[Federal Register Volume 66, Number 145 (Friday, July 27, 2001)]
[Pages 39149-39150]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 01-18690]



Notification of Request for Reinstatement of Approval of 
Information Collection Requirements--Safety Standard for Bicycle 

AGENCY: Consumer Product Safety Commission.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: In the Federal Register of March 21, 2001 (66 FR 15847), the 
Consumer Product Safety Commission published a notice in accordance 
with provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
chapter 35) to announce the agency's intention to seek an extension of 
approval of the collection of information in the safety standard for 
bicycle helmets (16 CFR part 1203). These regulations establish testing 
and recordkeeping requirements for manufacturers and importers of 
bicycle helmets subject to the standard. One comment, discussed below, 
was received from Troxel Cycling and Fitness, LLC (``Troxel''). The 
Commission now announces that it has submitted to the Office of 
Management and Budget a request for reinstatement of approval of that 
collection of information without change for a period of three years 
from the date of approval.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In 1994, Congress passed the ``Child Safety 
Protection Act,'' which, among other things, included the ``Children's 
Bicycle Helmet Safety Act of 1994'' (Pub. L. 103-267, 108 Stat. 726). 
This law directed the Commission to issue a final standard applicable 
to bicycle helmets that would replace several existing voluntary 
standards with a single uniform standard that would include provisions 
to protect against the risk of helmets coming off the heads of bicycle 
riders, address the risk of injury to children, and cover other issues 
as appropriate. The Commission issued the final bicycle helmet standard 
in 1998. It is codified at 16 CFR part 1203.
    The standard requires all bicycle helmets manufactured after March 
10, 1999, to meet impact-attenuation and other requirements. The 
standard also contains testing and recordkeeping requirements to ensure 
that bicycle helmets meet the standard's requirements. Certification 
regulations implementing the standard require manufacturers, importers, 
and private labelers of bicycle helmets subject to the standard to (1) 
perform tests to demonstrate that those products meet the requirements 
of the standard, (2) maintain records of those tests, and (3) affix 
permanent labels to the helmets stating that the helmet complies with 
the applicable standard. The certification regulations are codified at 
16 CFR part 1203, Subpart B.
    The Commission uses the information compiled and maintained by 
manufacturers, importers, and private labelers of bicycle helmets 
subject to the standard to help protect the public from risks of injury 
or death due to head injury associated with bicycle riding. More 
specifically, this information helps the Commission determine whether 
bicycle helmets subject to the standard comply with all applicable 
requirements. The Commission also uses this information to obtain 
corrective actions if bicycle helmets fail to comply with the standard 
in a manner that creates a substantial risk of injury to the public.
    Troxel comments that it generally supports the standard and the 
need for the Commission to enforce the standard. Troxel's specific 
comments and CPSC's responses are discussed below.
    (1) First, Troxel comments that the Commission's estimate in the 
first Federal Register notice of an average annual burden of 1000 hours 
per manufacturer or importer may be too high. This would be because 
firms with only one or two models would need to test less, and firms 
that have been doing some level of testing to a voluntary standard 
would not have a large amount of additional work to test to the CPSC 
    In response to this comment CPSC points out that the estimate of 
burden hours is based on an estimate of the total burden to the 
industry. The Commission recognizes that some firms may have a larger 
burden and some would have a smaller burden.
    (2) Troxel comments that a full annual series of tests should not 
be required unless there is a significant change in the design or 
manufacture of the product.
    In response, CPSC notes that testing for certification under the 
regulation is done by production lot; there is no requirement for 
annual testing. Manufacturers and importers may define their own 
reasonable testing programs by production lots. It is their 
responsibility to determine how the production lot is defined. Sample 
bicycle helmets from each production lot are tested to all the 
requirements of the standard prior to the production lot being 
certified as complying. Whenever there is a change in parts, suppliers 
of parts, or production methods, and the change could affect the 
ability of the helmet to comply with the standard, the manufacturer 
must establish a new production lot for testing.

