Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use, 4509-4521 [2010-1613]

Download as PDF erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 18 / Thursday, January 28, 2010 / Proposed Rules from Affiliation Requirements, the holding company must either reduce its ownership interest to below 10 percent of the outstanding voting securities of the company that has issued such securities or file with the Commission an application under section 203 of the Federal Power Act to request authorization to retain such securities, provided that, during the pendency of any application, it shall continue to comply with all of the commitments made in the Affirmation in Support of Exemption from Affiliation Requirements; or (iii) Any security of a subsidiary company within the holding company system. * * * * * (12) A public utility is granted a blanket authorization under section 203(a)(1) of the Federal Power Act to transfer its outstanding voting securities to: (i) Any holding company granted blanket authorizations in paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section if, after the transfer, the holding company and any of its associate or affiliate companies in aggregate will own: (A) Less than 10 percent of the outstanding voting securities of such public utility, or (B) 10 percent or more and less than 20 percent of the outstanding voting securities of such public utility, provided that the holding company has complied with all requirements of paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(B) of this section; or (ii) Any person other than a holding company if, after the transfer, the person and any of its associate or affiliate companies in aggregate will own: (A) Less than 10 percent of the outstanding voting securities of the public utility and within 30 days after the end of the calendar quarter in which such transfer has occurred the public utility notifies the Commission in accordance with paragraph (c)(17) of this section, or (B) 10 percent or more but less than 20 percent of the outstanding voting securities of the public utility, provided that the person has filed Form 519–C and continues to abide by the commitments stated in the form. * * * * * (17) A public utility granted blanket authorization under paragraph (c)(12)(ii)(A) of this section to transfer its outstanding voting securities shall, within 30 days after the end of the calendar quarter in which such transfer has occurred, file with the Commission a report containing the following information: (i) The names of all parties to the transaction; VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:51 Jan 27, 2010 Jkt 220001 (ii) Identification of the pre- and posttransaction voting security holdings (and percentage ownership) in the public utility held by the acquirer and its associate or affiliate companies; (iii) The date the transaction was consummated; (iv) Identification of any public utility or holding company affiliates of the parties to the transaction; and (v) A statement indicating that the proposed transaction will not result in, at the time of the transaction or in the future, cross-subsidization of a nonutility associate company or pledge or encumbrance of utility assets for the benefit of an associate company as required in § 33.2(j)(1). PART 35—FILING OF RATE SCHEDULES AND TARIFFS 3. The authority citation for part 35 continues to read as follows: Authority: 16 U.S.C. 791a–825r, 2601– 2645; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 42 U.S.C. 7101–7352. 4509 controlled by, or is under common control with the specified company. (i) Owning, controlling or holding with power to vote, less than 10 percent of the outstanding voting securities of a specified company creates a rebuttable presumption of lack of control. (ii) The Commission may, after appropriate notice and opportunity for hearing, determine that any person is an affiliate of a specified company if it finds that the person exercises directly or indirectly (either alone or pursuant to an arrangement or understanding with one or more persons) such a degree of influence (through ownership of voting securities or otherwise) over the management or policies or operations of the specified company as to make it necessary or appropriate in the public interest that the person be treated as an affiliate. * * * * * (6) Voting security means any security presently entitling the owner or holder thereof to vote in the direction or management of the affairs of a company. * * * * * 4. In § 35.36, paragraph (a)(9) is revised, and paragraph (a)(10) is added, to read as follows: [FR Doc. 2010–1544 Filed 1–27–10; 8:45 am] § 35.36 BILLING CODE 6717–01–P Generally. (a) * * * (9) Affiliate of a specified company means any person that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with the specified company. (i) Owning, controlling or holding with power to vote, less than 10 percent of the outstanding voting securities of a specified company creates a rebuttable presumption of lack of control. (ii) The Commission may, after appropriate notice and opportunity for hearing, determine that any person is an affiliate of a specified company if it finds that the person exercises directly or indirectly (either alone or pursuant to an arrangement or understanding with one or more persons) such a degree of influence (through ownership of voting securities or otherwise) over the management or policies or operations of the specified company as to make it necessary or appropriate in the public interest that the person be treated as an affiliate. (10) Voting security means any security presently entitling the owner or holder thereof to vote in the direction or management of the affairs of a company. * * * * * 6. In § 35.43, paragraph (a)(1) is revised and paragraph (a)(6) is added, to read as follows: § 35.43 Generally. (a) * * * (1) Affiliate of a specified company means any person that controls, is PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 23 CFR Part 1340 [Docket No. NHTSA–2010–0002] RIN 2127–AK41 Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). SUMMARY: This NPRM proposes amendments to the regulations establishing the criteria for designing and conducting State seat belt use observational surveys, procedures for obtaining NHTSA approval of survey designs, and a new form for reporting seat belt use rates to NHTSA. NHTSA proposes these amendments so that future surveys will give States more accurate data to guide their occupant protection programs. DATES: Written comments may be submitted to this agency and must be received no later than March 29, 2010. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT Docket ID Number E:\FR\FM\28JAP1.SGM 28JAP1 erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 4510 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 18 / Thursday, January 28, 2010 / Proposed Rules NHTSA–2010–0002 by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, M–30, U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12– 140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the ‘‘Public Participation’’ section of this document. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the ‘‘Privacy Act’’ heading below. Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the complete User Notice and Privacy Notice for Regulations.gov at http://www.regulations.gov/search/ footer/privacyanduse.jsp. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov at any time or to West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For program issues: Mr. Jack Oates, Chief, Program Implementation, Regional Operations and Program Delivery, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., NTI–200, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone number: 202–366– 2730; E-mail: Jack.Oates@dot.gov. For statistical issues: Ms. Chou-Lin Chen, Chief, Mathematical Analysis Division, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., NVS–421, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone number: 202–366– 1048; E-mail: Chou-Lin.Chen@dot.gov. For legal issues: Ms. Jin Kim, Attorney-Advisor, Office of the Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:51 Jan 27, 2010 Jkt 220001 Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., NCC–113, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone number: 202–366– 1834; E-mail: Jin.Kim@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Background II. Proposed Amendments to the Uniform Criteria A. Purpose; Applicability; Definitions B. Selection of Observation Sites C. Assignment of Observation Times D. Observation Procedures E. Quality Control F. Computation of Estimates III. Administrative Requirements A. Submission and Approval of Seat Belt Survey Design B. Post-Approval Alterations to Survey Designs C. Re-Selection of Observation Sites D. Annual Reporting Requirements IV. Public Participation V. Statutory Basis for This Action VI. Regulatory Analyses and Notices A. Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Policies and Procedures B. Regulatory Flexibility Act C. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) D. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform) E. Paperwork Reduction Act F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act G. National Environmental Policy Act H. Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribes) I. Regulatory Identifier Number (RIN) J. Privacy Act I. Background Section 1403 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA– 21) (Pub. L. 105–178) authorized a seat belt incentive grant program that awarded grant funds to States based on a State’s seat belt use rate. On September 1, 1998, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published as an interim final rule criteria to ensure accurate and representative measurements of a State’s seat belt use rate, known as the Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use (Uniform Criteria). See 63 FR 46389. On March 14, 2000, NHTSA published a final rule, adopting the Uniform Criteria with one clarifying change.1 See 65 FR 13679. The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU) (Pub. L. 109–59) did not reauthorize the seat belt incentive grant program. However, SAFETEA–LU established new administrative requirements relating to a State’s qualification for a highway 1 In 2000, NHTSA clarified that States are permitted to group observation sites according to geographic areas to minimize travel time and distance required to conduct the observations. PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 safety grant under 23 U.S.C. 402. One such requirement is that the State must provide satisfactory assurances that it will conduct an annual Statewide seat belt use survey in accordance with the criteria for State seat belt use rate measurement established by the Secretary of Transportation. In August 2005, NHTSA notified the States and Territories that the Statewide surveys conducted in accordance with the Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use, as published at 23 CFR part 1340, would satisfy the administrative requirements of Section 402. In addition, the implementing guidelines for the incentive grant program under 23 U.S.C. 406 provide that seat belt use surveys conducted in accordance with the Uniform Criteria serve as the basis for an award under the seat belt performance provisions of that grant program. Since the adoption of the Uniform Criteria in 1998, NHTSA and the States have accumulated substantial experience in the design and implementation of seat belt use surveys. This experience has provided insight into factors that could affect survey accuracy and reliability. In addition, technological improvements in road inventories have made it possible to select observation sites in a more cost effective manner. For these reasons, NHTSA proposes to revise the Uniform Criteria so that future surveys will give States more accurate data to guide their occupant protection programs. As articulated in detail below, NHTSA proposes several key changes to the existing criteria. In particular, the agency proposes to revise the sampling frame from the population-based criterion to a fatality-based criterion and to identify road types to be included in the road inventory. The proposal also changes the precision requirement from a five percent relative error to a 2.5 percentage point standard error. In addition, the agency proposes quality control procedures to help ensure accuracy and consistency across all State surveys. Finally, the agency proposes to require States to submit additional information from the survey results as part of their annual certifications, including data source of the sampling frame, exclusions applied to the sampling frame, procedures for collecting additional data to reduce the nonresponse rates, explanation of imputation methods, procedures to adjust the sampling weight, and procedures to be followed if the standard error is exceeded. Accordingly, the agency is issuing this NPRM to propose changes to the Uniform Criteria, describe approval E:\FR\FM\28JAP1.SGM 28JAP1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 18 / Thursday, January 28, 2010 / Proposed Rules procedures for seat belt survey designs, and specify the reporting requirements for seat belt use rates. II. Proposed Amendments to the Uniform Criteria A. Purpose; Applicability; Definitions (23 CFR 1340.1; 23 CFR 1340.2; 23 CFR 1340.3) This proposal would amend the purpose and applicability sections to update the statutory reference, specify the effective date for the revised uniform criteria, and note the addition of proposed survey designs approval procedures and administrative requirements. The agency proposes that the revised Uniform Criteria would be effective for seat belt surveys conducted starting in calendar year 2011. The agency also proposes adding a definition section to define certain terms used in the proposed rule. For example, the agency proposes definitions for road types (access ramp, cul-de-sac, non-public road, service drive, traffic circle, unnamed road, vehicular trail) and ‘‘passenger motor vehicle’’ which are commonly used terms. Although the agency also adds a definition for ‘‘nonresponse rate,’’ other statistical terms, such as probability sampling, precision requirement, imputation, sampling weights, variance estimation, are not added as definitions as they have meanings that are generally understood in the field of statistics. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 B. Selection of Observation Sites (23 CFR 1340.5) In § 1340.5(a)(1), the agency proposes to amend the current demographics requirement in the sampling frame. Currently, States must include the most populous counties or other areas accounting for at least 85 percent of the State’s population in the sampling frame. Because NHTSA believes that this sampling frame may result in an unintended bias in seat belt use rates, we propose to change from a population-based criterion to a fatalitybased criterion. We believe that using a fatality-based sampling frame would enable the States to focus on areas with traffic safety concerns. Under the revised criterion at § 1340.5(a)(1), a State would be able to exclude any counties or county-equivalents accounting for up to 15 percent of the State’s motor vehicle crash fatalities during the last three years, as measured by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data. NHTSA believes that this 15 percent exclusion would allow the States to reduce survey costs with minimum impact to the survey result. In other words, States must VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:51 Jan 27, 2010 Jkt 220001 include counties or county-equivalents in which at least 85 percent of the motor vehicle crash fatalities occurred during the three most recent years for which FARS data are available. Each time a State updates its survey design (at least every five years, or more frequently if the State so elects), the geographic distribution of motor vehicle fatalities from the three most recent years will be re-examined to identify the counties or county-equivalents to be included in the updated survey. To assist States in this effort, FARS data is available on NHTSA’s Web site at http:// www.nhtsa.dot.gov. Also, NHTSA would provide a county-by-county breakout of fatalities during the three most recent years to any State that requested it. Based on a statistical simulation of the impact, the agency believes that the proposed fatality-based criterion would improve State seat belt use estimates by reducing the statistical bias towards urban areas that tend to have higher seat belt use rates. For this reason, we believe that the revised criterion would provide a more representative sample for the survey. In § 1340.5(a)(2), we propose to add a road coverage requirement to the sampling frame criterion. Specifically, all roads except those explicitly excluded would be required to be eligible for sampling. The existing Uniform Criteria do not specify the types of roads that must be eligible in the sampling frame. At the time the current criteria were adopted, a comprehensive and affordable database of roads was not available to many States. Most States relied on Stateprovided inventories of roads, which in many cases captured only subsets of roads in the State, such as Statemaintained roads. As a result, road inventories used by the States varied widely. In many cases, the resulting observation sites were not representative of all roads. Because all States currently do not have a database of all roads in the State, NHTSA would make a database of roads available for each State. Alternatively, a State could choose to use its own database of roads if approved by NHTSA. The agency believes that using a more comprehensive database would result in more representative and consistent seat belt use estimates. Under the proposed rule, the following roads would be permitted to be excluded from the sample: Nonpublic roads, unnamed roads, unpaved roads, vehicular trails, access ramps, cul-de-sacs, traffic circles and service drives. The agency believes that exclusion of these road types from sampling and observation is appropriate PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 4511 for reasons of safety and practicality. These road types are excluded from NHTSA’s own nationwide survey of seat belt use, the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS). In § 1340.5(b), the agency’s proposal retains the existing requirement that survey designs be probability-based. Specifically, the observation sites and observation schedule (day and time) for the data collection would be required to be selected based on probability sampling, i.e., randomly. The proposal, however, clarifies that deterministic, i.e., non-random, selection would be permitted in the selection of specific locations on the sampled road segments, i.e., the specific location on the road segment where observers are positioned could be chosen based on such factors as safety and visibility. The proposal also would allow alternate observation sites to be used under certain conditions. The proposal identifies ‘‘alternate observation site’’ as a replacement observation site that must (1) be located in the same county or county-equivalent as the observation site; and (2) have the same roadway classification as the observation site (e.g., local road segment, collector road segment). In § 1340.5(c), the agency proposes that States include a protocol to follow when they cannot collect data at an observation site at the scheduled time. The agency proposes certain minimum conditions depending on whether the observation site is temporarily or permanently unavailable for data collection. Under the existing uniform criteria, there is no requirement for a protocol. However, it is likely that many States have protocols for selecting alternate observation sites even though the protocol is not included in the State’s current survey design. The proposed protocol requirement for selecting alternate observation sites would promote efficiency and consistency in data collection. First, the agency anticipates that observations may not be conducted at some observation sites for temporary reasons. For example, weather conditions, traffic incidents, or road construction may prevent an observer from making observations in a safe manner. Under such temporary conditions, the agency suggests two options for data collection. The State may return to the observation site at another time provided it is on the same day of the week and at the same time of day. The State may also select an alternate observation site provided the data is collected on the same day and approximately at the same time as the originally scheduled observation site. E:\FR\FM\28JAP1.SGM 28JAP1 erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 4512 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 18 / Thursday, January 28, 2010 / Proposed Rules The agency recommends that the State pre-select alternate observation sites before the start of data collection. Notwithstanding the availability of the protocol, the agency proposes to require that data collection be conducted at the original observation site at all times when it is available. The agency believes that giving States these options will allow them to determine which method is most efficient and convenient for the State while providing greater consistency across State survey collections. Second, the agency anticipates that some observation sites may become permanently unavailable because the road on which the observation site is located is permanently closed. Under these circumstances, the agency proposes that the State may select a permanent replacement observation site based on probability sampling. However, if the State cannot select a permanent replacement observation site during the current data collection, the agency proposes that it may select an alternate observation site, provided that the data is collected on the same day and at approximately the same time as the originally scheduled observation site. The agency proposes that data collection for future years must be conducted at an observation site that has been selected