems.

Cost-benefit statement: The benefit-cost analysis found ESC to be unequivocally superior to rollover stability control as a regulatory alternative. Requiring ESC systems will lead to positive net benefits for both truck tractors and motor coaches, estimated at preventing up to 30 collisions per year involving 2018 model year vehicles, resulting in a minimum benefit of approximately $17.763 million over the average useful life of the vehicles. Even the most conservative estimate demonstrates a positive benefit/cost ratio of 2.30 for truck tractors and 1.48 for motor coaches.

“One-for-One” Rule and small business lens: The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this proposal, as there is no change expected in administrative costs to business. The small business lens would also not apply as the affected companies are large-scale manufacturers that operate internationally and would not be considered small businesses in Canada.

Domestic and international coordination and cooperation: Aligning with the safety standard of the United States would facilitate regulatory acceptance by the industry and would remove any potential impediment to trade and compliance between the United States and Canada. Consequently, this would facilitate the industries’ ability to import and export products by standardizing vehicle requirements, which in turn would lead to a wider variety of vehicles being fitted with ESC systems, to the benefit of Canadians.

Background

On June 23, 2015, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a final rule introducing a new safety standard, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 136, Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles. This U.S. safety standard requires mandatory fitment of electronic stability control (ESC) systems on most truck tractors and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 11 793 kg. The requirement for the fitment of ESC systems on certain truck tractors begins on August 1, 2017, and for certain buses, on June 24, 2018. All targeted vehicles must be equipped with ESC systems by August 1, 2019.

The new U.S. safety standard includes a requirement for the installation of ESC-related equipment, and for the ESC-equipped vehicle to meet objective performance requirements when subjected to specified dynamic test manoeuvres. These requirements will help prevent un-tripped rollovers (e.g. a rollover event that occurs without striking a curb or other roadside object) as well as mitigate understeer or oversteer conditions that could lead to a loss of directional (i.e. steering) control.

In November 2007, the United Nations Regulation No. 13, which addresses safety standards for heavy vehicles with regard to braking, was amended to require the installation of stability control systems on certain heavy trucks, truck tractors, buses and trailers. All new vehicles must be equipped accordingly by July 11, 2016.

The Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (MVSR) do not prevent the installation of ESC systems on heavy vehicles. Some provincial and territorial jurisdictions currently require a stability control system for specific classes of heavy vehicles. For example, in Quebec, tanker trucks carrying dangerous substances must be fitted with either a driver-monitoring system or an ESC system. In Ontario, the Long Combination Vehicle Program (i.e. any combination vehicle over 25 m in length, typically consisting of a tractor pulling two full-length semi-trailers) requires that such vehicles be equipped with an ESC system.

Issues

Rollover and loss of control crashes involving heavy vehicles are a serious safety issue. In the United States, data from 2011 indicate that there were approximately 8 000 crashes involving a combination truck rollover (i.e. truck tractor pulling a trailer), 3 000 of which caused injuries and 373 of which caused fatalities. (see footnote 1) In Canada, from 2005 to 2012, there was an annual estimated average of 2 810 truck tractor collisions that included a rollover or loss of control preceding the event, 819 of which caused injury and 70 of which caused fatalities.

The current Canadian regulations do not prevent the installation of ESC systems on heavy vehicles. While the voluntary installation of such systems is gradually increasing, regulations are necessary to increase the adoption rate and ensure that stability control systems for heavy vehicles meet specific equipment and performance requirements.

Objectives

The objective of this proposal is to reduce the occurrence of rollover and loss of control crashes by introducing a new safety standard to the MVSR that would mandate the fitment of ESC systems on certain truck tractors and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 11 793 kg. These requirements would be aligned with those of the United States.

Description

This proposed amendment would modify the MVSR by adding section 136, Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles. This section would incorporate by reference the U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 136, Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles, as amended from time to time. The reference will include necessary adaptations to national references, such as “Transport Canada” where reference is made to the “National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” and section 101, Controls, Tell-Tales, Indicators and Sources of Illumination, where reference is made to the ESC system malfunction tell-tale.

