Petition to Remove Rear Impact Guard Label Denied

Efforts to strike a certification requirement for rear impact guards have been shot down by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  

NHTSA announced Jan. 30 that stickers listing the S5.3 certification standard of rear impact guards are necessary, and removing the requirement would “compromise the enforcement of the rear impact guard standard.” 

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) submitted the petition in March 2019, saying the certification label requirement “is resulting in the citation of rear impact guards that otherwise meet the physical requirements and have no impact on safety.” 

CVSA said that these labels tend to wear, fade or get removed during repairs, and carriers can’t get new ones because the original manufacturer would have no way of knowing if the guard still meets the manufacturing standard. 

In response to that claim, NHTSA said it doesn’t believe “that this indicates a current compliance issue” and that the rules specify the labeling should be permanent. 

“Limiting the ability to identify noncompliant products would reduce the effectiveness of the standard and increase the safety risk to the motoring public,” NHTSA concluded in the notice.