based on probability sampling. (See Section II, B., above for further discussion.) The agency believes that this proposal would provide States flexibility under unexpected circumstances. In § 1340.5(d), we propose to change the precision requirement from the current 5 percent relative error (standard error divided by the estimate) to a 2.5 percentage point standard error. In some cases, the existing criterion allows margins of error (using 95 percent confidence) up to plus or minus 10 percentage points, and it also requires States with lower seat belt use rates to meet a smaller margin of error than States with higher seat belt use rates. NHTSA believes that a uniform margin of error requirement would be equitable for all States. The proposed criterion would require a standard error not to exceed 2.5 percentage points. States should closely monitor their survey results to assure that they will be able to meet these more stringent precision requirements. If the standard error proves to be too large, States may need to conduct additional observations to obtain an adequate sample. These additional observations must be conducted in the same calendar year as the sample. Therefore, we encourage States to conduct their surveys early enough in the year to allow for VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:51 Jan 27, 2010 Jkt 220001 additional sampling if necessary, and to closely monitor the survey results so that they can quickly determine whether extra sampling will be required. Surveys which fail to meet these requirements will not be accepted by NHTSA. NHTSA believes that the likelihood for additional sampling is very small with a well-planned and implemented sample design. NHTSA seeks comment on this requirement, whether it would impose a significant burden on States, and if there are other methods of ensuring the reliability of the results that are equitable to all States. C. Assignment of Observation Times (23 CFR 1340.6) The existing Uniform Criteria require all daylight hours and all days of the week to be eligible for data collection.2 The agency proposes to allow States to restrict their data collection to all daylight hours between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Daylight hours during the summer vary, and can begin as early as 5 a.m. and end as late as 9:15 p.m. or later. NHTSA believes it would be more equitable to States if the times eligible for data collection were specified. This proposal does not change the current requirement that all days of the week, including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, be eligible for data collection. The existing Uniform Criteria require the schedule for any given data collection to be determined in a random manner. The agency proposes to continue this requirement—States must randomly select both the day of the week and the time of the day. However, NHTSA allows States to group observation sites in close geographic proximity, i.e., cluster assignments of observation sites, for efficiency reasons. The agency proposes to continue to allow cluster assignments of observation sites. For example, after selecting observation sites randomly, the State may identify observation sites in close geographic proximity where data could be collected on the same day by the 2 Although nighttime observations of seat belt use may provide States with useful data, the agency believes that several factors weigh against extending the sampling requirements under this proposal. First, extending the sampling requirement to nighttime observations would reduce the value of survey results from previous years’ data. States and other interested parties use this information to determine the impact of various seat belt use programs and activities. In addition, nighttime observations are more difficult than daytime observations because seat belt use is not as easy to observe in the dark, even in the most well lit sites. Nighttime observations are also less safe for observers than daytime observations because observers are less conspicuous and the increase of impaired drivers makes nighttime observations inherently more dangerous than daytime observations. PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 same survey crew. States must randomly select the day of the week that data will be collected for the geographically-grouped cluster of observation sites. States must randomly select one observation site from the geographically-grouped cluster of observation sites and must randomly assign the time of day for the data collection. Data collection at all other observation sites in the cluster must take place on the same day or adjacent days of the week and at times of the day that ensure efficient use of data collection resources. We believe that this proposal allows for the efficient use of data collection resources and limits the introduction of a judgment bias. D. Observation Procedures (23 CFR 1340.7) The existing Uniform Criteria require all survey data to be collected through direct observation and during the calendar year reported for the Statewide seat belt use rate. We propose no change to this requirement in § 1340.7(a). Under the existing Uniform Criteria, the State may choose to observe data from one or both directions of traffic. We propose no change to this provision in § 1340.7(b), but propose clarifying language. Specifically, if data will be collected from traffic traveling in one direction, that direction should be chosen randomly. If a State chooses to observe traffic from both directions at the same time, the State should provide at least one person to observe traffic from each direction. In § 1340.7(c), the agency proposes to clarify the requirement regarding the vehicles that must be covered in the survey. The existing Uniform Criteria require that all passenger motor vehicles be included in the survey. The agency’s proposal clarifies that this requirement includes passenger motor vehicles being used for commercial purposes, and vehicles that are exempt from the State’s seat belt use law or that bear out-of-state license plates. In § 1340.7(d), the agency proposes to include clarifying language regarding the data that must be collected on occupants in passenger motor vehicles. The existing criteria state that drivers and front seat outboard passengers must be observed. We propose to include language specifying that data on all drivers and right front passengers, except passengers in child safety seats, must be collected. Child safety seats include forward-facing and rear-facing child safety seats, but do not include booster seats. NHTSA believes that children should not be placed in the front seat. However, the agency believes that data on passengers in child safety E:\FR\FM\28JAP1.SGM 28JAP1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 18 / Thursday, January 28, 2010 / Proposed Rules erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 seats should be excluded because it is difficult to observe whether a child safety seat is properly installed or the child is properly restrained in the child safety seat. However, right front passengers in booster seats must be included in the survey because booster seats require the use of a readilyobservable shoulder belt to secure the passenger. The existing Uniform Criteria require that shoulder belt use by the driver and right front passenger in passenger vehicles be recorded. In § 1340.7(e), the agency leaves unchanged the survey variables that are existing requirements of the Uniform Criteria—belt status of driver, presence of right front passenger, and belt status of right front passenger if present. However, we propose to clarify when to record an occupant as ‘‘belted.’’ We propose that observers record an occupant as ‘‘belted’’ if they see that a shoulder belt is in front of the occupant’s shoulder; record an occupant as ‘‘unbelted’’ if they see that a shoulder belt is not in front of the occupant’s shoulder; and record the belt use of the occupant as ‘‘unknown’’ if it cannot reasonably be determined that the shoulder belt is in front of the occupant’s shoulder. Thus, an occupant using a lap-only belt or using a lap/ shoulder belt with the shoulder belt behind the shoulder would be counted as ‘‘unbelted.’’ A motorist with a shoulder belt under the arm near the shoulder belt anchor would be counted as ‘‘unbelted.’’ In § 1340.7(f), the agency proposes to specify certain prohibited practices that could artificially raise seat belt use rates at observation sites. Specifically, we propose to prohibit observers from wearing law enforcement uniforms and prohibit the presence of law enforcement vehicles visible to motorists at observation sites. We also propose to prohibit advance specific warning to motorists approaching observation sites that a seat belt use survey is being or will be conducted. NHTSA believes that this will help ensure more accurate estimates of seat belt use rates. E. Quality Control (23 CFR 1340.8) The existing Uniform Criteria do not specifically address quality control procedures. Because it is likely that States vary in their use of quality control measures, we propose to add criteria establishing a uniform baseline of quality control procedures to ensure reliability and consistency in State survey results. First, in § 1340.8(a), we propose that States assign quality control monitors to conduct random, unannounced site visits to ensure that VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:51 Jan 27, 2010 Jkt 220001 observers are conducting the survey properly. NHTSA proposes that States conduct these observation site visits to no less than five percent of the observation sites. The same individual may not serve as both the observer and the quality control monitor at the same observation site at the same time. Second, in § 1340.8(b), we propose that all observers and quality control monitors must have been trained in data collection protocols, including observation protocols as provided in § 1340.7 and substitution and rescheduling of observation sites as provided in § 1340.5(c), within twelve months prior to data collection. Finally, we propose in § 1340.8(c) that survey results be reviewed by persons knowledgeable in the design of complex probability samples and estimation and variance estimation from such samples. NHTSA believes such uniform measures are necessary for accurate and reliable survey results. F. Computation of Estimates (23 CFR 1340.9) In §§ 1340.9(a) and 1340.9(b), NHTSA’s proposal specifies that States must use all data collected at observation sites and must not use statistical editing procedures that would alter the values of observed data. NHTSA believes that these requirements are necessary to ensure accurate representation of seat belt use estimates. In § 1340.9(c), we propose to allow States to employ imputation of unknown values, provided the State’s proposed imputation procedure is submitted to and approved by NHTSA in advance. Although NHTSA does not require or encourage the imputation of unknown values, we would allow States to propose methods of imputation for unknown values provided the proposed methods are approved by NHTSA prior to data analysis. In § 1340.9(d), NHTSA makes no changes to the current requirement that observation site data be weighted by sampling weights (inverses of selection probabilities). In § 1340.9(e), NHTSA proposes that States include a procedure to adjust for observation sites with no usable data, including observation sites where no data were collected and observation sites where data were discovered to be falsified. If data is discovered to be falsified, the data must be discarded and the observation site treated as if no data were collected. For observation sites for which no data were collected, States should consider the following approaches for adjusting for the lack of data: discard the observation site from data analysis and adjust the remaining PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 4513 observation sites’ sampling weights accordingly; return to the observation site on the same day of the week and at the same time of day to collect data; or select an alternate observation site as described in Section II, B. of this preamble. However, the State may propose another procedure to adjust for observation sites with no usable data. NHTSA believes that requiring States to include a minimum protocol is necessary to provide a more accurate seat belt use rate estimate. In § 1340.9(f)(1), we propose to add a new requirement that the nonresponse rates for (1) the ratio of the total number of recorded unknown values of passenger presence to the number of passenger vehicles observed, and (2) the ratio of the total number of recorded unknown values of belt use to the total number of drivers and right front seat passengers observed not exceed 10 percent. In other words, the presence or absence of a right front seat passenger must not be ‘‘unknown’’ for more than 10 percent of the vehicles observed in the entire survey; and the belt use status must not be ‘‘unknown’’ for more than 10 percent of the drivers and right front seat passengers in the entire survey. NHTSA believes that this new requirement is necessary to reduce potential bias in the survey results. In § 1340.9(f)(2), we propose to add a new requirement that States include a procedure for collecting additional observations to reduce the nonresponse rates to no more than 10 percent. One possible procedure to adjust for nonresponse rates in excess of 10 percent would be to return to observation sites with the highest numbers of unknown values on the same day of the week and same time of day as the original data collection schedule to observe additional data. States must not discard the data from the original data collection. States may take additional measures to reduce the number of unknown values, such as assigning additional observers to return to those observation sites with the highest numbers of unknown values. As proposed in Section II, D. above, all data collection must be conducted during the calendar year in which the seat belt use rate estimate is reported to NHTSA. States should plan their surveys in order to allow the State sufficient time to conduct additional observations in the event that the nonresponse rate exceeds 10 percent. In § 1340.9(g), we propose to change the allowable margin of error in the survey from the existing five percent relative error to a 2.5 percentage point standard error. As discussed in Section II, B. of this preamble above, the E:\FR\FM\28JAP1.SGM 28JAP1 4514 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 18 / Thursday, January 28, 2010 / Proposed Rules existing criterion allows margins of error up to plus or minus 10 percentage points. NHTSA also proposes to clarify that in the event that the standard error exceeds this threshold, the State must conduct additional observations during the same calendar year until the standard error does not exceed 2.5 percentage points. As discussed in Section II, B. of this preamble, States should conduct surveys early enough in the year to allow for additional sampling if necessary, and to closely monitor the survey results so that they can quickly determine whether extra sampling will be required. NHTSA believes that the likelihood for additional sampling is very small with a well-planned and implemented sample design. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 III. Administrative Requirements A. Submission and Approval of Seat Belt Survey Design (23 CFR 1340.10) Section 1340.5 of the existing Uniform Criteria details the documentation requirements for proposed sample survey designs and reporting annual seat belt use estimates. We propose to require additional documentation in the proposed sample survey designs submitted to NHTSA for approval. Specifically, we propose to require States to (1) define all sampling units, with their measures of size, (2) identify the data source of the sampling frame; (3) specify any exclusions applied to the sampling frame; (4) identify the name and describe the qualifications of the State seat belt statistician; (5) detail the procedures for collecting additional data to reduce the nonresponse rates that exceed 10 percent; (6) include the number of observers and quality control monitors; (7) explain any imputation methods that will be used; (8) specify any procedures to adjust the sampling weight for observation sites with no usable data; and (9) describe the procedures to be followed if the standard error exceeds 2.5 percentage points. The agency also proposes to require documentation of data collection and estimation of seat belt use rate. For data collection, we propose to require States to (1) define an observation period; (2) specify the procedures to be implemented to reschedule or substitute observation sites when data collection is not possible on the date and time assigned; (3) specify the procedures for collecting additional data to reduce the nonresponse rate when the nonresponse rates exceeds 10 percent; (4) describe the data recording procedures; and (5) specify the number of observers and quality control monitors. For estimation, VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:51 Jan 27, 2010 Jkt 220001 we propose to require States to (1) describe how seat belt use rate estimates will be calculated; (2) describe how variances will be estimated; (3) specify imputation methods, if any; (4) specify the procedures to adjust sampling weight for observation sites with no usable data; and (5) specify the procedures to be followed if the standard error exceeds 2.5 percentage points. NHTSA believes that additional documentation is necessary for the agency to determine accurately if the State’s proposed survey design meets the Uniform Criteria. Under the existing Uniform Criteria, States must submit their survey designs to NHTSA in advance of data collection in order for NHTSA to determine whether the designs meet the Uniform Criteria. The agency retains this requirement, but adds a deadline. Currently, no State survey design meets all the requirements of the proposed Uniform Criteria. Under this proposal, all States would revise their seat belt use survey designs before conducting seat belt use surveys in calendar year 2011, and must submit new survey design proposals to NHTSA no later than January 3, 2011. The agency believes most States conduct seat belt use surveys in the late-spring to early summer of the year. Submission of proposed survey designs by this date will allow the agency sufficient time to review the State design and provide guidance well in advance of States conducting survey data collection. B. Post-Approval Alterations to Survey Designs (23 CFR 1340.11) We propose to continue the requirement that States submit proposals to alter their survey design to NHTSA at least three months prior to data collection if the alteration would impact the Statewide seat belt use rate or its standard error. Examples of changes that would impact the Statewide seat belt use rate estimate or its standard error include, but are not limited to, changes in sample design, seat belt use rate estimation method, variance estimation method, and data collection protocols. C. Re-Selection of Observation Sites (23 CFR 1340.12) The existing Uniform Criteria do not specify how frequently observation site samples should be refreshed, i.e., updated to reflect new road construction, changes in traffic volume, and population shifts. Accordingly, some States use survey designs that are more than 20 years old. We believe that this diminishes the accuracy of survey results. We propose that the State re- PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 select its sample of observation sites from a NHTSA-provided road database or another road database approved by NHTSA no less than once every five years. We further propose States submit the updated sampling frame data to NHTSA for approval no later than March 1 of the re-selection year. NHTSA believes that this proposal balances the need for a more accurate estimate of seat belt use with the burdens of re-selecting the sample of observation sites. D. Annual Reporting Requirements (23 CFR 1340.13; Appendix A) Under the existing Uniform Criteria, States report the annual Statewide seat belt use rate and standard error, and certify that their Statewide seat belt use rates were obtained in accordance with the Uniform Criteria. For oversight purposes, we propose to expand the certification to include additional information. Specifically, we propose that States would provide the following additional information: (1) A spreadsheet in electronic format containing the raw data for each observation site and the observation site weight; (2) nonresponse rates for survey variables—seat belt use and passenger presence; (3) the dates of the data collection; (4) observation sites, identified by type of site (i.e., observation site selected in the original survey design, alternate observation site selected subsequent to the original survey design), and by characteristics of the observation site visit (i.e., at least one vehicle observed, no vehicles observed); and (5) name of the State seat belt survey statistician. In § 1340.13, NHTSA proposes that the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative (GR) or if delegated in writing by the GR, the Coordinator of the State Highway Safety Office sign the certification included in the annual reporting requirement. That individual must certify that (1) [name of GR] has been designated by the Governor as the GR, and if applicable, the GR has delegated the authority to sign the certification in writing to [name of Coordinator], the State Highway Safety Coordinator; (2) the reported Statewide seat belt use rate is based on a survey design that was approved by NHTSA, in writing, as conforming to the Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use, 23 CFR part 1340; (3) the survey design has remained unchanged since the survey was approved by NHTSA; and (4) the individual named in the reporting form is a qualified statistician who has reviewed and approved the seat belt use rate and standard error reported. E:\FR\FM\28JAP1.SGM 28JAP1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 18 / Thursday, January 28, 2010 / Proposed Rules In addition, NHTSA proposes that the State seat belt survey statistician also sign the reporting form certifying that (s)he meets the qualification requirements in § 1340.8(c), and the information being reported is correct and is in compliance with the Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use, 23 CFR part 1340. NHTSA also proposes that States retain certain records for five years and make them available to NHTSA within four weeks of request. We believe that retention of these records would not pose an additional burden on States because these are records that States would normally retain in the course of designing a seat belt use survey and conducting annual seat belt use surveys. D. How can I read the comments submitted by other people? You may read the comments received by the Docket Management at the address given under ADDRESSES. The hours of the Docket are indicated above in the same location. To read the comments on the Internet, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket. Please note that even after the comment closing date, we will continue to file relevant information on the docket as it becomes available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, we recommend that you periodically check the docket for new material. IV. Public Participation V. Statutory Basis for This Action The agency’s proposal would implement changes to the uniform criteria for the measurement of State seat belt use rates that a State is required to conduct annually under a grant program in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 402(b)(1)(E)(iii). A. How do I prepare and submit comments? Your comments must be written and in English. To ensure that your comments are correctly filed in the Docket, please include the docket number of this document in your comments. Your primary comments must not be more than 15 pages long. (49 CFR 553.21). However, you may attach additional documents to your primary comments. There is no limit on the length of the attachments. Please submit two copies of your comments, including the attachments, to Docket Management at the address given above under ADDRESSES. Comments may also be submitted to the docket electronically on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. B. How can I be sure my comments were received? erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 If you wish Docket Management to notify you upon its receipt of your comments, enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard in the envelope containing your comments. Upon receiving your comments, Docket Management will return the postcard by mail. C. Will the agencies consider late comments? We will consider all comments that Docket Management receives before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated above under DATES. To the extent possible, we will also consider comments that Docket Management receives after that date. VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:51 Jan 27, 2010 Jkt 220001 VI. Regulatory Analyses and Notices A. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures Executive Order 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review’’ (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), provides for making determinations whether a regulatory action is ‘‘significant’’ and therefore subject to OMB review and to the requirements of the Executive Order. The Order defines a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ as one that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or Tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order. This rulemaking document was not reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. The rulemaking action is not considered to be significant within the meaning of E.O. 12866 or the Department of Transportation’s PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 4515 Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034 (Feb. 26, 1979)). The agency’s proposal would not affect amounts over the significance threshold of $100 million each year. The agency’s proposal would not adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or Tribal governments or communities. The agency’s proposal would not create an inconsistency or interfere with any actions taken or planned by other agencies. The agency’s proposal would not materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof. Finally, the agency’s proposal does not raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order. Currently, States are required to provide satisfactory assurances that they will conduct an annual Statewide seat belt use survey as part of the administrative requirements for a highway safety grant under 23 U.S.C. 402(b)(1)(E)(iii). The outcome of the State’s annual Statewide seat belt use survey provides one of the core performance measures—observed seat belt use by drivers and front outboard seat passengers of passenger motor vehicles—that were developed as a collaborative effort by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), with assistance from other partners. Through these assurances, every State Highway Safety Office has committed to conducting an annual Statewide seat belt use survey. The agency’s proposal would not change the statutory requirement to provide assurances that the State will conduct an annual Statewide seat belt use survey, but would change the way States collect and report survey data. Specifically, the proposed rule would make two changes to the sampling frame—draw observation sites from a sampling frame based on traffic fatalities instead of population, and include all roads with a few exceptions in the sampling frame. In addition, the proposed rule would change the standard error to not to exceed 2.5 percentage points. The proposed rule also would improve quality control of the data collected by requiring States to train observers before data collection, to have quality control monitors conduct unannounced visits, and to have a statistician review the data collected. Finally, the proposed rule would require States to submit additional E:\FR\FM\28JAP1.SGM 28JAP1 4516 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 18 / Thursday, January 28, 2010 / Proposed Rules erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 information in their annual certifications. The agency has determined that if it is made final, this rulemaking action would not be significant. If a State does not provide assurances that it will conduct an annual Statewide seat belt use survey in accordance with the uniform criteria in a given year, Section 402 grant funds could be withheld. However, States rely on statistically valid observational surveys of seat belt use to plan and evaluate their highway safety programs and have committed, through their highway safety offices, to conduct annual Statewide seat belt use surveys as part of the core performance measurement process. The agency believes that no State will decline to provide the required assurances, and that the impacts of the rule would be minimal and not require the preparation of a full regulatory evaluation. B. Regulatory Flexibility Act Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency publishes a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). The Small Business Administration’s regulations at 13 CFR part 121 define a small business, in part, as a business entity ‘‘which operates primarily within the United States.’’ (13 CFR 121.105(a)). No regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency certifies the rulemaking action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. SBREFA amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a statement of the factual basis for certifying that an action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. NHTSA has considered the effects of this proposal under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. This proposal applies to States and they are not considered to be small businesses under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. States may employ contractors to collect survey data (which may be small businesses), but this proposal merely changes the procedures of collecting survey data and will not have a significant impact on the costs or profits of small businesses. Therefore, I certify that this notice of proposed rulemaking would not have a significant VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:51 Jan 27, 2010 Jkt 220001 economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. C. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) Executive Order 13132, ‘‘Federalism’’ (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), requires NHTSA to develop an accountable process to ensure ‘‘meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.’’ ‘‘Policies that have federalism implications’’ are defined in the Executive Order to include regulations that have ‘‘substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.’’ Under Executive Order 13132, the agency may not issue a regulation with Federalism implications that imposes substantial direct compliance costs and that is not required by statute unless the Federal government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by State and local governments or the agency consults with State and local governments in the process of developing the proposed regulation. The agency also may not issue a regulation with Federalism implications that preempts a State law without consulting with State and local officials. The agency has analyzed this rulemaking action in accordance with the principles and criteria set forth in Executive Order 13132 and has determined that this proposed rule would not have sufficient Federalism implications to warrant consultation with State and local officials or the preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. Moreover, the proposed rule would not preempt any State law or regulation or affect the ability of States to discharge traditional State government functions. D. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform) Pursuant to Executive Order 12988, ‘‘Civil Justice Reform’’ (61 FR 4729, February 7, 1996), the agency has considered whether this rulemaking would have any retroactive effect. This rulemaking action would not have any retroactive effect. This action meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. E. Paperwork Reduction Act Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, a person is not required to PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 respond to a collection of information by a Federal agency unless the collection displays a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. This NPRM, if made final, would result in a new collection of information that would require OMB clearance pursuant to 5 CFR part 1320. Before an agency submits a proposed collection of information to OMB for approval, it must first publish a document in the Federal Register providing a 60-day comment period and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of information. OMB has promulgated regulations describing what must be included in such a document. Under OMB’s regulation (at 5 CFR 1320.8(d)), an agency must ask for public comment on the following: (i) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (ii) The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (iii) How to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (iv) How to minimize the burden of the collections of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. In compliance with these requirements, the agencies ask for public comments on the following proposed collections of information: Title: Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use. OMB Control Number: N/A. Requested Expiration Date of Approval: Three years from the approval date. Type of Request: New collection. Affected Public: State Governments (the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 4 territories). Form Number: N/A. Abstract: The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU) (Pub. L. 109–59) provides that the Secretary of Transportation may not approve for Section 402 funding a State highway safety program which does not provide satisfactory assurances that the State will implement an annual statewide seat belt use survey in accordance with criteria established by E:\FR\FM\28JAP1.SGM 28JAP1 erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 18 / Thursday, January 28, 2010 / Proposed Rules the Secretary to ensure that the measurements of seat belt use are accurate and representative. In addition, in 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) partnered to develop a voluntary minimum set of performance measures to be used by States and federal agencies in the development and implementation of behavioral highway safety plans and programs, including observed seat belt use of front seat outboard occupants in passenger vehicles. Currently, States use the information collected in their seat belt use surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of their occupant protection countermeasures programs and to identify relatively low seat belt use areas and sub-populations requiring increased program emphasis. In addition, NHTSA uses the collected information, pooled across the States, to determine the relative impact of various countermeasures and program strategies and to provide guidance to assist the States in achieving the highest possible seat belt use. NHTSA also uses the collected information from individual States to identify those States whose occupant protection programs would most benefit from special management reviews, countermeasure demonstration projects and other forms of technical assistance. The information collected for the States’ seat belt observational surveys is to include a seat belt survey design for approval and any subsequent changes to the seat belt survey design. The survey design will include a description of the methodology used to select the survey observational sites, the selection probability of each site, the survey observational procedures and protocols, observer training and quality control procedures. In addition, each State is to submit the survey results annually, including a certification regarding the survey, name of the State statistician, seat belt use rate, standard error, nonresponse rate and for each observational site, the number of front seat outboard occupants that were observed, the number observed to be wearing the seat belt, and the site weighting factor used to combine the individual site data into the measure of Statewide seat belt use. Estimated Annual Burden: 19,026 hours. Estimated Number of Respondents: 56 (50 States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Comments Are Invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:51 Jan 27, 2010 Jkt 220001 is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments must refer to the docket and notice numbers cited at the beginning of this NPRM and be submitted to one of the addresses identified at the beginning of this NPRM. F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) requires Federal agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more than $100 million annually (adjusted for inflation with a base year of 1995 (about $118 million in 2004 dollars)). This proposed rule does not meet the definition of a Federal mandate because the resulting annual State expenditures would not exceed the $100 million threshold. G. National Environmental Policy Act NHTSA has reviewed this rulemaking action for the purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act. The agency has determined that this proposal would not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. H. Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribes) The agency has analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13175, and has determined that the proposed action would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, would not impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments, and would not preempt tribal law. Therefore, a tribal summary impact statement is not required. I. Regulatory Identifier Number (RIN) The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may use the RIN contained in PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 4517 the heading at the beginning of this document to find this action in the Unified Agenda. J. Privacy Act Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the complete User Notice and Privacy Notice for Regulations.gov at http://www.regulations.gov/search/ footer/privacyanduse.jsp. List of Subjects in 23 CFR Part 1340 Grant programs—transportation, Highway safety, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. In consideration of the foregoing, we propose to revise 23 CFR part 1340 to read as follows: PART 1340—UNIFORM CRITERIA FOR STATE OBSERVATIONAL SURVEYS OF SEAT BELT USE Subpart A—General Sec. 1340.1 Purpose. 1340.2 Applicability. 1340.3 Definitions. Subpart B—Survey Design Requirements 1340.4 In general. 1340.5 Selection of observation sites. 1340.6 Assignment of observation times. 1340.7 Observation procedures. 1340.8 Quality control. 1340.9 Computation of estimates. Subpart C—Administrative Requirements 1340.10 Submission and approval of seat belt survey design. 1340.11 Post-approval alterations to survey design. 1340.12 Re-selection of observation sites. 1340.13 Annual reporting requirements. Appendix A to Part 1340—State Belt Use Survey Reporting Form Authority: 23 U.S.C. 402; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. Subpart A—General § 1340.1 Purpose. This part establishes uniform criteria for State surveys of seat belt use conducted under 23 U.S.C. 402, procedures for NHTSA approval of survey designs, and administrative requirements relating to State seat belt surveys. § 1340.2 Applicability. This part applies to State surveys of seat belt use, beginning in calendar year 2011 and continuing annually thereafter. E:\FR\FM\28JAP1.SGM 28JAP1 4518 § 1340.3 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 18 / Thursday, January 28, 2010 / Proposed Rules Definitions. As used in this part— Access ramp means the segment of a road that forms a cloverleaf or limited access interchange. Cul-de-sac means the closed end of a road that forms a loop or turn-around. Non-public road means a road on which members of the general public are not allowed to drive motor vehicles. Nonresponse rate means, for any survey variable, the percentage of unknown values recorded for that variable. Observation site means the physical location where survey data are collected. Passenger motor vehicle means a passenger car, pickup truck, van, minivan or sport utility vehicle. Service drive means the segment of a road that provides access to businesses and rest areas. Traffic circle means the segment of a road or intersection of roads forming a roundabout. Unnamed road means a road, public or private, that has no name or number designation and is often a farm or logging road. Vehicular trail means a road designed or intended primarily for use by motor vehicles with four-wheel drive. Subpart B—Survey Design Requirements § 1340.4 In general. This subpart sets forth the minimum design requirements to be incorporated in surveys conducted under this part. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 § 1340.5 Selection of observation sites. (a) Sampling frame requirements—(1) County coverage. The sampling frame from which observation sites are selected shall include counties or county-equivalents (including tribal territories), as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, that account for at least 85 percent of the State’s passenger vehicle occupant fatalities, provided that the average of the last three years of available Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data shall be used to determine the State’s passenger vehicle occupant fatalities. (2) Road coverage. (i) States shall select observation sites from a database of road inventories approved by NHTSA or provided by NHTSA. (ii) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section, all roads in the State shall be eligible for sampling. The sampling frame may not be limited only to roads having a stop sign, stop light or State-maintained roads. (iii) The sampling frame need not include non-public roads, unnamed VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:51 Jan 27, 2010 Jkt 220001 roads, unpaved roads, vehicular trails, access ramps, cul-de-sacs, traffic circles and service drives. (b) Sampling selection requirements. The set of road segments selected for observation sites shall be chosen based on probability sampling, except that— (1) The specific observation site locations on the sampled road segments may be deterministically selected; (2) An alternate observation site may be used to replace an observation site selected based on probability sampling if it is located in the same county or county-equivalent, and has the same roadway classification (e.g., local road segment, collector road segment) when using the protocol of substitution and rescheduling of observation sites pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section. (c) Requirements for substitution and rescheduling of observation sites. The survey design shall include at a minimum the following protocols: (1) Protocol when observation site is temporarily unavailable for data collection. (i) Observers shall return to the observation site at another time provided that it is on the same day of the week and at the same time of the day or select an alternate observation site, as described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, provided the data is collected on the same day and at approximately the same time as the originally scheduled observation site. (ii) The original observation site must be used for future data collections. (2) Protocol when observation site is permanently unavailable for data collection. (i) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section, another observation site shall be selected in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section. (ii) If it is not feasible to select another observation site based on probability sampling for the current data collection, an alternate observation site, as described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, may be selected provided the data is collected on the same day and at approximately the same time as the originally scheduled observation site. (iii) For future data collections, another observation site must be selected based on probability sampling in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section. (d) Precision requirement. The estimated seat belt use rate must have a standard error of no more than 2.5 percentage points. § 1340.6 Assignment of observation times. (a) Daylight hours. All daylight hours between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. for all days PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 of the week shall be eligible for inclusion in the sample. (b) Random assignment. Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, the day-of the week and timeof-the-day shall be randomly assigned to observation sites. (c) Grouping of observation sites in close geographic proximity. Observation sites in close geographic proximity may be grouped to reduce data collection burdens if: (1) The first assignment of an observation site within the group is randomly selected; and (2) The assignment of other observations sites within the group is made in a manner that promotes administrative efficiency and timely completion of the survey. § 1340.7 Observation procedures. (a) Data collection dates. All survey data shall be collected through direct observation completely within the calendar year for which the Statewide seat belt use rate will be reported. Except as provided in § 1340.5(c), the survey shall be conducted in accordance with the schedule determined in § 1340.6. (b) Roadway and direction(s) of observation—(1) Intersections. If an observation site is located at an intersection of road segments, the data shall be collected from the sampled road segment, not the intersecting road segment(s). (2) Roads with two-way traffic. If an observation site is located on a road with traffic traveling in two directions, one or both directions of traffic may be observed, provided that— (i) If only one direction of traffic is observed, that direction shall be chosen randomly; (ii) If both directions of traffic are observed at the same time, States shall assign at least one person to observe each direction of traffic. (c) Vehicle coverage. Data shall be collected by direct observation from all passenger motor vehicles, including but not limited to commercial passenger motor vehicles, and vehicles that are exempt from the State’s seat belt use law or that bear out-of-State license plates. (d) Occupant coverage. Data shall be collected by direct observation of all drivers and right front passengers, including right front passengers in booster seats, but excluding right front passengers in child safety seats. Observers shall record— (1) The driver and right front passenger as belted if the shoulder belt is in front of the person’s shoulder. (2) A person as unbelted if the shoulder belt is not in front of the person’s shoulder. E:\FR\FM\28JAP1.SGM 28JAP1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 18 / Thursday, January 28, 2010 / Proposed Rules (3) The belt status of that person as unknown if it cannot reasonably be determined whether the driver or right front passenger is belted. (e) Survey variables. At a minimum, the seat belt use variables to be collected by direct observation shall include— (1) Seat belt status of driver; (2) Presence of right front passenger; and (3) Seat belt status of right front passenger, if present. (f) Data collection environment. When collecting seat belt survey data— (1) Observers shall not wear law enforcement uniforms; (2) Police vehicles and persons in law enforcement uniforms shall not be positioned at observation sites; (3) No communications by signage or any other means that a seat belt survey is being or will be conducted may be present in the vicinity of the observation site. § 1340.8 Quality control. (a) Quality control monitors. Monitors shall conduct random, unannounced visits to no less than five percent of the observation sites for the purpose of quality control. The same individual shall not serve as both the observer and quality control monitor at the same observation site at the same time. (b) Training. Observers and quality control monitors involved in seat belt use surveys shall have received training in data collection procedures within the past twelve months. Observers and quality control monitors shall be trained in the observation procedures of § 1340.7 and in the substitution and rescheduling requirements of § 1340.5(c). (c) Statistical review. Survey results shall be reviewed and approved by a seat belt survey statistician, i.e., a person with knowledge of the design of probability-based multi-stage samples, statistical estimators from such designs, and variance estimation of such estimators. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 § 1340.9 Computation of estimates. (a) Data used. Except as otherwise provided in this section, all data collected for the survey’s variables shall be used, without exclusion, in the computation of the Statewide seat belt use rate, standard error, and nonresponse rates. (b) Data editing. Known values of data contributing to the Statewide seat belt use rate shall not be altered or statistically edited in any manner. (c) Imputation. Unknown values of variables shall not be imputed unless NHTSA has approved the State’s imputation procedure prior to data analysis. VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:51 Jan 27, 2010 Jkt 220001 (d) Sampling weights. The estimation formula shall weight observed data by the inverse of the selection probability of the observation site at which the data were obtained. (e) Sampling weight adjustments for observation sites with no usable data. States shall include a procedure to adjust the sampling weights for observation sites with no usable data, including observation sites where no data were collected and observation sites where data were discovered to be falsified. (f) Nonresponse rate. (1) Subject to paragraph (f)(2) of this section, the nonresponse rates, for the entire survey, shall not exceed 10 percent for— (i) The ratio of the total number of recorded unknown values of passenger presence to the number of passenger vehicles observed; or (ii) The ratio of the total number of recorded unknown values of belt use to the total number of drivers and passengers observed. (2) The State shall include a procedure for collecting additional observations in the same calendar year of the survey to reduce the nonresponse rate to no more than 10 percent, in the event the nonresponse rate in paragraph (f)(1)(i) or (f)(1)(ii) of this section exceeds 10 percent. (g) Variance estimation. (1) Subject to paragraph (g)(2) of this section, the estimated standard error, using the variance estimation method in the survey design, shall not exceed 2.5 percentage points. (2) If the standard error exceeds this threshold, additional observations shall be conducted in the same calendar year of the survey until the standard error does not exceed 2.5 percentage points. Subpart C—Administrative Requirements § 1340.10 Submission and approval of seat belt survey design. (a) Contents: The following information shall be included in the State’s seat belt survey design submitted for NHTSA approval: (1) Sample design—The State shall— (i) Define all sampling units, with their measures of size, as provided in § 1340.5(a)(1); (ii) Specify the data source of the sampling frame, as provided in § 1340.5(a)(2)(i); (iii) Specify any exclusions that have been applied to the sampling frame, as provided in § 1340.5(a)(2)(iii); (iv) Define what stratification was used at each stage of sampling and what methods were used for allocation of the sample units to the strata; PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 4519 (v) Define an observation site; (vi) List all observation sites and their probabilities of selection; (vii) Explain how the sample size at each stage was determined, as provided in § 1340.9(g); (viii) Describe how observation sites were assigned to observation time periods, as provided in § 1340.6; and (ix) Identify the name and describe the qualifications of the State seat belt statistician meeting the requirements in § 1340.8(c). (2) Data collection—The State shall— (i) Define an observation period; (ii) Specify the procedures to be implemented to reschedule or substitute observation sites when data collection is not possible on the date and time assigned, as provided in § 1340.5(c); (iii) Specify the procedures for collecting additional data to reduce the nonresponse rate of the variables ‘‘passenger presence’’ and ‘‘belt use’’ if either of those nonresponse rates exceeds 10 percent, as provided in § 1340.9(f)(2); (iv) Describe the data recording procedures; and (v) Specify the number of observers and quality control monitors. (3) Estimation—The State shall— (i) Describe how seat belt use rate estimates will be calculated; (ii) Describe how variances will be estimated, as provided in § 1340.9(g); (iii) Specify imputation methods, if any, that will be used, as provided in § 1340.9(c); (iv) Specify the procedures to adjust sampling weight for observation sites with no usable data, as provided in § 1340.9(e); and (v) Specify the procedures to be followed if the standard error exceeds 2.5 percentage points, as required in § 1340.5(d). (b) Survey design submission deadline. States shall submit proposed survey designs to NHTSA for approval no later than January 3 of the calendar year during which the survey is to be conducted, beginning in calendar year 2011. § 1340.11 Post-approval alterations to survey design. After NHTSA approval of a survey design, States shall submit for NHTSA approval any proposed alteration to their survey design that would impact the Statewide seat belt use rate estimate or standard error, including, but not limited to, sample design, seat belt use rate estimation method, variance estimation method and data collection protocols, at least three months before data collection begins. E:\FR\FM\28JAP1.SGM 28JAP1 4520 § 1340.12 sites. Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 18 / Thursday, January 28, 2010 / Proposed Rules Re-selection of observation (a) Re-selection of observation sites. States shall re-select observation sites using an updated sampling frame data, as described in § 1340.5(a), no less than once every five years. (b) Re-selection submission deadline. States shall submit an updated sampling frame data meeting the requirements of § 1340.5(a) for NHTSA approval no later than March 1 of the re-selection year. § 1340.13 Annual reporting requirements. (a) Survey data. States shall report the following information no later than March 1 of each year for the preceding calendar year’s seat belt use survey, using the reporting form in Appendix A to this part: (1) A spreadsheet in electronic format containing the raw data for each observation site and the observation site weight; (2) The Statewide seat belt use rate estimate and standard error; (3) Nonresponse rates for two variables—belt use and passenger presence—as provided in § 1340.9(g); (4) Dates of the reported data collection; (5) Observation sites, identified by type of observation site (i.e., observation site selected in the original survey design, alternate observation site selected subsequent to the original survey design), and by characteristics of the observation site visit (i.e., at least one vehicle observed, no vehicles observed); and (6) Name of the State seat belt survey statistician meeting the qualification requirements, as provided in § 1340.8(c). (b) Certifications by Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. The Governor’s Highway Safety Representative (GR) or if delegated in writing, the Coordinator of the State Highway Safety Office, shall sign the reporting form certifying that— (1) llllllllhas been designated by the Governor as the GR, and if applicable, the GR has delegated the authority to sign the certification in writing to llllllll, the Coordinator of the State Highway Safety Office; (2) The reported Statewide seat belt use rate is based on a survey design that was approved by NHTSA, in writing, as conforming to the Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use, 23 CFR part 1340; (3) The survey design has remained unchanged since the survey was approved by NHTSA; and (4) The individual named in the reporting form is a qualified statistician who has reviewed and approved the seat belt use rate and standard error reported. (c) Certification by survey statistician. The State seat belt survey statistician shall sign the reporting form certifying that — (1) (S)he meets the qualifications of a State seat belt use survey statistician, as provided in § 1340.8(c), and (2) The information reported is correct and is in compliance with the Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use, 23 CFR part 1340. (d) Audits. NHTSA may audit State survey results and data collection. The State shall retain the following records for five years and make them available to NHTSA in electronic format within four weeks of request: (1) Computation programs used in the sample selection; (2) Computation programs used to estimate the Statewide seat belt use rate and standard errors for the surveys conducted since the last NHTSA approval of the sample design; and (3) Sampling frame(s) for design(s) used since the last NHTSA approval of the sample design. Appendix A to Part 1340—State Seat Belt Use Survey Reporting Form PART A: To be completed by the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative (GR) or if applicable, the Coordinator of the State Highway Safety Office State: llllllllllllllllll Calendar Year of Survey: lllllllll Statewide Seat Belt Use Rate: lllllll I hereby certify that: • llllllll, has been designated by the Governor as the State’s Highway Safety Representative (GR), and if applicable, the GR has delegated the authority to sign the certification in writing to llllllll, the Coordinator of the State Highway Safety Office. • The reported Statewide seat belt use rate is based on a survey design that was approved by NHTSA, in writing, as conforming to the Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use, 23 CFR Part 1340. • The survey design has remained unchanged since the survey was approved by NHTSA. • The individual named below is a qualified Statistician, who has reviewed and approved the seat belt use rate and standard error reported above. lllllllllllllllllllll Signature lllllllllllllllllllll Date lllllllllllllllllllll Printed name of signing official PART B: To be completed by the State Seat Belt Survey Statistician I hereby certify that I meet the qualifications of a State seat belt use survey statistician as provided in § 1340.8(c) and the information reported in Part C below is correct and is in compliance with the Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use, 23 CFR Part 1340. lllllllllllllllllllll Signature of State seat belt survey statistician lllllllllllllllllllll Date lllllllllllllllllllll Printed name of State seat belt survey statistician PART C: To be completed by the State Seat Belt Survey Statistician DATA COLLECTED AT OBSERVATION SITES erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Site ID Site type 1 Date observed Sample weight Number vehicles observed Number front passengers Number unknown passengers Number belted occupants 1 Identify if the observation site is an original observation site or an alternate observation site. VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:51 Jan 27, 2010 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\28JAP1.SGM 28JAP1 Number unbelted occupant Number unknown 4521 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 18 / Thursday, January 28, 2010 / Proposed Rules DATA COLLECTED AT OBSERVATION SITES—Continued Site ID Site type 1 Date observed Sample weight Number vehicles observed Number front passengers Number unknown passengers Number belted occupants Number unbelted occupant Number unknown Total Standard Error of Statewide Belt Use Rate 2: lllll Nonresponse Rates,3 as provided in § 1340.9(f) Nonresponse rate for the survey variable seat belt use: lllll Nonresponse rate for the survey variable passenger presence: lllll Issued on: January 21, 2010. David L. Strickland, Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. [FR Doc. 2010–1613 Filed 1–27–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 367 [Docket No. FMCSA–2010–0009] Uniform Carrier Registration Plan Board of Directors; Request for Nominations erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice Requesting Public Comment on Motor Carrier Industry Nominations to the Board of Directors. SUMMARY: The FMCSA solicits nominations and applications from interested persons to serve as motor carrier industry representatives on the Board of Directors of the Unified Carrier Registration Plan, which governs the Uniform Carrier Registration Agreement (UCRA), as authorized by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU). The Agency will appoint five members from the motor carrier industry. The UCRA governs the registration and the collection and distribution of fees paid by for-hire and private motor carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies. The UCRA replaced the Single State Registration System (SSRS), which was repealed January 1, 2008. DATES: Nominations to the Board of Directors must be received on or before February 12, 2010. 2 The standard error may not exceed 2.5 percent. nonresponse rate may not exceed 10 percent. 3 Either VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:51 Jan 27, 2010 Jkt 220001 You may submit comments to this notice, identified by docket number FMCSA–2010–0009, by any of the following methods—Internet, facsimile, regular mail, or hand-deliver. Federal eRulemaking Portal: Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web site at http://www.regulations.gov. The FDMS is the preferred method for submitting comments, and we urge you to use it. In the ‘‘Comment’’ or ‘‘Submission’’ section, type Docket ID Number ‘‘FMCSA–2010–0009’’, select ‘‘Go’’, and then click on ‘‘Send a Comment or Submission.’’ You will receive a tracking number when you submit a comment. Fax: 1–202–493–2251. Mail, Courier, or Hand-Deliver: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations (M–30), West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Docket: Comments and material received from the public, as well as background information and documents mentioned in this preamble, are part of docket FMCSA–2010–0009, and are available for inspection and copying on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov. You may also view and copy documents at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Docket Operations Unit, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC. Privacy Act: All comments will be posted without change including any personal information provided to the FDMS at http://www.regulations.gov. Anyone can search the electronic form of all our dockets in FDMS, by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) complete Privacy Act Statement was published in the Federal Register on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19476), and can be viewed at http://docketsinfo.dot.gov. Comments received after the comment closing date will be included in the docket, and we will consider late comments to the extent practicable. FMCSA may, however, issue a final rule ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 at any time after the close of the comment period. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Julie Otto, Office of Enforcement and Program Delivery, (202) 366–0710, FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590 or by e-mail at: FMCSAregs@dot.gov. Background Section 4305(b) of SAFETEA–LU [Pub. L. 109–59, 119 Stat. 1144, August 10, 2005] enacted 49 U.S.C. 14504a titled ‘‘Unified carrier registration system plan and agreement.’’ Under the UCRA, motor carriers, motor private carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies register and pay certain fees. The Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of Directors must issue rules and regulations to govern the UCR. Section 14504a(a)(9) defines the Unified Carrier Registration Plan as the organization of State, Federal, and industry representatives responsible for developing, implementing, and administering the UCRA. Section 14504a(d)(1)(B) directed the Secretary to establish a Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of Directors made up of 15 members from FMCSA, State government, and the motor carrier industry. The Board also must recommend initial annual fees to be assessed against carriers, leasing companies, brokers, and freight forwarders under the UCRA, as well as any annual adjustments to those fees. Section 14504a(d) stipulates that the Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of Directors must consist of directors from the following groups: U.S. Department of Transportation (the Department): One individual, either the FMCSA Deputy Administrator or such other Presidential appointee from the Department, must represent the Department. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: One director must be selected from each of the FMCSA service areas (as defined by FMCSA on January 1, 2005) from among the chief administrative officers of the State agencies responsible for administering the UCRA. State Agencies: The five directors selected to represent State agencies must be from among the professional E:\FR\FM\28JAP1.SGM 28JAP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 18 (Thursday, January 28, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 4509-4521]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-1613]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

