Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
This document describes one collection of information for which NHTSA intends to seek OMB approval.
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Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, before an agency submits a proposed collection of information to OMB for approval, it must first publish a document in the Federal Register providing a 60-day comment period and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of information. The OMB has promulgated regulations describing what must be included in such a document. Under OMB's regulation (at 5 CFR 1320.8(d), an agency must ask for public comment on the following:
(i) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
(ii) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
(iii) How to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;
(iv) How to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology,
In compliance with these requirements, NHTSA asks for public comments on the following proposed collections of information:
The manufacturers of new tractors and trailers are required to certify that their products are equipped with retroreflective material complying with the requirements of the standard. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Motor Carrier Safety enforces this and other standards through roadside inspections of trucks. There is no practical field test for the performance requirements, and labeling is the only objectives way of distinguishing trailer conspicuity grade material from lower performance material. Without labeling, FHWA will not be able to enforce the performance requirements of the standard and the compliance testing of new tractors and trailers will be complicated. Labeling is also important to small trailer manufactures because it may help them to certify compliance. Because wider stripes or material of lower brightness also can provide the minimum safety performance, the marking system serves the additional role of identifying the minimum stripe width required for retroreflective brightness of the particular material. Since the differences between the brightness grades of suitable retroreflective conspicuity material is not obvious from inspection, the marking system is necessary for tractor and trailer manufacturers and repair shops to assure compliance and for FHWA to inspect tractors and trailers in use. Permanent labeling is used to identify retroreflective material having the minimum properties required for effective conspicuity of trailers at night. The information enables the FHWA to make compliance inspections, and it aids tractor and trailer owners and repairs shops in choosing the correct repair materials for damaged tractors and trailers. It also aids smaller trailer manufacturers in certifying compliance of their products.
The FHWA will not be able to determine whether trailers are properly equipped during roadside inspections without labeling. The use of cheaper and more common reflective materials, which are ineffective for the application, would be expected in repairs without the labeling requirement.
49 U.S.C. 30118(c) requires manufacturers to notify NHTSA and owners, purchasers, and dealers if the manufacturer (1) learn that any vehicle or equipment manufactured by it contains a defect and decides in good faith that the defect relates to motor vehicle safety, or (2) decides in good faith that the vehicle or equipment does not comply with an applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standard. The only way for the agency to decide if and when a manufacturer learned of a safety-related defect or decided in good faith that some products did not comply with an applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standard is for the agency to have access to the information available to the manufacturer.
Comments are invited on: whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department, including whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the Department's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection;