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Legal Resources | Code of Regulations, Title 13 |  T13  1270.3  

Chapter 6.5. Motor Carrier Safety [FNA1] Article 8. General Equipment Requirements (Refs & Annos) [FNa1] Formerly Subchapter 6, Article 2 (Sections 1210-1230, not consecutive). Farm Labor Vehicle Seating.   

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(a) Farm Labor Vehicle Passenger Seats. Seating accommodations for each passenger shall provide a space with a width of at least 15 inches. Farm labor vehicle seat frames and backs shall be rigidly constructed and maintained to ensure structural safety and resistance to displacement of any component in the event of an accident. For the sole purpose of establishing passenger capacity, weight per passenger and driver shall be calculated at 150 pounds.

(1) Originally installed passenger seating, seat frame assemblies, and mounting hardware installed either forward facing, rear facing, or side facing, or any combination thereof, pursuant to FMVSS 571.207, shall be deemed in compliance with Section 31406 of the Vehicle Code.

(2) Passenger seat retrofitting in a farm labor vehicle must be certified to be in compliance with FMVSS 571.207 by, and shall be performed by, either an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or First Stage Manufacturer; or an Intermediate Stage Manufacturer (ISM) (as defined in Title 49 CFR Part 567); or a Final Stage Manufacturer (FSM) (as defined in Title 49 CFR Part 567).

(3) Interchangeable OEM seating assembly mountings and hardware and the OEM specific structurally installed hardware receiver mountings shall not be altered or modified in any manner to fit any seats or seating assemblies except as provided in (a)(2).

(4) As used in this section the term ?modification? does not include the re-upholstering of any OEM installed or constructed seat.

(5) Buses manufactured in compliance with FMVSS 222 shall be deemed in compliance with this section.

(b) Seatbelt Installation. Seatbelts required by this section shall conform to the specifications set forth in Section 571.209 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and shall be anchored to the vehicle in a manner that conforms to the specifications of Section 571.210 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(1) Each passenger shall be provided with a separate seatbelt assembly. Passengers may not share a seatbelt. The seatbelt shall bear across the pelvis of the passenger and pull rearward and downward with respect to the passenger.

(A) The belts shall not be mounted such that the anchorage points are located forward of the seatbelt buckle with respect to the seat facing position when secured. Anchorage points shall be spaced so that the seatbelt forms a ?U? shaped loop when in use. In no case may both ends of the same seatbelt assembly be fastened or connected to the same securement point. This would not prohibit two separate seating position seatbelt assembly anchorage points from being fastened or connected to the same securement point.

(B) Each seating position with the aftermarket seatbelt assembly, in a farm labor vehicle and mounted to the floor or bed area, shall ensure each position's seatbelt strap length is equal in length measured from the floor or bed area to the top of the seat cushion.

(C) Seatbelt anchorage points shall not be mounted in a Type 2 bus to a interior wheel well raised, formed area, or to a entry step area, or at a 90 degree angle on a step kick plate, or to any structural body supports unless those anchorage points conform to the requirements contained in FMVSS 571.210.

(2) Belts shall be sufficiently adjustable to ensure they fasten securely and fit snugly against the passenger.

(3) Seatbelts shall be manufactured by a manufacturer registered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and specifically intended for automotive safety belt applications, and shall not be improvised.

(4) Seatbelt webbing shall be sewn to attaching plates or threaded through slots in the plates. Seatbelts shall not be secured by bolts piercing or extending through the webbing. Seatbelt threading and stitching shall be in compliance with the requirements of FMVSS 571.209.

(5) New or used seatbelts may be installed provided they are in good condition, without excessive wear or damage, and are installed properly. Webbing material with cuts on the edges, fraying, or which display evidence of impact stretching or other damage, other than stains or other cosmetic damage, shall be deemed not to be in ?good condition.?

(6) New seatbelts shall be installed according to the installation instructions furnished by the manufacturer.

(A) For vehicles originally designed to transport passengers, seatbelts shall be installed in a manner equivalent to the original factory configuration.

(B) Notwithstanding (b)(9), buses, as defined in 233(a) of the Vehicle Code, not originally equipped with seat belts which are now designed, used, or maintained as farm labor vehicles, shall have the seatbelts mounted to the vehicle's floor or bed with bolts, lock washers, nuts and washers or reinforcement plates.

(i) Washer or reinforcement plate sizes shall be adjusted as necessary to prevent significant deflection of the floor or other attachment points when the belt is pulled firmly with ordinary human strength.

(7) At a minimum, seatbelt securement bolts shall be 7/16 inch fine thread or 1/2 inch coarse thread, or metric equivalent, unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer. Use of sheet metal screws is not acceptable.

(8) Seatbelts attached to the floor or bed shall be installed with the bolts mounted vertically. Mounting bolts shall have a minimum manufactured grade 5 SAE Standard, or equivalent rating. The seatbelt mounting hardware bolts, protruding through the floor or bed of the farm labor vehicle, shall be secured with either reinforcement plates or flat washers and a lock washer with the appropriate threaded and sized nut, or reinforcement plates or flat washers and the appropriate threaded and sized self locking nut. Reinforcement plates shall be at least 2 inches by 2 inches square, flat washers shall be at least 2-1/4 inches diameter. Both shall be at least 1/16 inch thick and shall not have any sharp edges.

(9) Seatbelts shall not be secured to passenger seats unless the entire seat, seatbelt and seatbelt anchorage assembly is manufactured in conformance with FMVSS requirements. Such seats shall be secured to the floor in conformance with the manufacturer's instructions. Original mounting holes in seat frames shall not be enlarged to accept larger bolts.

(10) Seatbelts shall not be secured to an existing passenger seat unless the seat was originally installed by the OEM manufacturer or pursuant to (a)(2) and the seat assembly is in compliance with FMVSS 571.207, 571.209, and 571.210.

(c) Maintenance of Seatbelts and Anchorages. The operator of a farm labor vehicle shall maintain all seatbelt assemblies and seatbelt assembly anchorages required under this section in good working order for the use of the driver and all passengers.

(d) Operation. Except as provided in 31405 Vehicle Code, no person may operate a farm labor vehicle on a highway unless that person and all passengers are properly restrained by seatbelt assemblies that conform to this section. Regardless of the passenger capacity calculated pursuant to subsection (a) and indicated on the inspection approval certificate issued pursuant to Section 1231 and on the farm labor vehicle notice pursuant to Section 1256(d)(2), no more passengers shall be transported than the number of properly functioning seatbelts available for use by the driver and passengers.

(e) Derating of Passenger Capacity. Except as provided in subsection (d), passenger capacity shall be determined by the number of seating positions, not by the number of seatbelts. A farm labor vehicle presented for inspection with fewer seatbelts than passenger seating positions shall not be certified by the department until seating positions are removed or seatbelts added to provide a seatbelt for each installed seating position. The department shall not reduce the designated passenger capacity indicated on the inspection approval certificate to any number less than the actual number of seating positions to compensate for missing or defective seatbelts.

Authority cited:

Vehicle Code 31401

Vehicle Code 31401.5

Vehicle Code 31405


Vehicle Code 27315

Vehicle Code 31401

Vehicle Code 31401.5

Vehicle Code 31405

Vehicle Code 31406

(Amended by Register 2012, No. 31.)