As with the U.S. safety standard, the proposal would affect certain truck tractors and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 11 793 kg. Urban transit buses, perimeter-seating buses, and certain low-volume, highly specialized vehicles would be excluded. Unlike the U.S. safety standard, Transport Canada’s proposed amendment requires ESC systems for school buses as well as transit buses used in intercity operations.

The effective dates would reflect those published in the U.S. safety standard, which vary with vehicle type. Specifically, all truck tractors manufactured on or after August 1, 2019, must comply with this standard, with the exception of typical truck tractor configurations, which must comply on or after August 1, 2017 (i.e. three-axle truck tractors with a front axle that has a gross axle weight rating of 6 622 kg or less and with two rear-drive axles that have a combined gross axle weight rating of 20 412 kg or less). All buses manufactured on or after August 1, 2019, must comply with this standard, with the exception of buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14 969 kg, which must comply on or after June 24, 2018.

The proposed safety standard includes requirements to enhance the vehicle’s directional control and mitigate rollover instability through the control of the engine torque distribution and brake application of individual wheels and, for truck tractors, a means to control the trailer brakes.

The standard includes dynamic test manoeuvres to evaluate the system’s ability to mitigate rollover instability, and ensure that minimum performance requirements are met. More specifically, the vehicle must be driven through a J-turn manoeuvre consisting of a straight path followed by a 150-foot constant radius curve, with a view to inducing rollover instability and causing the ESC system to intervene. ESC system intervention must be demonstrated through brake application at the individual wheels, including application of the trailer brakes (in the case of a towed vehicle), and modulating engine torque, all of which is designed to mitigate rollover instability, prevent the vehicle from deviating from its intended path as well as slow the vehicle as it travels through the curve. While there is no dynamic procedure to evaluate the system’s ability to mitigate directional instability (i.e. an oversteer or understeer condition), the proposed standard mandates this capability and prescribes the necessary equipment to accomplish the task.

Finally, this proposal would amend the table to section 101, Controls, Tell-Tales, Indicators and Sources of Illumination with the addition of an ESC system malfunction tell-tale for heavy vehicles, as well as revise the current symbol descriptions to better distinguish these from the ESC system symbols for light duty vehicles. To further improve clarity in reference to stability systems for light duty vehicles, this proposal would also revise the title of section 126 and the associated technical standards document to read Electronic Stability Control Systems for Light Vehicles.

Regulatory and non-regulatory options considered

With regard to the safety benefits obtainable through the installation of ESC systems on heavy vehicles, the following options were considered in the goal to reduce the number of crashes resulting from a vehicle loss of directional control or rollover.

Status quo

Despite the absence of federal regulations, some heavy vehicle manufacturers are installing ESC systems voluntarily as a matter of practical business. The U.S. final rule estimated voluntary installation rates for 2012 model year vehicles at 70% for new motor coaches, and 26.2% for truck tractors. Without regulations, the uptake of ESC technology for 2018 model year vehicles is only expected to rise to 80% for new motor coaches and 33.9% for truck tractors. Similar installation rates would be expected for Canadian vehicles, given the integrated nature of the North American market. A regulatory approach is necessary to achieve 100% installation rates for ESC technology to provide full benefits, as well as to ensure that these systems meet minimum performance standards.

Introduce regulations

As noted earlier, some provincial and territorial jurisdictions currently require a stability control system for specific classes of heavy vehicles, and the voluntary installation rate is increasing among heavy vehicle manufacturers. With the U.S. safety standard also mandating the fitment of ESC, it is expected that the majority of manufacturers would also install ESC as standard equipment on vehicles destined for Canada. While this would increase the voluntary installation of ESC in Canada, only a mandatory requirement will extract the full benefit.