23 CFR Part 1340

[Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0002]
RIN 2127-AK41


Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: This NPRM proposes amendments to the regulations establishing 
the criteria for designing and conducting State seat belt use 
observational surveys, procedures for obtaining NHTSA approval of 
survey designs, and a new form for reporting seat belt use rates to 
NHTSA. NHTSA proposes these amendments so that future surveys will give 
States more accurate data to guide their occupant protection programs.

DATES: Written comments may be submitted to this agency and must be 
received no later than March 29, 2010.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT Docket ID Number

[[Page 4510]]

NHTSA-2010-0002 by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, M-30, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays.
    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and 
additional information on the rulemaking process, see the ``Public 
Participation'' section of this document. Note that all comments 
received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, 
including any personal information provided. Please see the ``Privacy 
Act'' heading below.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the 
complete User Notice and Privacy Notice for Regulations.gov at http://www.regulations.gov/search/footer/privacyanduse.jsp.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time or to 
West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
    For program issues: Mr. Jack Oates, Chief, Program Implementation, 
Regional Operations and Program Delivery, National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., NTI-200, 
Washington, DC 20590. Telephone number: 202-366-2730; E-mail: 
Jack.Oates@dot.gov.
    For statistical issues: Ms. Chou-Lin Chen, Chief, Mathematical 
Analysis Division, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, 
SE., NVS-421, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone number: 202-366-1048; E-
mail: Chou-Lin.Chen@dot.gov.
    For legal issues: Ms. Jin Kim, Attorney-Advisor, Office of the 
Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., NCC-113, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone number: 
202-366-1834; E-mail: Jin.Kim@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Background
II. Proposed Amendments to the Uniform Criteria
    A. Purpose; Applicability; Definitions
    B. Selection of Observation Sites
    C. Assignment of Observation Times
    D. Observation Procedures
    E. Quality Control
    F. Computation of Estimates
III. Administrative Requirements
    A. Submission and Approval of Seat Belt Survey Design
    B. Post-Approval Alterations to Survey Designs
    C. Re-Selection of Observation Sites
    D. Annual Reporting Requirements
IV. Public Participation
V. Statutory Basis for This Action
VI. Regulatory Analyses and Notices
    A. Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Policies and Procedures
    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act
    C. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)
    D. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)
    E. Paperwork Reduction Act
    F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
    G. National Environmental Policy Act
    H. Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination With 
Indian Tribes)
    I. Regulatory Identifier Number (RIN)
    J. Privacy Act

I. Background

    Section 1403 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century 
(TEA-21) (Pub. L. 105-178) authorized a seat belt incentive grant 
program that awarded grant funds to States based on a State's seat belt 
use rate. On September 1, 1998, the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration (NHTSA) published as an interim final rule criteria to 
ensure accurate and representative measurements of a State's seat belt 
use rate, known as the Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys 
of Seat Belt Use (Uniform Criteria). See 63 FR 46389. On March 14, 
2000, NHTSA published a final rule, adopting the Uniform Criteria with 
one clarifying change.\1\ See 65 FR 13679.
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    \1\ In 2000, NHTSA clarified that States are permitted to group 
observation sites according to geographic areas to minimize travel 
time and distance required to conduct the observations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity 
Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) (Pub. L. 109-59) did not 
reauthorize the seat belt incentive grant program. However, SAFETEA-LU 
established new administrative requirements relating to a State's 
qualification for a highway safety grant under 23 U.S.C. 402. One such 
requirement is that the State must provide satisfactory assurances that 
it will conduct an annual Statewide seat belt use survey in accordance 
with the criteria for State seat belt use rate measurement established 
by the Secretary of Transportation. In August 2005, NHTSA notified the 
States and Territories that the Statewide surveys conducted in 
accordance with the Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys of 
Seat Belt Use, as published at 23 CFR part 1340, would satisfy the 
administrative requirements of Section 402. In addition, the 
implementing guidelines for the incentive grant program under 23 U.S.C. 
406 provide that seat belt use surveys conducted in accordance with the 
Uniform Criteria serve as the basis for an award under the seat belt 
performance provisions of that grant program.
    Since the adoption of the Uniform Criteria in 1998, NHTSA and the 
States have accumulated substantial experience in the design and 
implementation of seat belt use surveys. This experience has provided 
insight into factors that could affect survey accuracy and reliability. 
In addition, technological improvements in road inventories have made 
it possible to select observation sites in a more cost effective 
manner. For these reasons, NHTSA proposes to revise the Uniform 
Criteria so that future surveys will give States more accurate data to 
guide their occupant protection programs.
    As articulated in detail below, NHTSA proposes several key changes 
to the existing criteria. In particular, the agency proposes to revise 
the sampling frame from the population-based criterion to a fatality-
based criterion and to identify road types to be included in the road 
inventory. The proposal also changes the precision requirement from a 
five percent relative error to a 2.5 percentage point standard error. 
In addition, the agency proposes quality control procedures to help 
ensure accuracy and consistency across all State surveys. Finally, the 
agency proposes to require States to submit additional information from 
the survey results as part of their annual certifications, including 
data source of the sampling frame, exclusions applied to the sampling 
frame, procedures for collecting additional data to reduce the 
nonresponse rates, explanation of imputation methods, procedures to 
adjust the sampling weight, and procedures to be followed if the 
standard error is exceeded.
    Accordingly, the agency is issuing this NPRM to propose changes to 
the Uniform Criteria, describe approval

[[Page 4511]]

procedures for seat belt survey designs, and specify the reporting 
requirements for seat belt use rates.

