ARCHIVED — Vol. 151, No. 12 — June 14, 2017

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SOR/2017-104 June 2, 2017

MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY ACT

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

P.C. 2017-563 June 2, 2017

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport, pursuant to subsections 5(1) (see footnote a) and 11(1) (see footnote b) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (see footnote c), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles).

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 1) 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

Bus

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

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

Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.

or

Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.

or

Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.

 

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,

  • (a) the definition of “over-the-road bus” set out in the standard does not apply;
  • (b) the terms “perimeter-seating bus” and “transit bus” in the standard have the meaning as in subsection 2(1) of these Regulations;
  • (c) the electronic stability control system malfunction tell-tale for vehicles subject to CMVSS 136 must be identified by the symbol set out in the table to section 101 of this Schedule or by the abbreviation “ESC”; and
  • (d) “National Highway Traffic Safety Administration” in the standard is to be read as “Transport Canada”.

(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 (1) These regulations, except for subsection 2(2) and sections 5 and 7, come into force on the day on which they are published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

(2) Subsection 2(2) and sections 5 and 7 come into force on the day that, in the sixth month after the month in which these Regulations are published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, has the same calendar number as the day on which they are published or, if that sixth month has no day with that number, the last day on that sixth month.

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Executive summary

Issues: 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. Prior to this amendment, Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations did not require the installation of electronic stability control (ESC) systems on heavy vehicles, nor did they specify performance requirements for vehicles that are voluntarily equipped with ESC systems. Requiring ESC systems will 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 amendment modifies the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations by adding section 136, Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles. This section incorporates by reference the United States’ ESC safety standard for heavy vehicles (the U.S. safety standard), thus introducing a new Canadian safety standard that is aligned with the United States. Subject to the coming-into-force date, the compliance dates reflect those in the U.S. safety standard. The amendment affects certain truck tractors and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 11 793 kg. 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 leads to positive net benefits for both truck tractors and motor coaches, estimated to prevent 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 amendment, 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: This initiative is part of the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council work plan for motor vehicles. Aligning with the safety standard of the United States facilitates regulatory acceptance by the industry and removes any potential impediment to trade and compliance between the United States and Canada. Consequently, this facilitates the industries’ ability to import and export products by standardizing vehicle requirements, which in turn offers a wider variety of vehicles 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 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 since July 11, 2016.

Prior to this amendment, the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (MVSR) did not require nor prevent the installation of ESC systems on heavy vehicles. Nevertheless, some provincial or territorial jurisdictions already 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 Vehicles 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 is 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 injury and 373 of which caused fatalities. (see footnote 2) 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.

Prior to this amendment, the Canadian MVSR did not require nor 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 controls systems for heavy vehicles meet specific equipment and performance requirements.

Objectives

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

Description

This amendment modifies the MVSR by adding section 136, Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles. This section incorporates by reference the U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 136, Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles, as amended from time to time. The reference includes 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 malfunction tell-tale.

As with the U.S. safety standard, the amendment affects 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 are excluded. Unlike the U.S. safety standard, Transport Canada’s amendment requires ESC systems for school buses, as well as a slightly broader range of buses used in intercity operations.

This ESC requirement comes into force six months after the day on which this amendment is published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. After this date, the compliance dates in the referenced U.S. safety standard apply. As published in the U.S. safety standard, 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. Vehicles manufactured prior to the coming into force of section 136 need not be equipped with ESC.

The 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 roll 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 roll 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 standard mandates this capability and prescribes the necessary equipment to accomplish the task.

Finally, this amendment modifies 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 revising the symbol descriptions to better distinguish these from the ESC symbols for light duty vehicles. To further improve clarity in reference to stability systems for light duty vehicles, this amendment also revises 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 with the goal of reducing 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 the 100% installation rates required for ESC technology to provide full benefits, as well as ensure that these systems meet minimum performance standards.

Introduce Regulations

As noted earlier, some provincial or 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 for Canada, only a mandatory requirement will extract the full benefit.

Aligning the Canadian standard with the U.S. safety standard facilitates regulatory acceptance by the industry, and removes any potential impediment to trade between the two countries. It facilitates the industry’s ability to import and export products, which in turn offers 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 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. This 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 the respective technology’s net benefit, whether positive or negative. The analysis demonstrates whether or not mandating a technology leads to a positive net benefit, as well as serves 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 amendment, 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 amendment. The small business lens also does not apply to this amendment. Affected companies are large-scale operations that would not be considered small businesses in Canada.

Consultation

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), a federation of provincial trucking associations representing the trucking industry and carriers, has been lobbying Transport Canada (the Department) to harmonize stability control requirements with those of the United States. The CTA subsequently commended the ministerial announcement of March 19, 2015, which 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 Minister of Transport Canada further announced the Department’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 with Transport Canada’s objective to align stability requirements with those of the United States.

The proposal for this amendment was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on October 1, 2016, followed by a 75-day comment period. One written submission was received in response to the Part I publication, from the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA), representing the manufacturers’ of medium and heavy-duty truck tractors that are subject to this amendment.

EMA endorsed ESC as a proven safety technology and fully supported the Department’s proposal to align the Canadian safety standard with the U.S. requirements. They also indicated support for achieving alignment through the incorporation by reference of the U.S. safety standard as amended from time to time, with the understanding that this will maintain alignment effectively and without delay in the event of future amendments to the U.S. safety standard.

Finally, the EMA urged that the Department proceed quickly with publishing a final regulation as the initial compliance date of August 1, 2017, is quickly approaching. In follow-up correspondence, the EMA indicated a need for six months of lead time before compliance to section 136 be made mandatory, in order to give manufacturers time to address vehicles currently in production. The Department has therefore revised the effective dates such that section 136 comes into force six months after the day on which this amendment is published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. After this date, the compliance dates in the referenced U.S. safety standard apply; however, vehicles manufactured prior to the coming-into-force date need not be equipped with ESC.

Other than revising the coming-into-force date of section 136, no new requirements beyond the contents of the regulatory proposal published on October 1, 2016, were added as a result of the consultations.

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 and assure 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 manoeuvre 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 has 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 3) 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 are required for the commercial version, the Department is requiring that ESC systems also be required for school buses. This improves occupant safety by further reducing the potential for collisions involving school buses.

The Department is also applying 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 that is 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 definitions will broaden the scope to include these intercity bus designs that are operated in Canada.

Finally, the amendment excludes 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

Following the consultations to the prepublication in the Canada Gazette, Part I, the Department has revised the effective dates such that the ESC requirements come into force six months after the day on which this amendment is published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. After this date, the compliance dates of the U.S. safety standard apply; however, vehicles manufactured prior to the coming-into-force date need not be equipped with ESC. The remaining portions of this amendment come into force on the date of publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

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.

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

  • Footnote a
    S.C. 2014, c. 20, ss. 216(1) and (2)
  • Footnote b
    S.C. 2014, c. 20, s. 223(1)
  • Footnote c
    S.C. 1993, c. 16
  • Footnote 1
    C.R.C., c. 1038
  • Footnote 2
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2015. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards: Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles. Final Rule. 49 CFR Part 571. Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0056-0001. page 36057.
  • Footnote 3
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2015. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards: Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles. Final Rule. 49 CFR Part 571. Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0056-0001, page 36057.