Vol. 150, No. 9 — February 27, 2016

Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Interpretation and Standards 108 and 108.1)

Statutory authority

Motor Vehicle Safety Act

Sponsoring department

Department of Transport

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issues

Vehicle lighting is a very important safety issue. To provide a safe driving environment for all road users, drivers must be able to see the road, other road users and road hazards, and their vehicles must be visible to other drivers and pedestrians at night as well as during the day. The current Canadian regulation is out of date and is no longer in alignment with the corresponding United States regulation, which was revised in 2012. Moreover, as Canada was the first country in the world to require daytime running lights, the 25-year-old provisions regarding this feature must be updated to reflect the acquired experience and evolution in motor vehicle technology. Also, as the United Nations introduced mandatory daytime running lights on all new vehicles and allowance for new technology for road illumination, there is a need to consider better alignment of Canadian regulatory provisions with those of the United States and international rules.

Background

Section 108 of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (the Canadian safety standard) regarding lighting and light-signalling devices incorporates by reference Technical Standards Document No. 108, which reproduces an out-of-date United States Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 (the United States safety standard) on the same subject. In addition to these requirements that were aligned with the United States safety standard, the current Canadian safety standard includes specific provisions for classes of vehicles, such as three-wheeled vehicles and motor tricycles, that are unique to Canada.

The United States safety standard has been updated and revised and thus is no longer the same as the version incorporated into the Canadian safety standard. The goal of the United States revision was to improve the organization of the standard without significantly changing the requirements. Nevertheless, the new United States document is fundamentally different from its predecessor. It includes new text that represents legal interpretations of the previous regulatory provisions, and many sections of the referenced North American industry standards, developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers, have been incorporated into the regulatory text.

Canada’s policy to pursue motor vehicle regulations that are aligned with the United States is designed to reduce trade barriers within North America. It assists the Government in achieving the mutual goals of the three North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) nations; these goals include encouraging compatibility of regulations and eliminating redundant testing. The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTS) and Transport Canada cooperate in finding ways to prevent or reduce regulatory barriers to cross-border trade, while recognizing each country’s right to address specific safety needs.

Objectives

The proposed amendment would enhance safety for Canadian road users by introducing specific requirements regarding the installation, performance and switching of daytime running lights and night-time lights and by providing improved conspicuity for three-wheeled vehicles and motor-tricycles.

The proposed amendment would also enhance the level of alignment with the revised United States safety standard. Updating the Canadian requirements will maintain the alignment of basic lighting requirements with the United States safety standard and the North American industry standards developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers. Finally, this publication solicits comments on potential allowance of new technology headlamps described in the United Nations regulations.

Description

Amendments are proposed to sections 2 and 108 of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations. This amendment would remove several definitions in section 2, “Interpretations,” of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations, as the same terms are defined in Technical Standards Document No. 108. Other definitions would be added in respect of expressions used in the text of amended section 108. It is also proposed that section 108.1, “Alternative Requirements for Headlamps,” be repealed and the requirements be updated and rolled into Canadian safety standard 108. The proposed Regulations incorporate by reference the new Technical Standards Document that reproduces the latest United States safety standard with adaptations where necessary to reflect specific Canadian requirements.

As fog lamps are designed to be used in case of decreased visibility caused by fog or other airborne obstructions (such as dust, rain or snow), the Canadian safety standard would continue to be aligned with the United Nations regulations and would require activation of tail lamps, parking lamps, licence plate lamps and side marker lamps when front or rear fog lamps are activated by the driver. This increases vehicle conspicuity and helps prevent collisions under adverse weather conditions when fog lamps may be in use. Moreover, section 108 would continue to require that front fog lamps and auxiliary road illumination devices be vertically adjustable to allow proper aiming.

The proposed amendment would also align with the United States safety standard that prohibits the use of front fog lamps as daytime running lights. As front fog lamps do not provide light above the horizontal level of the lamp, they may not draw sufficient attention to the vehicle in traffic during daytime operation. As some manufacturers have noted that they presently use front fog lamps as daytime running lights on certain vehicle models, manufacturers will be provided time to redesign their vehicle lighting systems to meet the new requirements.

Finally, with regard to fog lamps, this proposal includes the mandatory deactivation of daytime running lamps when front fog lamps are switched on. Daytime running lights project light upward, causing feedback glare to the driver when driving in fog. Thus, this proposal would add the requirement for the daytime running lights to be deactivated once the front fog lamps are switched on by the driver.