Aligning the Canadian standard with the U.S. safety standard would facilitate regulatory acceptance by the industry, and would remove any potential impediment to trade between the two countries. It would facilitate the industry’s ability to import and export products, which in turn would offer a wider variety of vehicles fitted with an ESC system to the benefit of Canadian consumers.

Rollover stability control (RSC) systems were also considered as a regulatory alternative to the proposed ESC systems. Similarly to ESC, the RSC system operates through the control of the engine torque and brake application of individual wheels. However, while the RSC systems help prevent vehicle rollovers, they would not include the components necessary to effectively detect an understeer or oversteer condition that could lead to a loss of directional control. In addition to helping prevent rollover events, ESC systems have the ability to mitigate a loss of directional control and potential subsequent collision or rollover event.

Benefits and costs

The benefit-cost analysis (BCA) examined the effect of RSC and ESC as collision avoidance technologies installed on new truck tractors and motor coaches. The analysis was based on 2005–2012 collision data from Transport Canada’s National Collision Database, as well as information from the NHTSA’s research on RSC and ESC effectiveness and data on market technological adoption.

The BCA analysis is based on implementation of the technologies on model year 2018 vehicles. While an analysis of further model year vehicles is possible, it would require a number of assumptions that are difficult to support. Calculations for model year 2018 vehicles are sufficient to conclude that the respective technologies provide a net benefit, whether positive or negative. The analysis will demonstrate whether or not mandating a technology leads to a positive net benefit, as well as serve to compare alternative technologies.

In summary, the BCA analysis found ESC to be an unequivocally superior collision avoidance technology compared to RSC as a regulatory alternative. The estimated cost to industry related to the installation of ESC on truck tractors is $7.66 million for the targeted model year 2018 vehicles, and less than $0.01 million for motor coaches. The cost to the motor coach industry is relatively insignificant because of the much smaller fleet size and the high voluntary installation rate of this technology.

Mandating ESC will lead to positive net benefits for both truck tractors and motor coaches; it is estimated that it could prevent up to 30 collisions per year involving model year 2018 vehicles, resulting in a minimum benefit of approximately $17.763 million over the average useful life of the vehicles. The most conservative estimate would lead to a benefit-cost ratio of 2.30 for truck tractors and 1.48 for motor coaches.

“One-for-One” Rule and small business lens

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this proposal, as there is no change expected in administrative costs to business. As a result of the U.S. safety standard, companies will already have the necessary compliance and administrative systems in place to deal with the requirements of this proposed amendment. The small business lens also does not apply to this proposal. Affected companies are large-scale operations that would not be considered small businesses in Canada.

Consultation

Transport Canada (the Department) informs the automotive industry, public safety organizations and the general public when changes are planned to the MVSR. This gives them the opportunity to comment on these changes by letter or email. The Department also consults regularly, in face-to-face meetings or teleconferences, with the automotive industry, public safety organizations, the provinces and the territories.

In addition, the Department meets regularly with the federal authorities of other countries. Regulatory alignment between countries is key to trade and to a competitive Canadian automotive industry. The Department and the U.S. Department of Transportation hold semi-annual meetings to discuss issues of mutual importance and planned regulatory changes. Departmental officials also participate in and support the development of Global Technical Regulations, which are developed by the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations under the direction of the UN Economic Commission for Europe.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), a federation of provincial trucking associations representing the trucking industry and carriers, has been lobbying Transport Canada to harmonize stability control requirements with those of the United States. The CTA subsequently commended the former minister’s announcement of March 19, 2015, in which she supported mandating a stability control system standard that is aligned with the U.S. safety standard.

In a letter dated June 29, 2015, to the provincial and territorial ministers of Transportation, the former minister further announced Transport Canada’s commitment to developing a stability control system standard for heavy vehicles that would be aligned with that of the United States. Motor coach manufacturers were also made aware of the Department’s intentions. There has been no negative feedback or opposition to Transport Canada’s objective to align stability requirements with those of the United States.