II. Proposed Amendments to the Uniform Criteria

A. Purpose; Applicability; Definitions (23 CFR 1340.1; 23 CFR 1340.2; 
23 CFR 1340.3)

    This proposal would amend the purpose and applicability sections to 
update the statutory reference, specify the effective date for the 
revised uniform criteria, and note the addition of proposed survey 
designs approval procedures and administrative requirements. The agency 
proposes that the revised Uniform Criteria would be effective for seat 
belt surveys conducted starting in calendar year 2011.
    The agency also proposes adding a definition section to define 
certain terms used in the proposed rule. For example, the agency 
proposes definitions for road types (access ramp, cul-de-sac, non-
public road, service drive, traffic circle, unnamed road, vehicular 
trail) and ``passenger motor vehicle'' which are commonly used terms. 
Although the agency also adds a definition for ``nonresponse rate,'' 
other statistical terms, such as probability sampling, precision 
requirement, imputation, sampling weights, variance estimation, are not 
added as definitions as they have meanings that are generally 
understood in the field of statistics.

B. Selection of Observation Sites (23 CFR 1340.5)

    In Sec.  1340.5(a)(1), the agency proposes to amend the current 
demographics requirement in the sampling frame. Currently, States must 
include the most populous counties or other areas accounting for at 
least 85 percent of the State's population in the sampling frame. 
Because NHTSA believes that this sampling frame may result in an 
unintended bias in seat belt use rates, we propose to change from a 
population-based criterion to a fatality-based criterion. We believe 
that using a fatality-based sampling frame would enable the States to 
focus on areas with traffic safety concerns. Under the revised 
criterion at Sec.  1340.5(a)(1), a State would be able to exclude any 
counties or county-equivalents accounting for up to 15 percent of the 
State's motor vehicle crash fatalities during the last three years, as 
measured by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data. NHTSA 
believes that this 15 percent exclusion would allow the States to 
reduce survey costs with minimum impact to the survey result. In other 
words, States must include counties or county-equivalents in which at 
least 85 percent of the motor vehicle crash fatalities occurred during 
the three most recent years for which FARS data are available. Each 
time a State updates its survey design (at least every five years, or 
more frequently if the State so elects), the geographic distribution of 
motor vehicle fatalities from the three most recent years will be re-
examined to identify the counties or county-equivalents to be included 
in the updated survey. To assist States in this effort, FARS data is 
available on NHTSA's Web site at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov. Also, NHTSA 
would provide a county-by-county breakout of fatalities during the 
three most recent years to any State that requested it. Based on a 
statistical simulation of the impact, the agency believes that the 
proposed fatality-based criterion would improve State seat belt use 
estimates by reducing the statistical bias towards urban areas that 
tend to have higher seat belt use rates. For this reason, we believe 
that the revised criterion would provide a more representative sample 
for the survey.
    In Sec.  1340.5(a)(2), we propose to add a road coverage 
requirement to the sampling frame criterion. Specifically, all roads 
except those explicitly excluded would be required to be eligible for 
sampling. The existing Uniform Criteria do not specify the types of 
roads that must be eligible in the sampling frame. At the time the 
current criteria were adopted, a comprehensive and affordable database 
of roads was not available to many States. Most States relied on State-
provided inventories of roads, which in many cases captured only 
subsets of roads in the State, such as State-maintained roads. As a 
result, road inventories used by the States varied widely. In many 
cases, the resulting observation sites were not representative of all 
roads. Because all States currently do not have a database of all roads 
in the State, NHTSA would make a database of roads available for each 
State. Alternatively, a State could choose to use its own database of 
roads if approved by NHTSA. The agency believes that using a more 
comprehensive database would result in more representative and 
consistent seat belt use estimates.
    Under the proposed rule, the following roads would be permitted to 
be excluded from the sample: Non-public roads, unnamed roads, unpaved 
roads, vehicular trails, access ramps, cul-de-sacs, traffic circles and 
service drives. The agency believes that exclusion of these road types 
from sampling and observation is appropriate for reasons of safety and 
practicality. These road types are excluded from NHTSA's own nationwide 
survey of seat belt use, the National Occupant Protection Use Survey 
(NOPUS).
    In Sec.  1340.5(b), the agency's proposal retains the existing 
requirement that survey designs be probability-based. Specifically, the 
observation sites and observation schedule (day and time) for the data 
collection would be required to be selected based on probability 
sampling, i.e., randomly. The proposal, however, clarifies that 
deterministic, i.e., non-random, selection would be permitted in the 
selection of specific locations on the sampled road segments, i.e., the 
specific location on the road segment where observers are positioned 
could be chosen based on such factors as safety and visibility. The 
proposal also would allow alternate observation sites to be used under 
certain conditions. The proposal identifies ``alternate observation 
site'' as a replacement observation site that must (1) be located in 
the same county or county-equivalent as the observation site; and (2) 
have the same roadway classification as the observation site (e.g., 
local road segment, collector road segment).
    In Sec.  1340.5(c), the agency proposes that States include a 
protocol to follow when they cannot collect data at an observation site 
at the scheduled time. The agency proposes certain minimum conditions 
depending on whether the observation site is temporarily or permanently 
unavailable for data collection. Under the existing uniform criteria, 
there is no requirement for a protocol. However, it is likely that many 
States have protocols for selecting alternate observation sites even 
though the protocol is not included in the State's current survey 
design. The proposed protocol requirement for selecting alternate 
observation sites would promote efficiency and consistency in data 
collection.
    First, the agency anticipates that observations may not be 
conducted at some observation sites for temporary reasons. For example, 
weather conditions, traffic incidents, or road construction may prevent 
an observer from making observations in a safe manner. Under such 
temporary conditions, the agency suggests two options for data 
collection. The State may return to the observation site at another 
time provided it is on the same day of the week and at the same time of 
day. The State may also select an alternate observation site provided 
the data is collected on the same day and approximately at the same 
time as the originally scheduled observation site.

[[Page 4512]]

The agency recommends that the State pre-select alternate observation 
sites before the start of data collection. Notwithstanding the 
availability of the protocol, the agency proposes to require that data 
collection be conducted at the original observation site at all times 
when it is available. The agency believes that giving States these 
options will allow them to determine which method is most efficient and 
convenient for the State while providing greater consistency across 
State survey collections.
    Second, the agency anticipates that some observation sites may 
become permanently unavailable because the road on which the 
observation site is located is permanently closed. Under these 
circumstances, the agency proposes that the State may select a 
permanent replacement observation site based on probability sampling. 
However, if the State cannot select a permanent replacement observation 
site during the current data collection, the agency proposes that it 
may select an alternate observation site, provided that the data is 
collected on the same day and at approximately the same time as the 
originally scheduled observation site. The agency proposes that data 
collection for future years must be conducted at an observation site 
that has been selected based on probability sampling. (See Section II, 
B., above for further discussion.) The agency believes that this 
proposal would provide States flexibility under unexpected 
circumstances.
    In Sec.  1340.5(d), we propose to change the precision requirement 
from the current 5 percent relative error (standard error divided by 
the estimate) to a 2.5 percentage point standard error. In some cases, 
the existing criterion allows margins of error (using 95 percent 
confidence) up to plus or minus 10 percentage points, and it also 
requires States with lower seat belt use rates to meet a smaller margin 
of error than States with higher seat belt use rates. NHTSA believes 
that a uniform margin of error requirement would be equitable for all 
States. The proposed criterion would require a standard error not to 
exceed 2.5 percentage points.
    States should closely monitor their survey results to assure that 
they will be able to meet these more stringent precision requirements. 
If the standard error proves to be too large, States may need to 
conduct additional observations to obtain an adequate sample. These 
additional observations must be conducted in the same calendar year as 
the sample. Therefore, we encourage States to conduct their surveys 
early enough in the year to allow for additional sampling if necessary, 
and to closely monitor the survey results so that they can quickly 
determine whether extra sampling will be required. Surveys which fail 
to meet these requirements will not be accepted by NHTSA. NHTSA 
believes that the likelihood for additional sampling is very small with 
a well-planned and implemented sample design. NHTSA seeks comment on 
this requirement, whether it would impose a significant burden on 
States, and if there are other methods of ensuring the reliability of 
the results that are equitable to all States.

C. Assignment of Observation Times (23 CFR 1340.6)

    The existing Uniform Criteria require all daylight hours and all 
days of the week to be eligible for data collection.\2\ The agency 
proposes to allow States to restrict their data collection to all 
daylight hours between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Daylight hours during the 
summer vary, and can begin as early as 5 a.m. and end as late as 9:15 
p.m. or later. NHTSA believes it would be more equitable to States if 
the times eligible for data collection were specified. This proposal 
does not change the current requirement that all days of the week, 
including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, be eligible for data 
collection.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Although nighttime observations of seat belt use may provide 
States with useful data, the agency believes that several factors 
weigh against extending the sampling requirements under this 
proposal. First, extending the sampling requirement to nighttime 
observations would reduce the value of survey results from previous 
years' data. States and other interested parties use this 
information to determine the impact of various seat belt use 
programs and activities. In addition, nighttime observations are 
more difficult than daytime observations because seat belt use is 
not as easy to observe in the dark, even in the most well lit sites. 
Nighttime observations are also less safe for observers than daytime 
observations because observers are less conspicuous and the increase 
of impaired drivers makes nighttime observations inherently more 
dangerous than daytime observations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The existing Uniform Criteria require the schedule for any given 
data collection to be determined in a random manner. The agency 
proposes to continue this requirement--States must randomly select both 
the day of the week and the time of the day. However, NHTSA allows 
States to group observation sites in close geographic proximity, i.e., 
cluster assignments of observation sites, for efficiency reasons. The 
agency proposes to continue to allow cluster assignments of observation 
sites. For example, after selecting observation sites randomly, the 
State may identify observation sites in close geographic proximity 
where data could be collected on the same day by the same survey crew. 
States must randomly select the day of the week that data will be 
collected for the geographically-grouped cluster of observation sites. 
States must randomly select one observation site from the 
geographically-grouped cluster of observation sites and must randomly 
assign the time of day for the data collection. Data collection at all 
other observation sites in the cluster must take place on the same day 
or adjacent days of the week and at times of the day that ensure 
efficient use of data collection resources. We believe that this 
proposal allows for the efficient use of data collection resources and 
limits the introduction of a judgment bias.

D. Observation Procedures (23 CFR 1340.7)

    The existing Uniform Criteria require all survey data to be 
collected through direct observation and during the calendar year 
reported for the Statewide seat belt use rate. We propose no change to 
this requirement in Sec.  1340.7(a).
    Under the existing Uniform Criteria, the State may choose to 
observe data from one or both directions of traffic. We propose no 
change to this provision in Sec.  1340.7(b), but propose clarifying 
language. Specifically, if data will be collected from traffic 
traveling in one direction, that direction should be chosen randomly. 
If a State chooses to observe traffic from both directions at the same 
time, the State should provide at least one person to observe traffic 
from each direction.
    In Sec.  1340.7(c), the agency proposes to clarify the requirement 
regarding the vehicles that must be covered in the survey. The existing 
Uniform Criteria require that all passenger motor vehicles be included 
in the survey. The agency's proposal clarifies that this requirement 
includes passenger motor vehicles being used for commercial purposes, 
and vehicles that are exempt from the State's seat belt use law or that 
bear out-of-state license plates.
    In Sec.  1340.7(d), the agency proposes to include clarifying 
language regarding the data that must be collected on occupants in 
passenger motor vehicles. The existing criteria state that drivers and 
front seat outboard passengers must be observed. We propose to include 
language specifying that data on all drivers and right front 
passengers, except passengers in child safety seats, must be collected. 
Child safety seats include forward-facing and rear-facing child safety 
seats, but do not include booster seats. NHTSA believes that children 
should not be placed in the front seat. However, the agency believes 
that data on passengers in child safety

[[Page 4513]]

seats should be excluded because it is difficult to observe whether a 
child safety seat is properly installed or the child is properly 
restrained in the child safety seat. However, right front passengers in 
booster seats must be included in the survey because booster seats 
require the use of a readily-observable shoulder belt to secure the 
passenger.
    The existing Uniform Criteria require that shoulder belt use by the 
driver and right front passenger in passenger vehicles be recorded. In 
Sec.  1340.7(e), the agency leaves unchanged the survey variables that 
are existing requirements of the Uniform Criteria--belt status of 
driver, presence of right front passenger, and belt status of right 
front passenger if present. However, we propose to clarify when to 
record an occupant as ``belted.'' We propose that observers record an 
occupant as ``belted'' if they see that a shoulder belt is in front of 
the occupant's shoulder; record an occupant as ``unbelted'' if they see 
that a shoulder belt is not in front of the occupant's shoulder; and 
record the belt use of the occupant as ``unknown'' if it cannot 
reasonably be determined that the shoulder belt is in front of the 
occupant's shoulder. Thus, an occupant using a lap-only belt or using a 
lap/shoulder belt with the shoulder belt behind the shoulder would be 
counted as ``unbelted.'' A motorist with a shoulder belt under the arm 
near the shoulder belt anchor would be counted as ``unbelted.''
    In Sec.  1340.7(f), the agency proposes to specify certain 
prohibited practices that could artificially raise seat belt use rates 
at observation sites. Specifically, we propose to prohibit observers 
from wearing law enforcement uniforms and prohibit the presence of law 
enforcement vehicles visible to motorists at observation sites. We also 
propose to prohibit advance specific warning to motorists approaching 
observation sites that a seat belt use survey is being or will be 
conducted. NHTSA believes that this will help ensure more accurate 
estimates of seat belt use rates.