Furthermore, it is proposed to clarify current requirements regarding lighting and light-signalling devices installed on motor tricycles and three-wheeled vehicles. The current Canadian safety standard requires that these vehicles be equipped with specified lighting and lightsignalling devices arranged in the same way, as these devices would be installed on a passenger vehicle. The intent is to help ensure that the width of a motor tricycle or a three-wheeled vehicle is clearly marked and recognizable by drivers approaching from the front or rear. The proposed amendment would add the requirement for certain motor tricycles and three-wheeled vehicles to have additional reflex reflectors to clearly identify their overall width.

With regard to motorcycles and the vertical arrangement of upper and lower beam headlamps, the proposed amendment would remove the North American unique requirement of mounting the headlamp upper beam below the lower beam. This would permit motorcycle manufacturers to install the lower beam closer to the road to reduce glare to other drivers and to mount upper beams higher for better road illumination. Moreover, the amendment would allow motorcycle manufacturers to use dedicated daytime running lamps instead of mandatory daytime headlamps. Use of a dedicated daytime running lamp may provide better visibility of a motorcycle during daylight conditions.

This proposal addresses a safety concern that has been voiced by the Canadian public and international government experts: vehicles are frequently operated at dusk, in tunnels, or under bad weather conditions without their headlamps, tail lamps and side marker lamps activated. This situation is a result of an increasing number of vehicles being equipped with instrument panels (dashboards) that are illuminated at all times. Drivers, seeing an illuminated instrument panel, assume that other lights of the vehicle are also switched on. Consequently, this proposal includes the requirement for vehicles equipped with an instrument panel that is illuminated whenever the vehicle is in operation, to have the tail lamps activated together with the daytime running lamps or to have headlamps, tail lamps and side marker lamps activate automatically under specified low ambient light conditions. Alternatively, vehicles designed with an instrument panel that is not illuminated unless the headlamps, tail lamps and side marker lamps are switched on would not need to meet this requirement.

It is proposed that the present requirement describing voltage manipulation that allows incandescent bulbs to provide a reduced intensity lower beam be replaced by lamp performance requirements, thus allowing new technology light sources to provide a daytime running light function. Moreover, the proposed amendment would allow manufacturers to use daytime running lamps conforming to the new Society of Automotive Engineers standard reflecting the same requirements as the United States standard and the United Nations regulation. In addition, in response to requests from stakeholders, vehicle manufacturers would be allowed to provide a manual switch for deactivation of daytime running lights for up to a maximum of 100 m of vehicle travel. After the 100 m of travel, the daytime running lights would reactivate. This option would permit individuals, such as police officers, to switch daytime running lights off when parked or travelling for a short distance.

As part of this proposed amendment, current section 108.1 of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations would be amalgamated with updated section 108. Section 108.1 currently allows the use of headlamp systems conforming to the United Nations regulations as an alternative to the headlamps required by the Canadian safety standard. It is proposed that the content of the current provisions of section 108.1 be revised and moved to the new Canadian safety standard 108. Although several of the United Nations regulations prescribe headlamps, which are manufactured and type-approved only as replacement headlamps for older vehicles, that use obsolete technology, the Department will, at this time, retain them as allowed alternatives to the Canadian requirements until a full evaluation of all United Nation regulations regarding headlamps has been completed.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this proposal, as there is no change in administrative costs to business.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to this proposal, as there are no costs to small business.

Consultation

Transport Canada periodically issues its Regulatory Plan, which describes planned regulatory initiatives and changes to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations. This Plan is distributed to stakeholders (automotive industry, public safety organizations, and interested members of the general public). Stakeholders have the opportunity to comment on these initiatives by letter or email. Transport Canada also consults regularly, in face-to-face meetings or teleconferences, with the automotive industry, public safety organizations, the provinces, and the territories.

Transport Canada officials participate in meetings with industry technical committees. In the case of vehicle lighting and light signalling issues, Transport Canada meets with the Lighting Committee of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Standards and recommended practices developed by this group are often referred to or adopted into the text of government regulations.

In addition, Transport Canada meets regularly with the federal authorities of other countries. Transport Canada and the United States Department of Transportation hold semi-annual meetings to discuss problems of mutual interest and planned regulatory changes. Moreover, Transport Canada officials participate in and support the development of Global Technical Regulations that are developed by the working parties formed under the auspices of the United Nations World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations.