Rationale

With the application of the U.S. safety standard, it is expected that the majority of manufacturers will install ESC as standard equipment on all vehicles destined for the North American market. While voluntary installation is rising, only a mandatory requirement will extract the full safety benefit of the standard and ensure that minimum performance requirements are achieved.

There is no evidence to suggest that a unique Canadian requirement is warranted. Currently, UN Regulation No. 13 and the U.S. safety standard address stability systems for heavy vehicles. The UN Regulation is based on a type approval system, and the requirements are not suited to the self-certification system used in North America. A vehicle that passes the UN Regulation may not necessarily meet the U.S. safety standard. To date, there are no plans to develop a certification-neutral UN Global Technical Regulation addressing stability control systems for heavy vehicles.

The U.S. safety standard provides an objective method of evaluating the performance of ESC systems for heavy vehicles and includes minimum performance requirements. While not harmonized with UN Regulation No. 13, the dynamic test manœuvre is one that is recognized in the UN Regulation. A vehicle that meets the U.S. performance requirements would also likely pass the requirements of UN Regulation No. 13.

Introducing a Canadian safety standard that is aligned with the U.S. requirements would have the benefit of relieving manufacturers of an unnecessary burden that could result from having different regulatory requirements. Furthermore, the U.S. safety standard has added flexibility in that the test method and performance requirements could also be applied to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of UN Regulation No. 13.

The buses targeted with this standard include motor coaches, which exhibited the majority of fatalities in collisions that ESC systems are capable of preventing. (see footnote 2) Most of the school bus and transit bus collisions are not rollover or loss-of-control crashes that ESC systems are capable of preventing, and due to the speculative benefits, school buses were exempt from the U.S. safety standard. Perimeter-seating buses with seven or fewer seating positions were also exempt, as these typically consist of airport shuttles operated for short distances on set routes, and are not widely exposed to general traffic.

While school buses are exempt from the U.S. safety standard, the Department is aware that manufacturers also provide virtually identical versions of these buses for the commercial market. Given that ESC systems would be required for the commercial version, the Department is proposing that ESC systems also be required for school buses. This would improve occupant safety by further reducing the potential for collisions involving school buses.

The Department is also proposing to apply the safety standard to a slightly broader range of intercity buses. The U.S. safety standard requires ESC on specific bus designs that have an elevated passenger deck located over a baggage compartment. However, the Department is aware of other bus designs used for long-haul intercity operations in Canada that would also benefit from ESC systems. The proposed definitions will broaden the scope to include these intercity bus designs that are operated in Canada.

Finally, the amendment exempts certain low-volume, highly specialized vehicles from requiring ESC. These vehicles are not designed to operate at speeds where roll or directional instability is likely to occur. This includes any vehicle that is equipped with an axle that has a gross axle weight rating of 13 154 kg or more; any vehicle that has a speed attainable in 3.2 km of not more than 53 km/h; and finally any truck tractor that has a speed attainable in 3.2 km of not more than 72 km/h, an unloaded vehicle weight that is not less than 95% of its gross vehicle weight rating, and no capacity to carry occupants other than the driver and operating crew.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Motor vehicle manufacturers and importers are responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and its regulations. The Department monitors the self-certification programs of manufacturers and importers by reviewing their test documentation, inspecting vehicles, and testing vehicles obtained in the open market. In addition, when a manufacturer or importer identifies a defect in a vehicle or equipment, it must issue a notice of defect to the owners and to the Minister of Transport. Any person or company that contravenes a provision of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act or its regulations is guilty of an offence, and liable to the applicable penalty set out in the Act.

It is proposed that this amendment come into force on the date of publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II. However, its application would depend on the vehicle type, starting with specified truck tractors manufactured on or after August 1, 2017, and specified buses manufactured on or after June 24, 2018. All targeted vehicles manufactured on or after August 1, 2019, must be equipped accordingly.

