The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reopened the comment period for a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213, “Child restraint systems,” to adopt side-impact performance requirements for all child restraint systems designed to seat children up to 40 pounds. NHTSA extended the comment period following a request from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association which claimed that the original three-month deadline was too short to “thoroughly evaluate the potential implications” of the proposed rule and that availability of the side impact test dummy was “limited.”

To ensure that child restraint systems “provide a minimum level of protection in side impacts by effectively restraining the child, preventing harmful head contact with an intruding vehicle door or child restraint structure, and by attenuating crash forces to the child’s head and chest,” the agency hopes to fulfill the statutory requirement of the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” of July 6, 2012, requiring that NHTSA issue new rules to protect children during side-impact crashes. Comments will be accepted until October 2, 2014. See Federal Register, June 4, 2014.