[[Page 39150]]

    (3) Troxel comments that only electronic records of the test should 
be required, and not paper copies.
    The records required by the certification requirements of the 
regulation may be in any appropriate form or format that clearly 
provides the required information. Certification test results may be 
kept on paper, microfiche, computer disk, or other retrievable media. 
The records can be made available to the Commission upon request on 
paper, or via electronic mail, in the same format as paper copies.
    4. Troxel contends that ``bicycle helmets are manufactured and 
advertised as single-impact products. Once a helmet receives a 
significant blow, it should be replaced. Despite this, the standard 
calls for four impacts to each of four test helmets. No matter how 
carefully the later impact locations are selected, the early impacts do 
limit the capabilities of the helmet during later impacts.'' Troxel 
asserts that most helmets that are involved in accidents receive either 
a single impact or two impacts. Almost never are there three or more 
impacts to the helmet in any accident. Troxel suggests that the number 
of impacts per helmet be reduced to two, and that the number of test 
helmets be doubled so that a set of test helmets receives the same 
number of total impacts.
    The CPSC bicycle helmet standard was initiated by the Children's 
bicycle Helmet Safety Act of 1994. (Pub. L. 103-267, 108 Stat. 726.) 
This Act directed the Commission to review existing voluntary standards 
for bicycle helmets and, based on that review, establish a CPSC 
mandatory standard. The voluntary standards at the time, and every 
previous and subsequent edition of these standards, specify four 
impacts per helmet. The requirement for four impacts during testing 
assures a level of performance for the helmet design and is not 
intended to mirror actual use conditions. During development of this 
regulation, the details of the testing procedures were examined 
thoroughly and the interested parties, including Troxel, had the 
opportunity to comment on the tests during the comment period. In 
response to concerns that the curbstone impact test was severe and did 
affect the results of subsequent impacts, that test is performed on a 
separate helmet, but the other impacts are performed on a single 
sample. The locations of the four impacts are specified to minimize the 
effects of prior impacts on subsequent ones, and testing during the 
development of the standard confirmed this. To perform the four impacts 
on two samples instead of one would constitute a late change in the 
scope of the testing that was defined and confirmed during development 
of the regulation. Four impacts with the required separation provide an 
economical as well as practical means of evaluating the safety of 
today's helmets.
    Studies have shown that bicycle helmets that conform to one or more 
of the voluntary standards are very effective in reducing the chance of 
serious head and brain injuries. The Harborview Injury Prevention and 
Research Center conducted two studies that are often cited. Harborview 
reported that a bike helmet that conforms to a voluntary standard can 
reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85 percent and reduce the risk 
of brain injury by up to 88 percent. A reduction in the number of 
impacts per helmet from four to two would be a significant deviation 
from the test procedure that has been in use for bicycle helmets for 
over 15 years.

Additional Information About the Request for Reinstatement of 
Approval of Information Collection Requirements

    Agency address: Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 
    Title of information collection: Safety Standard for Bicycle 
Helmets (16 CFR Part 1203).
    Type of request: Reinstatement of approval.
    General description of respondents: Manufacturers, importers, and 
private labelers of bicycle helmets.
    Estimated number of respondents: 30.
    Estimated average number of hours per respondent: 1,000 hours per 
    Estimated cost of collection for all respondents: Unknown.
    Comments: Comments on this request for reinstatement of approval of 
information collection requirements should be submitted by August 27, 
2001 to (1) The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB 
Desk Officer for CPSC, Office of Management and Budget, Washington DC 
20503; telephone: (202) 395-7340, and (2) the Office of the Secretary, 
Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207. Written 
comments may also be sent to the Office of the Secretary by facsimile 
at (301) 504-0127 or by e-mail at [email protected]. Copies of this 
request for extension of the information collection requirements and 
supporting documentation are available from Linda Glatz, management and 
program analyst, Office of Planning and Evaluation, Consumer Product 
Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207; telephone: (301) 504-0416, 
extension 2226, or by e-mail to [email protected].

    Dated: July 23, 2001.
Todd A. Stevenson,
Acting Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
[FR Doc. 01-18690 Filed 7-26-01; 8:45 am]