REI products address Calif.'s charter-party carrier regulation

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Between 1975 and 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration notes that more than 11,000 fatal crashes involving motorcoaches occurred, resulting in 1,615 occupant fatalities. These figures, along with a 2015 National Transportation Safety Board report, prompted the California legislature’s recent focus on the safety of passengers traveling with charter-party carriers. The result: new California laws to improve safety standards and practices are set to begin July 1, 2020.

The new California laws stipulate that charter-party carriers manufactured on or after July 1, 2020 with 39 seats or more (including the driver’s seat), must have interior lighting fixtures that illuminate automatically in the event of a collision, rollover or impact by another vehicle or object. In addition, passengers on vehicles of this same size must be informed about the operation and locations of the vehicle’s safety equipment and emergency exits prior to departures, either by written instructions or a video. It is determined that these new laws will increase passenger safety and reduce or prevent future fatalities.

REI® collaborated with major vehicle manufacturers to devise a compliant, innovative solution that would integrate easily with vehicles’ chassis electronics. The two-part solution includes a new Emergency Lighting Module coupled with an MP-5000HD Digital Media Player.

Highlights include:

Emergency Lighting Module

  • Industry-first, compliant solution for safety lighting law.
  • Built-in accelerometer and gyroscope to detect impacts, g-forces, sudden speed changes, excessive acceleration, hard braking, and extreme shifts in the vehicle’s angle.
  • Upon impact, the module automatically illuminates all the carrier’s existing interior lights, regardless of the time of day.
  • Assists with emergencies and evacuations.
  • Easy for manufacturers to install on new vehicles and may be retrofitted onto existing fleets.

Digital Media Player with GPS and Passenger Safety Messaging

  • Compliant solution with automatic, HD video playback ability.
  • GPS-triggered playback capability.
  • Able to provide instructions about the carriers’ exits and safety equipment.