WSR 97-21-021

PROPOSED RULES

WASHINGTON STATE PATROL

[Filed October 7, 1997, 9:16 a.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 97-17-059.

Title of Rule: Minimum requirements for construction and equipment of special motor vehicles.

Purpose: Amend sections to comply with modern technology and vehicle equipment RCWs.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 46.005 [46.37.005] and 46.37.320.

Summary: Amend chapter 204-90 WAC to ensure that certain types of aftermarket devices for vehicles will be legal for use. Eliminates the use of aftermarket devices which are not legal and do not comply with federal and SAE standards.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: To meet National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standards.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Ms. Carol I. Morton, P.O. Box 42635, (360) 412-8934; and Enforcement: Captain Tim D. Erickson, P.O. Box 42614, (360) 753-0302.

Name of Proponent: Washington State Patrol, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The amendments to chapter 204-90 WAC, Minimum requirements for construction and equipment of special motor vehicles, will bring the WAC into compliance with modern technology and ensure compliance to the vehicle equipment RCWs.

Proposal does not change existing rules.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. There is no impact to small businesses.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption.

Hearing Location: Commercial Vehicle Division Conference Room, Ground Floor, General Administration Building, Olympia, Washington 98504, on November 25, 1997, at 11 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Ms. Kendra Hensley by November 18, 1997, (360) 753-0678.

Submit Written Comments to: Ms. Carol Morton, Washington State Patrol, Equipment and Standards, P.O. Box 42635, Olympia, WA 98504-2635, FAX (360) 493-9090, by November 18, 1997.

Date of Intended Adoption: December 1, 1997.

October 3, 1997

Annette M. Sandberg

Chief

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 87-03-ESR, filed 12/8/87)

WAC 204-90-030 Definitions. (1) Special motor vehicles: Passenger vehicles, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less equipped with two or more axles having at least two wheels per axle and which are intended for use on public highways. The term "special motor vehicle" shall include the following types:

(a) Type I: Vehicles that retain or are exact replicas of the original body configuration of a recognized vehicle manufacturer with changes made to any of the equipment items specified in this chapter. This type shall also include vehicles that have been modified from a recognized vehicle manufacturer's original body chassis configuration but that retain the general appearance of the original body chassis.

(b) Type II: All special motor vehicles which are custom built with fabricated parts or parts taken from existing vehicles excluding Type I vehicles.

(c) Enclosed vehicle: Every Type I and Type II vehicle having a solid enclosed compartment for occupants as compared to an open or "soft top" convertible vehicle.

(2) Recognized manufacturer: A person, firm, co-partnership, association, or corporation who is or has engaged in the business of manufacturing motor vehicles intended for use on the public highways and offered for sale in interstate commerce.

(3) FMVSS: Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, a vehicle or exact replica of a vehicle ((more than thirty years old)) manufactured prior to 1968 owned and operated primarily as a collectors item and which has been restored to the original configuration and specifications of a recognized manufacturer is exempted from the requirements of this chapter.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.37.005. 88-01-017 (Order 87-03-ESR), 204-90-030, filed 12/8/87; 83-11-028 (Order 83-05-01), 204-90-030, filed 5/13/83.]

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 97-04-055, filed 2/3/97, effective 3/6/97)

WAC 204-90-040 Body requirements. (1) Defroster and defogging devices: Every enclosed special motor vehicle shall be equipped with a device capable of defogging and defrosting the windshield area. Vehicles or exact replicas of vehicles manufactured prior to January, 1938, are exempt from this requirement.

(2) Door latches: Every enclosed special motor vehicle equipped with side doors leading directly into a compartment that contains one or more seating accommodations shall be equipped with door latches which firmly and automatically secure the door when pushed closed and which allow each door to be opened both from the inside and outside.

(3) Hoodlatches: A front opening hood shall be equipped with a primary and a secondary latching system to hold the hood in a closed position.

Hoods are optional equipment on vehicles defined as street rods and kit vehicles by the Washington state patrol vehicle inspectors.

(4) Enclosed passenger compartment: A special motor vehicle with an enclosed passenger compartment and powered by an internal combustion engine shall be constructed to prevent the entry of exhaust fumes into the passenger compartment.

(5) Floor pan: A special motor vehicle shall be equipped with a floor pan under the entire passenger compartment capable of supporting the weight of the number of occupants that the vehicle is designed to carry.

(6) Bumpers: A special motor vehicle shall be equipped with a bumper on both the front and rear of the vehicle with the exception of motor vehicles where the original or predominant body configuration, provided by a recognized manufacturer, did not include such bumper or bumpers in the design of the vehicle. ((Bumpers or exact replicas of bumpers for Type I vehicles meeting the original specifications of a recognized manufacturer shall satisfy the requirements of this section.)) All bumpers must meet Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Bumper Standards, (i.e., energy absorption or attenuation system).

Bumpers are optional equipment on vehicles defined as street rods and kit vehicles by the Washington state patrol vehicle inspectors.