In the case of this regulatory initiative, Transport Canada announced a proposed update of the Canadian safety standard regarding lighting and light signalling devices and a future revision of the referred Technical Standards Document, in its Regulatory Plan distributed to Canadian stakeholders. Numerous meetings were held with vehicle manufacturers and their representative organizations, where the details of the planned changes to the regulatory requirements were discussed. Furthermore, several discussion drafts of the proposed regulatory amendments were distributed to industry associations. Specifically, Transport Canada held teleconferences and several face-to-face meetings with the Truck Manufacturers Association, the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association, the Motorcycle & Moped Industry Council and the Global Automakers of Canada.

Many vehicle manufacturers are supportive of this initiative, as it would again align the Canadian safety standard with the United States safety standard and North American industry standards . Many manufacturers are in support of the general requirements related to improving visibility when fog lamps are used, eliminating the optional use of front fog lamps as daytime running lights, and improving the visibility of vehicles during low ambient light conditions by the automatic activation of night-time lights or other optional means. Some manufacturers have expressed concern with a few of the Canadian-specific requirements, noting that the proposal is not fully aligned with the United States requirements. They were informed that any new requirement will be compatible with the United States safety standards. While some allowances (such as allowing the upper beam over the lower beam on motorcycles) are not aligned with the United States requirements, they would not hinder Canadians travelling in the United States.

Over the last decade, the United Nations Working Party on Lighting and Light-Signalling worked on regulatory provisions allowing headlamp systems that use advanced lighting technologies, which employ more than one light source or such features as shutters to alter the light produced by the headlamp. New United Nations Regulation 123 and United Nations Regulation 48 regarding installation describe the “adaptive forward-illumination system” (AFS) that is designed to provide road illumination in relation to vehicle speed, weather conditions, ambient light and road geometry and characteristics (city, suburban, country, divided or undivided highway, etc.). United Nations Regulation 48 also allows the “adaptive driving beam,” which adjusts the light intensity in relation to the traffic situation. Parts of the otherwise upper beam pattern are switched off in the direction of oncoming or preceding traffic to help control glare to the other drivers. Consequently, the driver has a full complement of upper beam road illumination, and the preceding and oncoming drivers are exposed only to the light equivalent to or lower than the lower beam intensity. The Lighting Committee of the Society of Automotive Engineers has also been working on the development of an industry standard regarding the adaptive driving beam.

While all manufacturers have expressed support for the principle of regulatory alignment with the United States, many have noted concern that rigid alignment only with the United States reduces consumer choice in the area of new lighting technologies described in the previous paragraph. These manufacturers support the fact that Canada allows new lighting technologies even though some may be currently not permitted on vehicles sold in the United States. In response to these manufacturers’ suggestion, Transport Canada will consider their request for allowance of new technology lamps on vehicles to be sold in Canada. Therefore, as part of this prepublication, Transport Canada is soliciting comments from stakeholders regarding updating the Canadian safety standard to allow these new lighting technologies. Comments must include substantiating evidence to support a stakeholder’s position. Based on comments received and the Department’s review and evaluation of these systems, a decision will be made on whether to permit road illumination devices employing new technologies on Canadian vehicles. If permitted, this allowance would be published as part of the final amendment in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

During the development of this proposed regulatory amendment, manufacturers requested lead time to help them adjust their new vehicle designs. Therefore, a lead time would be allowed before new vehicles are expected to comply with the specified new requirements.

Rationale

This regulatory initiative is intended to improve road safety in Canada. The proposed Canadian safety standard would continue to refer to the Technical Standards Document, which substantially reproduces the United States safety standard. It would also continue the current allowance for conventional vehicle headlamps conforming to the United Nations Regulations.

This proposal includes new requirements to help ensure an appropriate level of vehicle lighting when ambient light levels are low, specifically the requirement for vehicles operating with their instrument panels illuminated at all times to have their tail lamps activated together with daytime running lights or to have their headlamps, tail lamps and side marker lamps automatically activated under low ambient light conditions. The alternative would be to have a dark instrument panel that would signal to the driver that the headlamps, tail lamps and side marker lamps are not on. This proposed requirement is important as many drivers are now operating their vehicle in low ambient light conditions with no tail lamps, no side marker lights and with reduced front visibility created by lower intensity daytime running lamps. Many Canadians have written to the Government noting this rising concern. As this proposal includes different options, some of them already implemented on many vehicle models, vehicle manufacturers will be able to choose the option that best suits them.

This proposal maintains the requirement for daytime running lights. The daytime running light provisions are updated to be aligned with the voluntary North American industry standard and are fully compatible with the requirements of the United States safety standard. International trade is further supported, as the new proposed Canadian requirements regarding daytime running lights, fog lamp and headlamp switching and the continued allowance for alternative conventional headlamp systems, facilitate the importation of vehicles conforming to United Nations regulations.

