Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108; Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment, 42639-42641 [E9-20258]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 162 / Monday, August 24, 2009 / Proposed Rules on the slant range distance, which is the line-of-sight distance from the measurement antenna to the overhead line. Alternatively, a site-specific extrapolation factor may be used in lieu of the 30 dB/decade standard. This extrapolation factor shall be derived from a best fit straight line fit determined by a first-order regression calculation from measurements for at least four lateral distances from the overhead line. Compliance measurements for Access BPL and use of site-specific extrapolation factors shall be made in accordance with the Guidelines for Access BPL systems specified by the Commission. * * * * * [FR Doc. E9–20336 Filed 8–21–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Parts 2, 17, 22, 36, and 52 [FAR Case 2009–005; Docket 2009–0024; Sequence 2] RIN 9000–AL31 Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2009–005, Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects AGENCIES: Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period. The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement Executive Order (E.O.) 13502, Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects. The comment period is being reopened for an additional 30 days to provide additional time for interested parties to review the proposed FAR changes. DATES: Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat on or before September 23, 2009 to be considered in the formulation of a final rule. ADDRESSES: Submit comments identified by FAR case 2009–005 by any of the following methods: erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 SUMMARY: VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:38 Aug 21, 2009 Jkt 217001 • Regulations.gov: http:// www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by inputting ‘‘FAR Case 2009–005’’ into the field ‘‘Keyword’’. Select the link that corresponds with FAR Case 2009–005. Follow the instructions provided to submit your comments. Please include your name, company name (if any), and ‘‘FAR Case 2009–005’’ on your attached document. • Fax: 202–501–4067. • Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat (VPR), 1800 F Street, NW, Room 4041, ATTN: Hada Flowers, Washington, DC 20405. Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FAR case 2009–005 in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For clarification of content, contact Mr. Ernest Woodson, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 501–3775. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat at (202) 501–4755. Please cite FAR case 2009–005. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Background The Councils published a proposed rule in the Federal Register at 74 FR 33953, July 14, 2009. The comment period is being reopened for an additional 30 days to provide additional time for interested parties to review the proposed FAR changes. Dated: August 18, 2009 Edward Loeb, Deputy Director, Acquisition Policy Division. [FR Doc. E9–20305 Filed 8–21–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820–EP–S DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 571 [Docket No. NHTSA–2009–0150] Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108; Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT. ACTION: Denial of petition for rulemaking. PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 42639 SUMMARY: This document responds to a petition for rulemaking regarding the Federal motor vehicle safety standard for lighting. The Groupe de Travail ‘‘Bruxelles 1952’’ (GTB) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Lighting Committee requested that new specifications be added for optional lower beam and upper beam headlamp patterns on the basis they would increase harmonization with European requirements. After completing a technical review of the petition, NHTSA is denying this petition. The agency notes the petitioners did not provide data to demonstrate that the requested new optional specifications would provide safety benefits comparable to those of the existing standard or that cost savings would be realized without compromising safety. Additionally, NHTSA is pursuing a more comprehensive review of the lighting standard and is currently studying the feasibility of many issues and potential regulatory changes, some of which would address issues raised in this petition. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For non-legal issues, you may call Mr. David Hines, Office of Crash Avoidance Standards (Phone: 202–493–0245; FAX: 202–366–7002). For legal issues, you may call Mr. Ari Scott, Office of the Chief Counsel (Phone: 202–366–2992; FAX: 202–366– 3820). You may send mail to these officials at: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. The Petition II. Agency Technical Evaluation III. Agency Conclusions I. The Petition On July 21, 2004, the SAE Lighting Committee and GTB petitioned the agency to add new specifications to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108; Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment, for optional upper and lower beam patterns based on specifications pending approval by the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) under ECE R112. If these requested amendments were adopted, manufacturers of vehicles sold in the U.S. would be able to choose to certify products to either the existing requirements of FMVSS No. 108 or the requested alternative new requirements. Modifications to the agency’s test procedures were also requested. The petitioners stated that Japan had E:\FR\FM\24AUP1.SGM 24AUP1 erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 42640 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 162 / Monday, August 24, 2009 / Proposed Rules adopted some of the requested lower beam headlamp test points into its national regulation and that approval was pending to incorporate changes into ECE R112. The primary elements of the requested new option for FMVSS No. 108 included: (1) Lower beam headlamp pattern: The petitioners stated that the core of the pattern was based upon 4 critical test points, three of which address main forward seeing light and one establishing a glare limit. Additional test points were added, along with lines and zones. Some test points that are currently regulated under FMVSS No. 108 would be eliminated. (2) Upper beam headlamp pattern: The petitioners stated that the primary change was increasing the current maximum intensity from 75,000 candela at test point H–V to 140,000 candela anywhere