Contact

Denis Brault
Senior Regulatory Development Engineer
Motor Vehicle Safety
Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N5
Email: denis.brault@tc.gc.ca

Please note: It is important that comments be provided to the attention of the person noted above before the closing date. Submissions not sent directly to the person noted may not be considered as part of this regulatory proposal. Individual responses to submissions will not be provided. The Canada Gazette, Part II, will contain any changes that are made resulting from comments received, along with a summary of relevant comments. Persons submitting comments should indicate if they do not wish to be identified or if they do not wish to have their comments published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to subsections 5(1) (see footnote a) and 11(1) (see footnote b) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (see footnote c), proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles).

Interested persons may make representations with respect to the proposed Regulations within 75 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must be in writing and cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be sent to Denis Brault, Senior Regulatory Development Engineer, Motor Vehicle Safety, Department of Transport, 11th Floor, 330 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N5 (email: denis.brault@tc.gc.ca).

Ottawa, September 22, 2016

Jurica Čapkun
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles)

Amendments

1 Subsection 2(1) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (see footnote 3) is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

perimeter-seating bus means a bus with seven or fewer designated seating positions rearward of the driver’s designated seating position that are forward-facing or that can be adjusted to change the direction they are facing to forward-facing without the use of tools. (autobus muni de sièges de périmètre)

transit bus means a bus that is specially designed with space for standing passengers and that is equipped with a stop-request system. (autobus urbain)

2 (1) The portion of item 126 of Schedule III to the Regulations in column II is replaced by the following:

Column I

Item (CMVSS)

Column II

Description

126

Electronic Stability Control Systems for Light Vehicles

(2) Schedule III to the Regulations is amended by adding the following after item 135:

Column I Column II Column III

Classes of Vehicles
Item (CMVSS) Description   Motorcycle Restricted-use Motorcycle Multi-purpose Passenger Vehicle Passenger Car Snow-mobile Snow-mobile Cutter Trailer Trailer Converter Dolly Truck Vehicle Imported Temporarily for Special Purposes Low-speed Vehicle Three-wheeled Vehicle
Bus Enclosed Motor- cycle Open Motor-cycle Limited-speed Motorcycle Motor Tricycle
136 Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles X                       X      

3 The portion of the item “Electronic stability control system malfunction” in the table to section 101 of Part II of Schedule IV to the Regulations in column 1 is replaced by the following:

Column 1

Item

Electronic stability control system malfunction for vehicles subject to CMVSS 126

4 The portion of the item “Electronic stability control system off ” in the table to section 101 of Part II of Schedule IV to the Regulations in column 1 is replaced by the following:

Column 1

Item

Electronic stability control system off for vehicles subject to CMVSS 126

5 The table to section 101 of Part II of Schedule IV to the Regulations is amended by adding the following after the item “Electronic stability control system off for vehicles subject to CMVSS 126”:

Column 1

Item
Column 2

Symbol
Column 3

[Reserved]
Column 4

Function
Column 5

Illumination
Column 6

Colour

Electronic stability control system malfunction for vehicles subject to CMVSS 136

passenger caror truckor bus  

Tell-tale

 

Yellow

6 Subsection 126(1) of Part II of Schedule IV to the Regulations and the heading before it are replaced by the following:

Electronic Stability Control Systems for Light Vehicles (Standard 126)

126 (1) Every passenger car, multi-purpose passenger vehicle, truck and bus with a GVWR of 4 536 kg or less must conform to the requirements of Technical Standards Document No. 126, Electronic Stability Control Systems for Light Vehicles (TSD 126), as amended from time to time.

7 Part II of Schedule IV to the Regulations is amended by adding the following after section 135:

Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles (CMVSS 136)

136 (1) Subject to subsection (2), truck tractors and buses referred to in S3 of the standard set out in subpart 136, part 571, chapter V, Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations of the United States (FMVSS 136), must comply with the requirements of that standard, as amended from time to time. However,

(2) Despite FMVSS 136, subsection (1) applies to school buses.

(3) This section applies to vehicles manufactured on or after the dates set out in FMVSS 136.

Coming into Force

8 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

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