Updating the requirements for Technical Standards Document (TSD) 208 – Occupant Crash Protection

Current status: OPEN

Open on April 6, 2021 and closing on May 21, 2021.

Under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, Transport Canada regulates the safety of motor vehicles and car parts in Canada. The act requires that any company that imports or makes vehicles in one province, and sells them in another province, certifies that the new vehicles meet all applicable safety regulations and standards.

There are currently two vehicle classes to address different types of three-wheeled vehicles in Canada. Three-wheeled vehicles include parts such as a steering wheel, seats, and passenger-protection features similar to those in passenger cars. Motor tricycles, on the other hand, include parts that are similar to motorcycles, such as steering handlebars and saddle seats. While both vehicles operate on three wheels, each class of vehicle has separate safety standards. Safety standards for motor tricycles are based on motorcycle requirements, while the safety standards for three-wheeled vehicle are based on passenger car requirements, including crash-protection.

Due to their unique configuration and use, Transport Canada has given three-wheeled vehicle manufacturers the option of not complying with the dynamic occupant protection crash test which applies to passenger cars (i.e., no airbags are fitted), as long as there’s a permanent label that states that the vehicle hasn’t been tested to the regulation. This label must be clearly visible by the driver and front seat passenger.

Three-wheeled vehicles aren’t designed in a way that a child car seat can be installed, and as such, children shouldn’t travel in them. Based on this information, Transport Canada is proposing to update Technical Standards Document 208 – Occupant Protection in Frontal Impacts. This update would remove the requirement that some three-wheeled vehicles meet the requirements of section 7.1.1.5 which deals with installing child restraint systems on front passenger seats without air bags.

Transport Canada is also proposing to require that information be added to the owner’s manual noting that child seats should not be installed in the vehicle. A permanent label to that effect would also need to be attached to the vehicle. This change could help make three-wheeled vehicles safer, because it would make it clear to vehicle owners that children who should be in child seats shouldn’t travel in these vehicles.

Concurrently, we would also like to add clarity to the document’s introduction and remove text that no longer applies.

You can send us feedback about the changes Transport Canada is proposing.

Reference documents

  • Proposed TSD 208 (Changes can be found on pages ii and 10)

How to participate

As set out in sections 19 and 20 of the Access to Information Act, be sure to identify any parts of your comments that we shouldn’t make public because they include personal information or third-party information. Explain why your comments should be kept private, and for how long.

Send us an email

Please submit your comments by email: RegulationsClerk-ASFB-Commisauxreglements@tc.gc.ca, and include “Update to Technical Standards Document (TSD) 208” in the subject line.

Please email us your feedback by May 21, 2021.

Contact us

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