in the pattern. In addition, several downward test points with minimum specified intensities would be eliminated. (3) Test procedures: The petitioners stated that ECE currently performs photometric tests with an ‘‘accurate rated light source’’ that provides a reference luminous flux at 12.0 volts and this is similar to the FMVSS No. 108 test procedure for signaling lamps, except that approximately 12.8 volts is used. However, for FMVSS No. 108’s headlamp photometry test requirements, manufacturers must certify that headlamps meet specified requirements using any compliant, replaceable light source of the type intended for use in the system. In addition, the petitioners stated that efforts were underway to obtain agreement on a common worldwide test voltage. In support of their request, the petitioners cited long-running efforts to establish the preferred harmonized beam patterns and the approach utilized to consider the most relevant factors for drivers’ visual performance. The petitioners stated that because driving environments are different between the United States, Europe, and Japan, drivers’ needs may vary but, core principles, such as adequate roadway illumination while controlling glare, are consistent. For example, in the United States sign illumination is an important function of headlamps so applicable photometric minimums exist for test points in the lower beam pattern while these test points do not exist in the ECE pattern, which is more focused on preventing glare to oncoming drivers. The stated goal of the requested optional beam patterns would be to balance the needs of drivers in different parts of the VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:00 Aug 21, 2009 Jkt 217001 world and establish a workable middle ground. The petitioners stated that the optional beam patterns could provide the following benefits to consumers and industry: Consumer benefits: (1) Glare may be reduced because the most relevant maximum intensity is reduced from 1,000 cd to 500 cd; (2) For lower beams, minimum requirements for sign lighting are increased over current levels; (3) For upper beams, object detection and curve following will be improved due to the expanded width of the pattern; (4) For upper beam, seeing distance will be improved by 5–10% due to the increase in maximum intensity; and (5) Globalized headlamps present the potential for reducing consumer costs. Industry benefits: (1) Cost savings on design, engineering, testing, and tooling costs because the same lamp can be used for multiple markets; (2) Potentially quicker expansion into new markets due to reduced trade barriers; (3) Reduced inventory because of reduced market variants; and (4) Potential savings due to stocking only one lamp for multiple markets rather than multiple lamps for multiple markets. II. Agency Technical Evaluation NHTSA reviewed the requested changes made by the petitioners and analyzed the impact they would have on FMVSS No. 108. During our evaluation of the petition, the agency noted several concerns regarding different provisions, as well as an absence of supporting data which might have assisted in addressing such concerns. Regarding the requested optional set of 4 new lower beam test points, the agency is particularly concerned with the request to replace the existing test point at 1.5D–2R 1 with a new test point, characterized as emphasizing placement of the high intensity part of the beam further down the road, at 0.6D–1.3R. This requested test point would have a specified minimum intensity of 10,000 candela and no maximum, compared to the current test point’s specified minimum intensity of 15,000 candela and no maximum. While FMVSS No. 108 does not specify that headlamps be aimed within a certain tolerance at the time of sale, an industry recommended practice, SAE J 599c Lighting Inspection Code, specifies a tolerance of +/¥ 0.76 degrees. Because 1.5 degrees is well outside, and 0.6 degrees is within, this 1 In our photometry test point specifications, D means down and R means right (in addition, L means left, U means up, H means horizontal and V means vertical). PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 stated allowable tolerance, the agency is concerned about the impact the requested change could have on real world glare levels. NHTSA believes an unintended consequence of this requested change could be that vehicles certified to the new option could have headlamps with a level of mis-aim such that high intensities of light are placed above the horizontal, resulting in unacceptable levels of glare to other motorists. The potential effects of this change were not addressed by the petitoners. The agency also considered the other cited potential benefits of the new lower beam option, such as sign lighting improvements. We believe the cited potential benefits likely would not provide measurable safety benefits in the United States. For sign lighting, the agency notes that while the requested lower beam photometry table contains 3 additional points with specified minimum intensities, 135 cd at 2U–V and 2U–4R and 64 cd at 4U–V (which we believe many headlamps may already meet without the points being specified), it would permit combining the output from parking lamps to meet the lower beam headlamp photometry requirements. We believe this may actually result in a reduction in real world lower beam headlamp performance at the existing test points related to sign lighting. The agency does believe there may be value in adopting the new photometry zone requirements as contained in the requested lower beam pattern. Our current lower beam photometry requirements are mostly unchanged since their adoption several decades ago and are therefore based on a technology (sealed beam headlamps) that has since greatly evolved. Given changes in technology, the agency believes there may be value in revisiting this issue. For example, the original photometry requirements were such that by specifying certain points, the performance between those points was predictable due to the headlamp designs prevalent then. However, this may not be true today as a variety of headlamp optics can be designed to produce significantly different beam patterns. Adopting zones to better characterize the intended performance of today’s headlamps is an issue of interest to the agency as it may be helpful in reducing glare, often from unregulated test zones, which may not have been as prevalent when FMVSS No. 108 was first adopted. The primary change requested by the petitioners for upper beam photometry was to almost double the current maximum intensity value of 75,000 candela at test point H–V to 140,000 E:\FR\FM\24AUP1.SGM 24AUP1 erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 162 / Monday, August 24, 2009 / Proposed Rules candela anywhere in the beam pattern. The petitioners stated that this request was based on UMTRI Report No. UMTRI–2000–41, ‘‘Relative Merits of the U.S. and ECE High-Beam Maximum Intensities and of Two- and FourHeadlamp Systems’’ but the agency notes this research did not evaluate upper beams with the requested 140,000 candela value. Instead, it evaluated intensities between the existing and newly requested maximum values. Due to the diminishing returns of increasing upper beam intensity, the petitioners cited a 5–10% improvement in seeing distance (due to the almost 87% increase in the maximum value from 75,000 to 140,000 candela). However, the petitioners did not quantify how this might affect safety benefits, and in particular whether any improvements would outweigh any associated disbenefits associated with potential increases in glare due to higher intensity upper beam headlamps. With regard to the requested test procedures for this option, which would require testing with ‘‘accurate rated light sources,’’ this would be a significant departure from the current approach of specifying requirements using any compliant, replaceable light source of the type intended for use in the system and could, in the agency’s opinion, have a negative impact on safety. The agency believes that requiring headlamps to meet specified requirements with production light sources is the best approach because it ensures consumers will obtain the specified performance with the products they purchase, i.e., it requires manufacturers to take into account typical production tolerances and variation in light sources. Modifying the standard to instead specify requirements utilizing testing with ‘‘accurate rated light sources,’’ which do not represent normal production variation, would mean that the performance might not be obtained in the real world. Absent additional changes to ensure that typical production variation was accounted for in the test requirements, the agency believes that the requested change could lead to reduced headlamp performance. The petitioners did not provide any evidence this would not occur. Regarding the other potential industry benefits cited by the petitioners, the agency notes that no data were submitted to quantify associated cost impacts on consumers. Similarly, the petitioners did not quantify the amount of cost savings related to reduced inventory levels, potentially quicker expansion into new markets due to reduced trade barriers, and less complexity in stocking replacement VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:38 Aug 21, 2009 Jkt 217001 lamps for multiple markets. We note that the pending approval of the requested changes into ECE R112 cited by the petitioners as anticipated for fall 2004 still has not occurred. IV. Agency Conclusion NHTSA notes that while adding a new option would provide some additional flexibility for manufacturers in terms of being able to choose a new beam pattern, we are concerned that there may be a negative impact on safety associated with increased glare levels if the agency were to allow the newly requested lower beam photometry test points and higher intensity upper beam headlamps. The petitioners did not provide sufficient data to demonstrate otherwise or sufficient data to show there would be cost savings to consumers and manufacturers at comparable safety levels. Therefore, NHTSA is denying the petition. However, the agency is separately pursuing a more comprehensive effort to evaluate possible modifications to FMVSS No. 108, with the primary goal being to translate, to the extent possible, the existing provisions (along with their associated underlying assumptions) into performance-oriented terms independent of technology. We anticipate this thorough evaluation will take some time, but in the process, the agency will consider harmonization opportunities and, based upon the results, the agency anticipates it may then be in a position to consider proposing regulatory action to modify our lighting standard. Issued on: August 18, 2009. Julie Abraham, Director, Office of International Policy, Fuel Economy and Consumer Programs. [FR Doc. E9–20258 Filed 8–21–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 0908131233–91234–01] RIN 0648–XQ14 Fisheries in the Western Pacific; Bottomfish and Seamount Groundfish Fisheries; 2009–10 Main Hawaiian Islands Bottomfish Total Allowable Catch AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 42641 ACTION: Proposed specification; request for comments. SUMMARY: NMFS proposes to specify establish a total allowable catch (TAC) for the 2009–10 fishing year of 254,050 lb (115,235 kg) of Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI). The TAC would be set in accordance with regulations established to support longterm sustainability of Hawaii bottomfish in the Hawaiian Archipelago. DATES: Comments must be received by September 8, 2009. ADDRESSES: Comments on this proposed specification, identified by 0648–XQ14, may be sent to either of the following addresses: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov; or • Mail: William L. Robinson, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1601 Kapiolani Blvd, Suite 1110, Honolulu, HI 96814– 4700. Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.) submitted voluntarily by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (if you wish to remain anonymous, enter ‘‘NA’’ in the required name and organization fields). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. Copies of the Fishery Management Plan for Bottomfish and Seamount Groundfish Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region (Bottomfish FMP) and the related Environmental Impact Statement are available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808–522–8220, fax 808–522–8226, or www.wpcouncil.org. An environmental assessment (EA) was prepared that describes the impact on the human environment that would result from this proposed action. This action, specification of a TAC, is exempt from the procedures of E.O. 12866 because this action contains no implementing regulations and therefore a Regulatory Impact Review was not prepared. Based on the environmental impact analyses presented in the EA, NMFS prepared a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the E:\FR\FM\24AUP1.SGM 24AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 162 (Monday, August 24, 2009)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 42639-42641]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-20258]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. NHTSA-2009-0150]


Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108; Lamps, Reflective 
Devices and Associated Equipment

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT.

ACTION: Denial of petition for rulemaking.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document responds to a petition for rulemaking regarding 
the Federal motor vehicle safety standard for lighting. The Groupe de 
Travail ``Bruxelles 1952'' (GTB) and the Society of Automotive 
Engineers (SAE) Lighting Committee requested that new specifications be 
added for optional lower beam and upper beam headlamp patterns on the 
basis they would increase harmonization with European requirements. 
After completing a technical review of the petition, NHTSA is denying 
this petition. The agency notes the petitioners did not provide data to 
demonstrate that the requested new optional specifications would 
provide safety benefits comparable to those of the existing standard or 
that cost savings would be realized without compromising safety. 
Additionally, NHTSA is pursuing a more comprehensive review of the 
lighting standard and is currently studying the feasibility of many 
issues and potential regulatory changes, some of which would address 
issues raised in this petition.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For non-legal issues, you may call Mr. 
David Hines, Office of Crash Avoidance Standards (Phone: 202-493-0245; 
FAX: 202-366-7002).
    For legal issues, you may call Mr. Ari Scott, Office of the Chief 
Counsel (Phone: 202-366-2992; FAX: 202-366-3820).
    You may send mail to these officials at: National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 
20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. The Petition
II. Agency Technical Evaluation
III. Agency Conclusions

I. The Petition

    On July 21, 2004, the SAE Lighting Committee and GTB petitioned the 
agency to add new specifications to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard (FMVSS) No. 108; Lamps, reflective devices, and associated 
equipment, for optional upper and lower beam patterns based on 
specifications pending approval by the United Nations' Economic 
Commission for Europe (ECE) under ECE R112. If these requested 
amendments were adopted, manufacturers of vehicles sold in the U.S. 
would be able to choose to certify products to either the existing 
requirements of FMVSS No. 108 or the requested alternative new 
requirements. Modifications to the agency's test procedures were also 
requested. The petitioners stated that Japan had

[[Page 42640]]