Bumpers, unless specifically exempted above, shall be at least 4.5 inches in vertical height, centered on the vehicle's centerline, and extend no less than the width of the respective wheel track distances. Bumpers shall be attached to the vehicle in a manner equal to the original manufacturer's installation. Bumpers shall be horizontal load bearing and attach to the vehicle frame to effectively transfer energy when impacted.

The maximum bumper heights will be determined by weight category of gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) measured from a level surface to the highest point on the bottom of the bumper. For vehicles exempted from the bumper requirement for the reasons stated above, a maximum frame elevation measurement shall be made to the bottom of the frame rail. Maximum heights are as follows:

Front Back

Passenger Vehicles 22 Inches 22 Inches

4,500 lbs. and under GVWR 24 Inches 26 Inches

4,501 lbs. to 7,500 lbs. GVWR 27 Inches 29 Inches

7,501 lbs. to 10,000 lbs. GVWR 28 Inches 30 Inches

Adding an additional bumper will not meet the above requirements.

(7) Fenders: All wheels of a special motor vehicle shall be equipped with fenders, covers, flaps, or splash aprons adequate for minimizing the spray or splash of water or mud from the roadway to the rear of the vehicle. All such devices shall be as wide as the tires behind which they are mounted, designed to cover the entire tire tread width that comes in contact with the road surface((. Coverage of the tire tread circumference shall be from at least 15 in front and to at least 75 to the rear of the vertical centerline at each wheel measured from the center of the wheel rotation)), and shall extend downward at least to the center of the axle. At no time shall the tire come in contact with the body, fender, chassis, or suspension of the vehicle. Street rods and kit vehicles which are more than forty years old and are owned and operated primarily as a collector's item need not be equipped with fenders when the vehicle is used and driven during fair weather on well-maintained, hard-surfaced roads.

(8) Frame: A special motor vehicle shall be equipped with a frame. If an existing frame from a recognized manufacturer is not used and a special frame is fabricated, it shall be constructed of wall box or continuous section tubing, wall channel, or unitized construction capable of supporting the vehicle, its load, and the torque produced by the power source under all conditions of operation.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.37.005, 46.37.513 and 46.37.517. 97-04-055, 204-90-040, filed 2/3/97, effective 3/6/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.37.005. 83-11-028 (Order 83-05-01), 204-90-040, filed 5/13/83.]

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 83-05-01, filed 5/13/83)

WAC 204-90-070 Rear view mirror. A special motor vehicle shall be equipped with ((at least two rear view mirrors each having substantial unit magnification. One shall be mounted on the inside of the vehicle in such a position that it affords the driver a clear view at least two hundred feet to the rear. The other shall be mounted on the outside of the vehicle, on the driver's side, in such a position that it affords the driver a clear view to the rear. When an inside mirror does not give a clear view to the rear, an outside mirror meeting the requirements of this section shall be required on each side)) a mirror mounted on the left side of the vehicle and so located to reflect to the driver a clear view of the highway for a distance of at least two hundred feet to the rear. A special motor vehicle shall be equipped with an additional mirror mounted either inside the vehicle approximately in the center or outside the vehicle on the right side and so located as to reflect to the driver a clear view of the highway for a distance of at least two hundred feet to the rear of the vehicle. The mirror mountings shall provide for mirror adjustment by tilting both horizontally and vertically.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.37.005. 83-11-028 (Order 83-05-01), 204-90-070, filed 5/13/83.]

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 83-05-01, filed 5/13/83)

WAC 204-90-120 Suspension. The ground clearance for a special motor vehicle shall be such that the vehicle shall be able to be in motion on its four rims on a flat surface with no other parts of the vehicle touching that surface. Maximum ground clearance for a special motor vehicle shall be determined using the table contained in WAC 204-90-040(6) Bumpers.

The spring mounts and shackles shall be properly aligned and of sufficient strength so as to support the gross weight of the vehicle and provide free travel in an up and down movement under all conditions of operation. Rear coil spring suspension systems shall incorporate anti-sway devices to control lateral movement.

A special motor vehicle shall have a suspension system that allows movement between the unsprung axles and wheels and the chassis body and shall be equipped with a damping device at each wheel location. The suspension system shall be capable of providing a minimum relative motion of plus and minus 2 inches. When any corner of the vehicle is depressed and released, the damping device shall stop vertical body motion within two cycles.

There shall be no heating or welding of coil springs, leaf springs, or torsion bars.

No special motor vehicle shall be constructed or loaded so that the weight on the wheels of any axle is less than 30% of the gross weight of the vehicle. No hydraulic system shall be activated while the vehicle is being operated on public roadways.

A special motor vehicle shall be capable of stable, controlled operation while traversing a slalom-type path passing alternately to the left and right of at least four cones or markers arranged in a straight line and spaced 60 feet apart at a minimum speed of 25 MPH. A lift system may not be installed on a special motor vehicle which will allow the maximum frame height to exceed the frame elevations set forth in WAC 204-90-040(6), nor may a lift kit be used to separate the frame from the body.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.37.005. 83-11-028 (Order 83-05-01), 204-90-120, filed 5/13/83.]