E. Quality Control (23 CFR 1340.8)

    The existing Uniform Criteria do not specifically address quality 
control procedures. Because it is likely that States vary in their use 
of quality control measures, we propose to add criteria establishing a 
uniform baseline of quality control procedures to ensure reliability 
and consistency in State survey results. First, in Sec.  1340.8(a), we 
propose that States assign quality control monitors to conduct random, 
unannounced site visits to ensure that observers are conducting the 
survey properly. NHTSA proposes that States conduct these observation 
site visits to no less than five percent of the observation sites. The 
same individual may not serve as both the observer and the quality 
control monitor at the same observation site at the same time.
    Second, in Sec.  1340.8(b), we propose that all observers and 
quality control monitors must have been trained in data collection 
protocols, including observation protocols as provided in Sec.  1340.7 
and substitution and rescheduling of observation sites as provided in 
Sec.  1340.5(c), within twelve months prior to data collection. 
Finally, we propose in Sec.  1340.8(c) that survey results be reviewed 
by persons knowledgeable in the design of complex probability samples 
and estimation and variance estimation from such samples. NHTSA 
believes such uniform measures are necessary for accurate and reliable 
survey results.

F. Computation of Estimates (23 CFR 1340.9)

    In Sec. Sec.  1340.9(a) and 1340.9(b), NHTSA's proposal specifies 
that States must use all data collected at observation sites and must 
not use statistical editing procedures that would alter the values of 
observed data. NHTSA believes that these requirements are necessary to 
ensure accurate representation of seat belt use estimates.
    In Sec.  1340.9(c), we propose to allow States to employ imputation 
of unknown values, provided the State's proposed imputation procedure 
is submitted to and approved by NHTSA in advance. Although NHTSA does 
not require or encourage the imputation of unknown values, we would 
allow States to propose methods of imputation for unknown values 
provided the proposed methods are approved by NHTSA prior to data 
analysis.
    In Sec.  1340.9(d), NHTSA makes no changes to the current 
requirement that observation site data be weighted by sampling weights 
(inverses of selection probabilities).
    In Sec.  1340.9(e), NHTSA proposes that States include a procedure 
to adjust for observation sites with no usable data, including 
observation sites where no data were collected and observation sites 
where data were discovered to be falsified. If data is discovered to be 
falsified, the data must be discarded and the observation site treated 
as if no data were collected. For observation sites for which no data 
were collected, States should consider the following approaches for 
adjusting for the lack of data: discard the observation site from data 
analysis and adjust the remaining observation sites' sampling weights 
accordingly; return to the observation site on the same day of the week 
and at the same time of day to collect data; or select an alternate 
observation site as described in Section II, B. of this preamble. 
However, the State may propose another procedure to adjust for 
observation sites with no usable data. NHTSA believes that requiring 
States to include a minimum protocol is necessary to provide a more 
accurate seat belt use rate estimate.
    In Sec.  1340.9(f)(1), we propose to add a new requirement that the 
nonresponse rates for (1) the ratio of the total number of recorded 
unknown values of passenger presence to the number of passenger 
vehicles observed, and (2) the ratio of the total number of recorded 
unknown values of belt use to the total number of drivers and right 
front seat passengers observed not exceed 10 percent. In other words, 
the presence or absence of a right front seat passenger must not be 
``unknown'' for more than 10 percent of the vehicles observed in the 
entire survey; and the belt use status must not be ``unknown'' for more 
than 10 percent of the drivers and right front seat passengers in the 
entire survey. NHTSA believes that this new requirement is necessary to 
reduce potential bias in the survey results.
    In Sec.  1340.9(f)(2), we propose to add a new requirement that 
States include a procedure for collecting additional observations to 
reduce the nonresponse rates to no more than 10 percent. One possible 
procedure to adjust for nonresponse rates in excess of 10 percent would 
be to return to observation sites with the highest numbers of unknown 
values on the same day of the week and same time of day as the original 
data collection schedule to observe additional data. States must not 
discard the data from the original data collection. States may take 
additional measures to reduce the number of unknown values, such as 
assigning additional observers to return to those observation sites 
with the highest numbers of unknown values. As proposed in Section II, 
D. above, all data collection must be conducted during the calendar 
year in which the seat belt use rate estimate is reported to NHTSA. 
States should plan their surveys in order to allow the State sufficient 
time to conduct additional observations in the event that the 
nonresponse rate exceeds 10 percent.
    In Sec.  1340.9(g), we propose to change the allowable margin of 
error in the survey from the existing five percent relative error to a 
2.5 percentage point standard error. As discussed in Section II, B. of 
this preamble above, the

[[Page 4514]]

existing criterion allows margins of error up to plus or minus 10 
percentage points. NHTSA also proposes to clarify that in the event 
that the standard error exceeds this threshold, the State must conduct 
additional observations during the same calendar year until the 
standard error does not exceed 2.5 percentage points. As discussed in 
Section II, B. of this preamble, States should conduct surveys early 
enough in the year to allow for additional sampling if necessary, and 
to closely monitor the survey results so that they can quickly 
determine whether extra sampling will be required. NHTSA believes that 
the likelihood for additional sampling is very small with a well-
planned and implemented sample design.

III. Administrative Requirements

A. Submission and Approval of Seat Belt Survey Design (23 CFR 1340.10)

    Section 1340.5 of the existing Uniform Criteria details the 
documentation requirements for proposed sample survey designs and 
reporting annual seat belt use estimates. We propose to require 
additional documentation in the proposed sample survey designs 
submitted to NHTSA for approval. Specifically, we propose to require 
States to (1) define all sampling units, with their measures of size, 
(2) identify the data source of the sampling frame; (3) specify any 
exclusions applied to the sampling frame; (4) identify the name and 
describe the qualifications of the State seat belt statistician; (5) 
detail the procedures for collecting additional data to reduce the 
nonresponse rates that exceed 10 percent; (6) include the number of 
observers and quality control monitors; (7) explain any imputation 
methods that will be used; (8) specify any procedures to adjust the 
sampling weight for observation sites with no usable data; and (9) 
describe the procedures to be followed if the standard error exceeds 
2.5 percentage points.
    The agency also proposes to require documentation of data 
collection and estimation of seat belt use rate. For data collection, 
we propose to require States to (1) define an observation period; (2) 
specify the procedures to be implemented to reschedule or substitute 
observation sites when data collection is not possible on the date and 
time assigned; (3) specify the procedures for collecting additional 
data to reduce the nonresponse rate when the nonresponse rates exceeds 
10 percent; (4) describe the data recording procedures; and (5) specify 
the number of observers and quality control monitors. For estimation, 
we propose to require States to (1) describe how seat belt use rate 
estimates will be calculated; (2) describe how variances will be 
estimated; (3) specify imputation methods, if any; (4) specify the 
procedures to adjust sampling weight for observation sites with no 
usable data; and (5) specify the procedures to be followed if the 
standard error exceeds 2.5 percentage points. NHTSA believes that 
additional documentation is necessary for the agency to determine 
accurately if the State's proposed survey design meets the Uniform 
Criteria.
    Under the existing Uniform Criteria, States must submit their 
survey designs to NHTSA in advance of data collection in order for 
NHTSA to determine whether the designs meet the Uniform Criteria. The 
agency retains this requirement, but adds a deadline.
    Currently, no State survey design meets all the requirements of the 
proposed Uniform Criteria. Under this proposal, all States would revise 
their seat belt use survey designs before conducting seat belt use 
surveys in calendar year 2011, and must submit new survey design 
proposals to NHTSA no later than January 3, 2011. The agency believes 
most States conduct seat belt use surveys in the late-spring to early 
summer of the year. Submission of proposed survey designs by this date 
will allow the agency sufficient time to review the State design and 
provide guidance well in advance of States conducting survey data 
collection.

B. Post-Approval Alterations to Survey Designs (23 CFR 1340.11)

    We propose to continue the requirement that States submit proposals 
to alter their survey design to NHTSA at least three months prior to 
data collection if the alteration would impact the Statewide seat belt 
use rate or its standard error. Examples of changes that would impact 
the Statewide seat belt use rate estimate or its standard error 
include, but are not limited to, changes in sample design, seat belt 
use rate estimation method, variance estimation method, and data 
collection protocols.

C. Re-Selection of Observation Sites (23 CFR 1340.12)

    The existing Uniform Criteria do not specify how frequently 
observation site samples should be refreshed, i.e., updated to reflect 
new road construction, changes in traffic volume, and population 
shifts. Accordingly, some States use survey designs that are more than 
20 years old. We believe that this diminishes the accuracy of survey 
results. We propose that the State re-select its sample of observation 
sites from a NHTSA-provided road database or another road database 
approved by NHTSA no less than once every five years. We further 
propose States submit the updated sampling frame data to NHTSA for 
approval no later than March 1 of the re-selection year. NHTSA believes 
that this proposal balances the need for a more accurate estimate of 
seat belt use with the burdens of re-selecting the sample of 
observation sites.

D. Annual Reporting Requirements (23 CFR 1340.13; Appendix A)

    Under the existing Uniform Criteria, States report the annual 
Statewide seat belt use rate and standard error, and certify that their 
Statewide seat belt use rates were obtained in accordance with the 
Uniform Criteria. For oversight purposes, we propose to expand the 
certification to include additional information. Specifically, we 
propose that States would provide the following additional information: 
(1) A spreadsheet in electronic format containing the raw data for each 
observation site and the observation site weight; (2) nonresponse rates 
for survey variables--seat belt use and passenger presence; (3) the 
dates of the data collection; (4) observation sites, identified by type 
of site (i.e., observation site selected in the original survey design, 
alternate observation site selected subsequent to the original survey 
design), and by characteristics of the observation site visit (i.e., at 
least one vehicle observed, no vehicles observed); and (5) name of the 
State seat belt survey statistician.
    In Sec.  1340.13, NHTSA proposes that the Governor's Highway Safety 
Representative (GR) or if delegated in writing by the GR, the 
Coordinator of the State Highway Safety Office sign the certification 
included in the annual reporting requirement. That individual must 
certify that (1) [name of GR] has been designated by the Governor as 
the GR, and if applicable, the GR has delegated the authority to sign 
the certification in writing to [name of Coordinator], the State 
Highway Safety Coordinator; (2) the reported Statewide seat belt use 
rate is based on a survey design that was approved by NHTSA, in 
writing, as conforming to the Uniform Criteria for State Observational 
Surveys of Seat Belt Use, 23 CFR part 1340; (3) the survey design has 
remained unchanged since the survey was approved by NHTSA; and (4) the 
individual named in the reporting form is a qualified statistician who 
has reviewed and approved the seat belt use rate and standard error 
reported.

[[Page 4515]]

    In addition, NHTSA proposes that the State seat belt survey 
statistician also sign the reporting form certifying that (s)he meets 
the qualification requirements in Sec.  1340.8(c), and the information 
being reported is correct and is in compliance with the Uniform 
Criteria for State Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use, 23 CFR part 
1340.
    NHTSA also proposes that States retain certain records for five 
years and make them available to NHTSA within four weeks of request. We 
believe that retention of these records would not pose an additional 
burden on States because these are records that States would normally 
retain in the course of designing a seat belt use survey and conducting 
annual seat belt use surveys.

IV. Public Participation

A. How do I prepare and submit comments?

    Your comments must be written and in English. To ensure that your 
comments are correctly filed in the Docket, please include the docket 
number of this document in your comments.
    Your primary comments must not be more than 15 pages long. (49 CFR 
553.21). However, you may attach additional documents to your primary 
comments. There is no limit on the length of the attachments.
    Please submit two copies of your comments, including the 
attachments, to Docket Management at the address given above under 
ADDRESSES.
    Comments may also be submitted to the docket electronically on the 
Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
online instructions for submitting comments.

B. How can I be sure my comments were received?

    If you wish Docket Management to notify you upon its receipt of 
your comments, enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard in the 
envelope containing your comments. Upon receiving your comments, Docket 
Management will return the postcard by mail.

C. Will the agencies consider late comments?

    We will consider all comments that Docket Management receives 
before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated 
above under DATES. To the extent possible, we will also consider 
comments that Docket Management receives after that date.

D. How can I read the comments submitted by other people?

    You may read the comments received by the Docket Management at the 
address given under ADDRESSES. The hours of the Docket are indicated 
above in the same location. To read the comments on the Internet, go to 
http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for 
accessing the docket.
    Please note that even after the comment closing date, we will 
continue to file relevant information on the docket as it becomes 
available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, 
we recommend that you periodically check the docket for new material.

V. Statutory Basis for This Action

    The agency's proposal would implement changes to the uniform 
criteria for the measurement of State seat belt use rates that a State 
is required to conduct annually under a grant program in accordance 
with 23 U.S.C. 402(b)(1)(E)(iii).