adopted some of the requested lower beam headlamp test points into its 
national regulation and that approval was pending to incorporate 
changes into ECE R112.
    The primary elements of the requested new option for FMVSS No. 108 
included:
    (1) Lower beam headlamp pattern: The petitioners stated that the 
core of the pattern was based upon 4 critical test points, three of 
which address main forward seeing light and one establishing a glare 
limit. Additional test points were added, along with lines and zones. 
Some test points that are currently regulated under FMVSS No. 108 would 
be eliminated.
    (2) Upper beam headlamp pattern: The petitioners stated that the 
primary change was increasing the current maximum intensity from 75,000 
candela at test point H-V to 140,000 candela anywhere in the pattern. 
In addition, several downward test points with minimum specified 
intensities would be eliminated.
    (3) Test procedures: The petitioners stated that ECE currently 
performs photometric tests with an ``accurate rated light source'' that 
provides a reference luminous flux at 12.0 volts and this is similar to 
the FMVSS No. 108 test procedure for signaling lamps, except that 
approximately 12.8 volts is used. However, for FMVSS No. 108's headlamp 
photometry test requirements, manufacturers must certify that headlamps 
meet specified requirements using any compliant, replaceable light 
source of the type intended for use in the system. In addition, the 
petitioners stated that efforts were underway to obtain agreement on a 
common worldwide test voltage.
    In support of their request, the petitioners cited long-running 
efforts to establish the preferred harmonized beam patterns and the 
approach utilized to consider the most relevant factors for drivers' 
visual performance. The petitioners stated that because driving 
environments are different between the United States, Europe, and 
Japan, drivers' needs may vary but, core principles, such as adequate 
roadway illumination while controlling glare, are consistent. For 
example, in the United States sign illumination is an important 
function of headlamps so applicable photometric minimums exist for test 
points in the lower beam pattern while these test points do not exist 
in the ECE pattern, which is more focused on preventing glare to 
oncoming drivers. The stated goal of the requested optional beam 
patterns would be to balance the needs of drivers in different parts of 
the world and establish a workable middle ground.
    The petitioners stated that the optional beam patterns could 
provide the following benefits to consumers and industry:
    Consumer benefits: (1) Glare may be reduced because the most 
relevant maximum intensity is reduced from 1,000 cd to 500 cd; (2) For 
lower beams, minimum requirements for sign lighting are increased over 
current levels; (3) For upper beams, object detection and curve 
following will be improved due to the expanded width of the pattern; 
(4) For upper beam, seeing distance will be improved by 5-10% due to 
the increase in maximum intensity; and (5) Globalized headlamps present 
the potential for reducing consumer costs.
    Industry benefits: (1) Cost savings on design, engineering, 
testing, and tooling costs because the same lamp can be used for 
multiple markets; (2) Potentially quicker expansion into new markets 
due to reduced trade barriers; (3) Reduced inventory because of reduced 
market variants; and (4) Potential savings due to stocking only one 
lamp for multiple markets rather than multiple lamps for multiple 
markets.

II. Agency Technical Evaluation

    NHTSA reviewed the requested changes made by the petitioners and 
analyzed the impact they would have on FMVSS No. 108. During our 
evaluation of the petition, the agency noted several concerns regarding 
different provisions, as well as an absence of supporting data which 
might have assisted in addressing such concerns.
    Regarding the requested optional set of 4 new lower beam test 
points, the agency is particularly concerned with the request to 
replace the existing test point at 1.5D-2R \1\ with a new test point, 
characterized as emphasizing placement of the high intensity part of 
the beam further down the road, at 0.6D-1.3R. This requested test point 
would have a specified minimum intensity of 10,000 candela and no 
maximum, compared to the current test point's specified minimum 
intensity of 15,000 candela and no maximum. While FMVSS No. 108 does 
not specify that headlamps be aimed within a certain tolerance at the 
time of sale, an industry recommended practice, SAE J 599c Lighting 
Inspection Code, specifies a tolerance of +/- 0.76 degrees. Because 1.5 
degrees is well outside, and 0.6 degrees is within, this stated 
allowable tolerance, the agency is concerned about the impact the 
requested change could have on real world glare levels. NHTSA believes 
an unintended consequence of this requested change could be that 
vehicles certified to the new option could have headlamps with a level 
of mis-aim such that high intensities of light are placed above the 
horizontal, resulting in unacceptable levels of glare to other 
motorists. The potential effects of this change were not addressed by 
the petitoners.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ In our photometry test point specifications, D means down 
and R means right (in addition, L means left, U means up, H means 
horizontal and V means vertical).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency also considered the other cited potential benefits of 
the new lower beam option, such as sign lighting improvements. We 
believe the cited potential benefits likely would not provide 
measurable safety benefits in the United States. For sign lighting, the 
agency notes that while the requested lower beam photometry table 
contains 3 additional points with specified minimum intensities, 135 cd 
at 2U-V and 2U-4R and 64 cd at 4U-V (which we believe many headlamps 
may already meet without the points being specified), it would permit 
combining the output from parking lamps to meet the lower beam headlamp 
photometry requirements. We believe this may actually result in a 
reduction in real world lower beam headlamp performance at the existing 
test points related to sign lighting.
    The agency does believe there may be value in adopting the new 
photometry zone requirements as contained in the requested lower beam 
pattern. Our current lower beam photometry requirements are mostly 
unchanged since their adoption several decades ago and are therefore 
based on a technology (sealed beam headlamps) that has since greatly 
evolved. Given changes in technology, the agency believes there may be 
value in revisiting this issue. For example, the original photometry 
requirements were such that by specifying certain points, the 
performance between those points was predictable due to the headlamp 
designs prevalent then. However, this may not be true today as a 
variety of headlamp optics can be designed to produce significantly 
different beam patterns. Adopting zones to better characterize the 
intended performance of today's headlamps is an issue of interest to 
the agency as it may be helpful in reducing glare, often from 
unregulated test zones, which may not have been as prevalent when FMVSS 
No. 108 was first adopted.
    The primary change requested by the petitioners for upper beam 
photometry was to almost double the current maximum intensity value of 
75,000 candela at test point H-V to 140,000