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 83-05-01, filed 5/13/83)

WAC 204-90-140 Electrical system requirements. Note: The lamps on special motor vehicles shall comply with standards contained in chapter 204-72 WAC.

(1) Dimmer switch: The headlamp circuit shall be equipped with a driver-controlled high and low beam selector switch unless the vehicle is equipped with single beam headlamps.

(2) Hazard warning switch: A Type II special motor vehicle shall be equipped with a hazard warning switch causing all turn signal lamps to flash simultaneously.

(3) Headlamp switch: The headlamp switch shall activate the headlamps, tail lamps, license plate lamp, and when required, marker lamps simultaneously.

(4) Headlamp system: Aftermarket headlamps shall be white only. A special motor vehicle shall be equipped with two headlamp units or two pairs of headlamp units mounted at the same height, equidistant of each side of the vertical centerline, and as far apart as practical. Headlamp systems shall conform to the requirements of chapter 46.37 RCW. The headlamps shall be mounted on the front forward of the windshield in a plane through the longitudinal centerline of the vertical. The headlamps shall be mounted not less than 24 inches nor more than 54 inches (72 inches for trucks) above the road surface when measured to the headlamp center. Lamp sub-body(ies) shall be constructed with adequate adjustments to afford proper aiming of the headlamp(s) in compliance with chapter 204-72 WAC. Alternative headlamp systems shall comply with FMVSS 108.

(5) High beam indicator: An indicator shall be provided which indicates to the driver when the high beams of the headlamp system are energized. The indicator shall emit a light other than white plainly visible to the driver under normal driving conditions.

(6) Horn: A special motor vehicle shall be equipped with an operable horn capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than 200 feet. No horn or other warning device shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or whistle nor shall a bell or siren be used as a warning device. The device used to actuate the horn shall be easily accessible to the driver when operating the vehicle.

(7) License plate lamp: At least one white lamp shall be provided at the rear license plate which clearly illuminates the license plate to a distance of 50 feet.

(8) A special motor vehicle, if equipped with an automatic transmission, shall be equipped with a safety switch that prevents the starter motor from being actuated except when the gear selector is in the neutral or park position.

(9) Parking lamps: Two white to yellow (amber) parking lamps, in compliance with FMVSS 108, shall be mounted on the front, one on each side and equidistant from the vertical centerline, at the same height, and as far apart as practical. The parking lamps shall be mounted not less than 15 inches nor more than 72 inches above the roadway. Type I vehicles not originally equipped with parking lamps are exempt from this requirement.

(10) Reflex reflectors: Two red Class A reflectors, in compliance with FMVSS 108, shall be mounted on the rear, symmetrically disposed about the vertical centerline. The reflex reflectors shall be mounted not less than 15 inches nor more than 72 inches above the roadway.

(11) Stop lamps: Two red stop lamps, in compliance with FMVSS 108, shall be mounted on the rear, one on each side equidistant from the vertical centerline of the vehicle, at the same height, and as far apart as practical. The stop lamps shall be mounted not less than 15 inches nor more than 72 inches above the roadway. Type I vehicles, which were originally equipped with only one stop lamp, need not be equipped with two lamps, providing the lamp is located in accordance with the original design configuration.

(12) Tail lamp system: Two red lamps, in compliance with FMVSS 108, shall be mounted on the rear, one on each side equidistant from the vertical centerline, at the same height, and as far apart as practical. The tail lamps shall be mounted not less than 15 inches nor more than 72 inches above the roadway. Type I vehicles, which were originally equipped with only one tail lamp, need not be equipped with two tail lamps providing the original lamp is located in accordance with the original design configuration.

(13) Turn signal lamps (combination lighting devices are acceptable.): Two Class A red or yellow (amber) turn signal lamps and two Class A yellow (amber) turn signal lamps, in compliance with FMVSS 108, shall be mounted as follows: At or near the front, one yellow (amber) lamp on each side equidistant from the vertical centerline, at the same height, and as far apart as practical. On the rear, one red or yellow (amber) lamp on each side equidistant from the vertical centerline, at the same height, and as far apart as practical. All turn signal lamps shall be mounted not less than 15 inches nor more than 83 inches above the roadway. Type I vehicles are exempt from turn signal requirements if not originally equipped.

(14) Turn signal switch: A special motor vehicle (if equipped with turn signals) shall be equipped with a switch controlled by the operator of the vehicle which shall cause the turn signal lamps to function. The switch shall be self-cancelling and capable of cancellation by a manually-operated control.

(15) Turn signal indicator: If the front signal lamp(s) are not readily visible to the driver, there shall be an illumination indicator to give the operator a clear, unmistakable indication that the turn signal system is on. The illumination indicator shall consist of one or more bright lights flashing at the same frequency as the signal lamps, and it shall emit a light other than white.

(16) Aftermarket neon lighting devices may not be used on motor vehicles while they are in motion on public roadways.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.37.005. 83-11-028 (Order 83-05-01), 204-90-140, filed 5/13/83.]

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