Finally, allowing flexibility in motorcycle headlamp design and allowing the use of dedicated daytime running lights in lieu of headlamps may have a positive impact on the safety of motorcycle riders. The new requirement for better identification of three-wheeled vehicles and motor tricycles would enhance their visibility and consequently improve safety on Canadian roads.

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 of Transport 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 these amendments come into force on publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II. However, for a period of one year after these amendments come into force, a vehicle may comply with the previous version of the Regulations. It is also proposed that vehicles to which the proposed amendments would apply be required to fully comply if manufactured on or after September 1, 2019. This would provide adequate lead time for manufacturers to modify any unique Canadian market models not already complying with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108.

Contact

Marcin Gorzkowski, P.Eng.
Senior Regulatory Development Engineer
Motor Vehicle Safety Directorate
Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N5

Please note: It is important that your submission be provided to the attention of the contact 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 your submission will not be provided by Transport Canada. Any subsequent final regulation that is published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, will contain any changes that are made, along with a summary of the relevant comments received. Please indicate in your submission if you do not wish to be identified or if you do not wish to have your comments published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

Please note that the proposed amendment refers to revision 6 of Technical Standards Document No. 108. An advance copy of this document may be obtained on the Internet at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/acts-regulations/regulations-crc-c1038.htm.

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 (Interpretation and Standards 108 and 108.1).

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 Marcin Gorzkowski, P.Eng., Senior Regulatory Development Engineer, Motor Vehicle Safety, Department of Transport, 11th Floor, 330 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5 (email: marcin.gorzkowski@tc.gc.ca).

Ottawa, February 18, 2016

Jurica Čapkun
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Interpretation and Standards 108 and 108.1)

Amendments

1 (1) The definitions H-V axis, headlamp assembly, optically combined lamps and sealed beam headlamp in subsection 2(1) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (see footnote 1) are repealed.

(2) The definitions daytime running lamp, headlamp and overall width in subsection 2(1) of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

daytime running lamp means a lamp that produces a steady-burning light signal intended to improve the visibility of a vehicle from the front and front sides; (feu de jour)

headlamp means a lighting device that produces an upper beam, a lower beam, or both; (projecteur)

overall width means, except for the purposes of section 104 of Schedule IV, the widest part of a vehicle with the doors and windows closed and the wheels in the straight-ahead position, exclusive of signal lamps, marker lamps, outside rearview mirrors, flexible fender extensions and mud flaps; (largeur hors tout)

(3) Subsection 2(1) of the Regulations is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

lower beam means a beam intended to illuminate the road and its environs ahead of a vehicle when the vehicle is meeting or closely following another vehicle; (faisceau de croisement)

reflex reflector means a device on a vehicle intended to indicate the position and dimensions of the vehicle to the driver of an approaching vehicle using light reflected from the lamps of the approaching vehicle; (cataphote)

upper beam means a beam intended primarily for distance illumination ahead of a vehicle when the vehicle is not meeting or closely following another vehicle; (faisceau de route)

2 The portion of item 108 in Schedule III of the Regulations in column II of is replaced the following:

Column I

Item (CMVSS)

Column II

Description

108

Lighting System and Reflective Devices

3 Item 108.1 of Schedule III to the Regulations is repealed.

4 Section 108 of Part II of Schedule IV to the Regulations and the headings before it are replaced by the following:

Lighting System and Reflective Devices (Standard 108)

Passenger Cars, Multi-purpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, Trailers and Buses

108 (1) Every passenger car, multi-purpose passenger vehicle, truck, trailer and bus shall conform to Technical Standards Document No. 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Components (TSD 108), as amended from time to time, except that the following provisions and texts in TSD 108 do not apply:

Three-wheeled Vehicles

(2) Every three-wheeled vehicle shall be equipped with lamps, reflex reflectors and associated components as required under subsection (1) for passenger cars, and

Alternative Headlamps for Passenger Cars, Three-wheeled Vehicles, Multi-purpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks and Buses

(3) Instead of being equipped with headlamps as required under subsection (1) or (2), as the case may be, passenger cars, three-wheeled vehicles, multi-purpose passenger vehicles, buses and trucks may be equipped with headlamps that meet the following requirements:

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3), the following requirements of the ECE Regulations referred to in that subsection do not apply:

Motorcycles other than Motor Tricycles

(5) Every motorcycle other than a motor tricycle shall conform to TSD 108, except that

Motor Tricycles

(6) Every motor tricycle shall conform to TSD 108, except that

(7) In addition to being equipped with reflex reflectors and lamps as specified in S6.1 and Table I-c of TSD 108, a motor tricycle shall be

Alternative Headlamps for Motorcycles

(8) Instead of being equipped with headlamps as required under subsection (5) or (6), as the case may be, motorcycles may be equipped with headlamps that

(9) For the purposes of subsection (8), the following requirements of the ECE Regulations referred to in that subsection do not apply:

Restricted-use Motorcycles

(10) Every restricted-use motorcycle shall be equipped with reflex reflectors as required under subsection (5) for motorcycles other than motor tricycles.