VI. Regulatory Analyses and Notices

A. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review'' (58 FR 
51735, October 4, 1993), provides for making determinations whether a 
regulatory action is ``significant'' and therefore subject to OMB 
review and to the requirements of the Executive Order. The Order 
defines a ``significant regulatory action'' as one that is likely to 
result in a rule that may:
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or 
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or Tribal governments or 
communities;
    (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
the Executive Order.
    This rulemaking document was not reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. The rulemaking 
action is not considered to be significant within the meaning of E.O. 
12866 or the Department of Transportation's Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures (44 FR 11034 (Feb. 26, 1979)).
    The agency's proposal would not affect amounts over the 
significance threshold of $100 million each year. The agency's proposal 
would not adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of 
the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or Tribal governments or 
communities. The agency's proposal would not create an inconsistency or 
interfere with any actions taken or planned by other agencies. The 
agency's proposal would not materially alter the budgetary impact of 
entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and 
obligations of recipients thereof. Finally, the agency's proposal does 
not raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, 
the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the 
Executive Order.
    Currently, States are required to provide satisfactory assurances 
that they will conduct an annual Statewide seat belt use survey as part 
of the administrative requirements for a highway safety grant under 23 
U.S.C. 402(b)(1)(E)(iii). The outcome of the State's annual Statewide 
seat belt use survey provides one of the core performance measures--
observed seat belt use by drivers and front outboard seat passengers of 
passenger motor vehicles--that were developed as a collaborative effort 
by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Governors 
Highway Safety Association (GHSA), with assistance from other partners. 
Through these assurances, every State Highway Safety Office has 
committed to conducting an annual Statewide seat belt use survey.
    The agency's proposal would not change the statutory requirement to 
provide assurances that the State will conduct an annual Statewide seat 
belt use survey, but would change the way States collect and report 
survey data. Specifically, the proposed rule would make two changes to 
the sampling frame--draw observation sites from a sampling frame based 
on traffic fatalities instead of population, and include all roads with 
a few exceptions in the sampling frame. In addition, the proposed rule 
would change the standard error to not to exceed 2.5 percentage points. 
The proposed rule also would improve quality control of the data 
collected by requiring States to train observers before data 
collection, to have quality control monitors conduct unannounced 
visits, and to have a statistician review the data collected. Finally, 
the proposed rule would require States to submit additional

[[Page 4516]]

information in their annual certifications.
    The agency has determined that if it is made final, this rulemaking 
action would not be significant. If a State does not provide assurances 
that it will conduct an annual Statewide seat belt use survey in 
accordance with the uniform criteria in a given year, Section 402 grant 
funds could be withheld. However, States rely on statistically valid 
observational surveys of seat belt use to plan and evaluate their 
highway safety programs and have committed, through their highway 
safety offices, to conduct annual Statewide seat belt use surveys as 
part of the core performance measurement process. The agency believes 
that no State will decline to provide the required assurances, and that 
the impacts of the rule would be minimal and not require the 
preparation of a full regulatory evaluation.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., 
as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency publishes a notice of rulemaking 
for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available for 
public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the 
effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small 
organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). The Small 
Business Administration's regulations at 13 CFR part 121 define a small 
business, in part, as a business entity ``which operates primarily 
within the United States.'' (13 CFR 121.105(a)). No regulatory 
flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency certifies the 
rulemaking action would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. SBREFA amended the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a statement of 
the factual basis for certifying that an action would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    NHTSA has considered the effects of this proposal under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act. This proposal applies to States and they 
are not considered to be small businesses under the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act. States may employ contractors to collect survey data 
(which may be small businesses), but this proposal merely changes the 
procedures of collecting survey data and will not have a significant 
impact on the costs or profits of small businesses. Therefore, I 
certify that this notice of proposed rulemaking would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

C. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    Executive Order 13132, ``Federalism'' (64 FR 43255, August 10, 
1999), requires NHTSA to develop an accountable process to ensure 
``meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the 
development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.'' 
``Policies that have federalism implications'' are defined in the 
Executive Order to include regulations that have ``substantial direct 
effects on the States, on the relationship between the national 
government and the States, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government.'' Under 
Executive Order 13132, the agency may not issue a regulation with 
Federalism implications that imposes substantial direct compliance 
costs and that is not required by statute unless the Federal government 
provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance costs 
incurred by State and local governments or the agency consults with 
State and local governments in the process of developing the proposed 
regulation. The agency also may not issue a regulation with Federalism 
implications that preempts a State law without consulting with State 
and local officials.
    The agency has analyzed this rulemaking action in accordance with 
the principles and criteria set forth in Executive Order 13132 and has 
determined that this proposed rule would not have sufficient Federalism 
implications to warrant consultation with State and local officials or 
the preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. Moreover, the 
proposed rule would not preempt any State law or regulation or affect 
the ability of States to discharge traditional State government 
functions.

D. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    Pursuant to Executive Order 12988, ``Civil Justice Reform'' (61 FR 
4729, February 7, 1996), the agency has considered whether this 
rulemaking would have any retroactive effect. This rulemaking action 
would not have any retroactive effect. This action meets applicable 
standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce 
burden.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, a person is not required 
to respond to a collection of information by a Federal agency unless 
the collection displays a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
control number. This NPRM, if made final, would result in a new 
collection of information that would require OMB clearance pursuant to 
5 CFR part 1320. Before an agency submits a proposed collection of 
information to OMB for approval, it must first publish a document in 
the Federal Register providing a 60-day comment period and otherwise 
consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning 
each proposed collection of information. OMB has promulgated 
regulations describing what must be included in such a document. Under 
OMB's regulation (at 5 CFR 1320.8(d)), an agency must ask for public 
comment on the following:
    (i) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for 
the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including 
whether the information will have practical utility;
    (ii) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collections of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (iii) How to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected;
    (iv) How to minimize the burden of the collections of information 
on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate 
automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting 
electronic submission of responses.
    In compliance with these requirements, the agencies ask for public 
comments on the following proposed collections of information:
    Title: Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys of Seat 
Belt Use.
    OMB Control Number: N/A.
    Requested Expiration Date of Approval: Three years from the 
approval date.
    Type of Request: New collection.
    Affected Public: State Governments (the 50 States, the District of 
Columbia, Puerto Rico and 4 territories).
    Form Number: N/A.
    Abstract: The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation 
Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) (Pub. L. 109-59) provides 
that the Secretary of Transportation may not approve for Section 402 
funding a State highway safety program which does not provide 
satisfactory assurances that the State will implement an annual 
statewide seat belt use survey in accordance with criteria established 
by

[[Page 4517]]

the Secretary to ensure that the measurements of seat belt use are 
accurate and representative. In addition, in 2008, the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Governors Highway Safety 
Association (GHSA) partnered to develop a voluntary minimum set of 
performance measures to be used by States and federal agencies in the 
development and implementation of behavioral highway safety plans and 
programs, including observed seat belt use of front seat outboard 
occupants in passenger vehicles.
    Currently, States use the information collected in their seat belt 
use surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of their occupant protection 
countermeasures programs and to identify relatively low seat belt use 
areas and sub-populations requiring increased program emphasis. In 
addition, NHTSA uses the collected information, pooled across the 
States, to determine the relative impact of various countermeasures and 
program strategies and to provide guidance to assist the States in 
achieving the highest possible seat belt use. NHTSA also uses the 
collected information from individual States to identify those States 
whose occupant protection programs would most benefit from special 
management reviews, countermeasure demonstration projects and other 
forms of technical assistance.
    The information collected for the States' seat belt observational 
surveys is to include a seat belt survey design for approval and any 
subsequent changes to the seat belt survey design. The survey design 
will include a description of the methodology used to select the survey 
observational sites, the selection probability of each site, the survey 
observational procedures and protocols, observer training and quality 
control procedures. In addition, each State is to submit the survey 
results annually, including a certification regarding the survey, name 
of the State statistician, seat belt use rate, standard error, 
nonresponse rate and for each observational site, the number of front 
seat outboard occupants that were observed, the number observed to be 
wearing the seat belt, and the site weighting factor used to combine 
the individual site data into the measure of Statewide seat belt use.
    Estimated Annual Burden: 19,026 hours.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 56 (50 States, District of 
Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana 
Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
    Comments Are Invited on: Whether the proposed collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the agency, including whether the information will have practical 
utility; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility 
and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize 
the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including 
the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of 
information technology. Comments must refer to the docket and notice 
numbers cited at the beginning of this NPRM and be submitted to one of 
the addresses identified at the beginning of this NPRM.

F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) 
requires Federal agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, 
benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a 
Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more 
than $100 million annually (adjusted for inflation with a base year of 
1995 (about $118 million in 2004 dollars)). This proposed rule does not 
meet the definition of a Federal mandate because the resulting annual 
State expenditures would not exceed the $100 million threshold.

G. National Environmental Policy Act

    NHTSA has reviewed this rulemaking action for the purposes of the 
National Environmental Policy Act. The agency has determined that this 
proposal would not have a significant impact on the quality of the 
human environment.

H. Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribes)

    The agency has analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 
13175, and has determined that the proposed action would not have a 
substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, would not 
impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal 
governments, and would not preempt tribal law. Therefore, a tribal 
summary impact statement is not required.

I. Regulatory Identifier Number (RIN)

    The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier 
number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of 
Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center 
publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may 
use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document 
to find this action in the Unified Agenda.

J. Privacy Act

    Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the 
complete User Notice and Privacy Notice for Regulations.gov at http://www.regulations.gov/search/footer/privacyanduse.jsp.

List of Subjects in 23 CFR Part 1340

    Grant programs--transportation, Highway safety, Intergovernmental 
relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, we propose to revise 23 CFR part 
1340 to read as follows:

PART 1340--UNIFORM CRITERIA FOR STATE OBSERVATIONAL SURVEYS OF SEAT 
BELT USE

Subpart A--General
Sec.
1340.1 Purpose.
1340.2 Applicability.
1340.3 Definitions.
Subpart B--Survey Design Requirements
1340.4 In general.
1340.5 Selection of observation sites.
1340.6 Assignment of observation times.
1340.7 Observation procedures.
1340.8 Quality control.
1340.9 Computation of estimates.
Subpart C--Administrative Requirements
1340.10 Submission and approval of seat belt survey design.
1340.11 Post-approval alterations to survey design.
1340.12 Re-selection of observation sites.
1340.13 Annual reporting requirements.
Appendix A to Part 1340--State Belt Use Survey Reporting Form

    Authority:  23 U.S.C. 402; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 
1.50.

Subpart A--General


Sec.  1340.1  Purpose.

    This part establishes uniform criteria for State surveys of seat 
belt use conducted under 23 U.S.C. 402, procedures for NHTSA approval 
of survey designs, and administrative requirements relating to State 
seat belt surveys.


Sec.  1340.2  Applicability.

    This part applies to State surveys of seat belt use, beginning in 
calendar year 2011 and continuing annually thereafter.

[[Page 4518]]

Sec.  1340.3  Definitions.

    As used in this part--
    Access ramp means the segment of a road that forms a cloverleaf or 
limited access interchange.
    Cul-de-sac means the closed end of a road that forms a loop or 
turn-around.
    Non-public road means a road on which members of the general public 
are not allowed to drive motor vehicles.
    Nonresponse rate means, for any survey variable, the percentage of 
unknown values recorded for that variable.
    Observation site means the physical location where survey data are 
collected.
    Passenger motor vehicle means a passenger car, pickup truck, van, 
minivan or sport utility vehicle.
    Service drive means the segment of a road that provides access to 
businesses and rest areas.
    Traffic circle means the segment of a road or intersection of roads 
forming a roundabout.
    Unnamed road means a road, public or private, that has no name or 
number designation and is often a farm or logging road.
    Vehicular trail means a road designed or intended primarily for use 
by motor vehicles with four-wheel drive.

Subpart B--Survey Design Requirements


Sec.  1340.4  In general.

    This subpart sets forth the minimum design requirements to be 
incorporated in surveys conducted under this part.


Sec.  1340.5  Selection of observation sites.

    (a) Sampling frame requirements--(1) County coverage. The sampling 
frame from which observation sites are selected shall include counties 
or county-equivalents (including tribal territories), as defined by the 
U.S. Census Bureau, that account for at least 85 percent of the State's 
passenger vehicle occupant fatalities, provided that the average of the 
last three years of available Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) 
data shall be used to determine the State's passenger vehicle occupant 
fatalities.
    (2) Road coverage. (i) States shall select observation sites from a 
database of road inventories approved by NHTSA or provided by NHTSA.
    (ii) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section, 
all roads in the State shall be eligible for sampling. The sampling 
frame may not be limited only to roads having a stop sign, stop light 
or State-maintained roads.
    (iii) The sampling frame need not include non-public roads, unnamed 
roads, unpaved roads, vehicular trails, access ramps, cul-de-sacs, 
traffic circles and service drives.
    (b) Sampling selection requirements. The set of road segments 
selected for observation sites shall be chosen based on probability 
sampling, except that--
    (1) The specific observation site locations on the sampled road 
segments may be deterministically selected;
    (2) An alternate observation site may be used to replace an 
observation site selected based on probability sampling if it is 
located in the same county or county-equivalent, and has the same 
roadway classification (e.g., local road segment, collector road 
segment) when using the protocol of substitution and rescheduling of 
observation sites pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.
    (c) Requirements for substitution and rescheduling of observation 
sites. The survey design shall include at a minimum the following 
protocols:
    (1) Protocol when observation site is temporarily unavailable for 
data collection.
    (i) Observers shall retu