FMCSA Seeks to Expand Definition of ‘Vehicle Safety Technology,’ Modify Mounting Regs

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is seeking to expand the definition of “vehicle safety technology” and modify regulations related to mounting of such devices.

On Friday, the FMCSA announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to increase the area within which certain “vehicle safety technology” devices may be mounted on the interior of the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) windshields.




 

Specifically, the Agency proposes to to increase from 4 inches to 8.5 inches the distance below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers within which vehicle safety technologies may be mounted.

Additionally, the Agency is proposing to expand the definition of “vehicle safety technology,” found at § 393.5, to include advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as braking warning systems, braking assist systems, automatic emergency braking, driver camera systems, attention assist warning, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and traffic sign recognition.

Beginning in 2016, the FMCSA began granting five-year exemptions to technology makers to provide more flexibility in the regulations pertaining to the placement and mounting of such devices.




 

The Agency indicated its NPRM was in response to a petition filed on March 10, 2019, by Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) asking the FMCSA to initiate a rulemaking to effectively make permanent — for all safety tech developers — the temporary exemptions already granted to companies such as DTNA, SmartDrive, Lytx, J.J. Keller and Associates, Nauto, Samsara Networks and Netradyne.


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Further, the FMCSA argues the proposed changes would “better accommodate the vehicle manufacturer advancements in the field of driver assistance technologies” and add “no cost” to industry stakeholders.

The Agency also asserts the proposals will improve safety outcomes by reducing the number of CMV-involved crashes, and thus, the severity of such crashes including potential loss of life, injury and property damage.

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Photo courtesy Lytx

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