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Canada Amends Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations

The Canadian government has amended schedule IV of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations by revising three Canada motor vehicle safety standards, thereby allowing motor vehicle manufacturers to meet either United Nations or Canadian requirements. These standards were identified as being suitable for harmonisation during the bi-lateral negotiations between Canada and the European Union on a comprehensive economic and trade agreement.

Specifically, CMVSS 111 Mirrors has been modified by incorporating by reference UN Regulation 81 (Motorcycles Mirrors) as an alternative to the current Canadian requirements. CMVSS 111 sets installation and visibility requirements for mirrors on a broad range of vehicles including the requirements for mirrors on motorcycles. While the requirements of these two standards are closely aligned, the current Canadian requirement for the installation of two mirrors on two-wheeled vehicles that do not exceed a maximum speed of 50 km/hr now also applies to the UN Regulation 81 requirements should a manufacturer choose to follow the UN Regulations.

CMVSS 123 Motorcycle Controls and Displays has also been amended by incorporating an alternative set of requirements based on UN GTR 12 through the incorporation by reference of UN Regulation 60. The requirements of UN Regulation 60 are already closely aligned with the current Canadian requirements, with the exception of several Canadian specific requirements. A requirement to follow International Standards Organisation symbols for symbols not listed within the regulation and the previous version of subsection (2) of CMVSS 123 contained several mandatory controls. This amendment maintains the CMVSS reference to ISO symbols and the requirement for mandatory installation of a horn. Exceptions to Technical Standards Document123 that are currently required in CMVSS 123, including requirements for bi-lingual words and abbreviations and for the speedometer to be calibrated in kilometres per hour, are also applied to the incorporation of UN Regulation 60.

Moreover, Technical Standards Document 123 is being updated to align it with UN GTR 12 by clarifying that the ignition must be clockwise from the off to the on position only if a rotary switch is used. CMVSS 126 Electronic Stability Control Systems has also been modified by incorporating an alternative set of requirements based on UN GTR 8 through the incorporation by reference of Annex 9 of UN R13H (Uniform provisions concerning the approval of passenger cars with regard to braking), with some exceptions. This action would allow the option of meeting the UN R13H requirements for electronic stability control  systems as an alternative to current Canadian requirements, provided several Canadian specific requirements are met.

The Canadian exceptions to Annex 9 of UN R13H include limiting several options to ensure equivalent, consistent and repeatable test conditions of ESC systems regardless of the method selected by a manufacturer, including the following: (i) only the option of the American Society for Testing and Materials E1136 used to test road surface;  (ii) only the tyres installed on the vehicle at the time of initial vehicle sale may be used for testing; (iii) only the option of using the double integration method for determining lateral displacement would be accepted; and (iv) the ambient temperature during testing is limited to between 7°C (45°F) and 40°C (104°F).

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