[[Page 42641]]

candela anywhere in the beam pattern. The petitioners stated that this 
request was based on UMTRI Report No. UMTRI-2000-41, ``Relative Merits 
of the U.S. and ECE High-Beam Maximum Intensities and of Two- and Four-
Headlamp Systems'' but the agency notes this research did not evaluate 
upper beams with the requested 140,000 candela value. Instead, it 
evaluated intensities between the existing and newly requested maximum 
values. Due to the diminishing returns of increasing upper beam 
intensity, the petitioners cited a 5-10% improvement in seeing distance 
(due to the almost 87% increase in the maximum value from 75,000 to 
140,000 candela). However, the petitioners did not quantify how this 
might affect safety benefits, and in particular whether any 
improvements would outweigh any associated disbenefits associated with 
potential increases in glare due to higher intensity upper beam 
headlamps.
    With regard to the requested test procedures for this option, which 
would require testing with ``accurate rated light sources,'' this would 
be a significant departure from the current approach of specifying 
requirements using any compliant, replaceable light source of the type 
intended for use in the system and could, in the agency's opinion, have 
a negative impact on safety. The agency believes that requiring 
headlamps to meet specified requirements with production light sources 
is the best approach because it ensures consumers will obtain the 
specified performance with the products they purchase, i.e., it 
requires manufacturers to take into account typical production 
tolerances and variation in light sources. Modifying the standard to 
instead specify requirements utilizing testing with ``accurate rated 
light sources,'' which do not represent normal production variation, 
would mean that the performance might not be obtained in the real 
world. Absent additional changes to ensure that typical production 
variation was accounted for in the test requirements, the agency 
believes that the requested change could lead to reduced headlamp 
performance. The petitioners did not provide any evidence this would 
not occur.
    Regarding the other potential industry benefits cited by the 
petitioners, the agency notes that no data were submitted to quantify 
associated cost impacts on consumers. Similarly, the petitioners did 
not quantify the amount of cost savings related to reduced inventory 
levels, potentially quicker expansion into new markets due to reduced 
trade barriers, and less complexity in stocking replacement lamps for 
multiple markets. We note that the pending approval of the requested 
changes into ECE R112 cited by the petitioners as anticipated for fall 
2004 still has not occurred.

IV. Agency Conclusion

    NHTSA notes that while adding a new option would provide some 
additional flexibility for manufacturers in terms of being able to 
choose a new beam pattern, we are concerned that there may be a 
negative impact on safety associated with increased glare levels if the 
agency were to allow the newly requested lower beam photometry test 
points and higher intensity upper beam headlamps. The petitioners did 
not provide sufficient data to demonstrate otherwise or sufficient data 
to show there would be cost savings to consumers and manufacturers at 
comparable safety levels. Therefore, NHTSA is denying the petition. 
However, the agency is separately pursuing a more comprehensive effort 
to evaluate possible modifications to FMVSS No. 108, with the primary 
goal being to translate, to the extent possible, the existing 
provisions (along with their associated underlying assumptions) into 
performance-oriented terms independent of technology. We anticipate 
this thorough evaluation will take some time, but in the process, the 
agency will consider harmonization opportunities and, based upon the 
results, the agency anticipates it may then be in a position to 
consider proposing regulatory action to modify our lighting standard.

    Issued on: August 18, 2009.
Julie Abraham,
Director, Office of International Policy, Fuel Economy and Consumer 
Programs.
[FR Doc. E9-20258 Filed 8-21-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P