Additional Requirements for the Activation of Certain Lamps

(11) In addition to being activated as specified in Table I-a of TSD 108, parking lamps, tail lamps, licence plate lamps and side marker lamps on a passenger car, multi-purpose passenger vehicle, three-wheeled vehicle, truck or bus shall be activated

(12) Except when it is used to give intermittent luminous warnings at short intervals, the upper beam may be activated only when the master light switch is in the “headlamps on” position or in the “AUTO” (automatic) position and the conditions for automatic activation of the lower beam exist.

(13) Despite S6.1.5 and Table I-a of TSD 108, the tail lamps may be activated without the concurrent activation of the headlamps, if the daytime running lamps are activated.

(14) If the fuel level indicator, oil pressure indicator, engine coolant temperature indicator, battery charging indicator, automatic transmission control position indicator or speedometer indicator or their identifications are illuminated when the daytime running lights of a vehicle are in use, one of the following requirements shall be met:

(15) For the purposes of paragraph (14)(a), the ambient light outside a vehicle shall be measured on a horizontal surface, with a cosine corrected sensor at the same height as the mounting position of the sensor on the vehicle.

Fog Lamps and Forward Auxiliary Road Illumination lamps — Aiming Adjustment Mechanism

(16) Every passenger car, multi-purpose passenger vehicle, truck, bus, three-wheeled vehicle and motor tricycle equipped with a front fog lamp or forward auxiliary road illumination lamp shall be equipped with a mechanism for that lamp that

Information

(17) There shall be provided, with every passenger car, multi-purpose passenger vehicle, truck and bus, the information required by TSD 108 in relation to the operation of the vehicle.

(18) There shall be provided, with every three-wheeled vehicle, the information relating to the operation of the vehicle that is the same as the information required under subsection (17) in relation to the operation of a passenger car.

(19) Except for the words “sealed beam” referred to in S6.5.3.3.1 of TSD 108 and the word “motorcycle” referred to in S10.17.2 of TSD 108, any information required under this section to be marked on or to be provided with a passenger car, multi-purpose passenger vehicle, three-wheeled vehicle, motorcycle, restricted-use motorcycle, trailer, truck or bus shall be in English and French.

Daytime Running Lamps

(20) Subsections (21) to (25) apply to passenger cars, multi-purpose passenger vehicles, trucks, buses and three-wheeled vehicles.

(21) Every vehicle shall be equipped with daytime running lamps

(22) Despite section 6.4 of SAE Standard J2087, the light from a daytime running lamp shall be white unless it is produced by a turn signal lamp, in which case it shall be yellow.

Switching — Daytime Running Lamps

(23) Subject to subsections (24) and (25), the daytime running lamps on a vehicle shall be activated not later than when the vehicle is set in motion under its own power and shall remain activated until the vehicle’s main electrical system is turned off or until the vehicle is put in the “accessory” mode of operation.

(24) The daytime running lamps on a vehicle shall

(25) The daytime running lamps on a vehicle may

Motorcycle Running Lamps

(26) The following lamps on a motorcycle shall be activated not later than when the motorcycle is set in motion under its own power and shall remain activated until the motorcycle’s main electrical system is turned off or until the motorcycle is put in the “accessory” mode of operation:

Interpretation
General

(27) For the purposes of this section, the determination of overall width shall exclude outside door handles, and may exclude running boards, if the running boards do not extend beyond the width, as determined by the other items excluded by the definition “overall width”.

TSD 108

(28) For the purposes of this section,

ECE

(29) For the purposes of this section,

SAE

(30) For the purposes of section 7.3.1 of SAE Standard J2087 and section 5.2.5.1 of SAE Standard J583, “should” shall be interpreted as expressing an obligation.

Transitional Provision

(31) Despite subsections (1) to (30), a vehicle may, for a one-year period that begins on the day on which this subsection comes into force, conform to the requirements of this section, as it read immediately before the day on which this subsection comes into force.

5 Section 108.1 of Part II of Schedule IV to the Regulations and the heading before it are repealed.

Coming into Force

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

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