Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
Section 4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) [Pub. L. 105-178, June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 107, 401] amended 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e) to provide authority to grant exemptions from the FMCSRs. On August 20, 2004, FMCSA published a final rule implementing section 4007 (69 FR 51589). Under this rule, FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the
The Agency reviews the safety analyses and the public comments and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of the Agency must be published in the
Transecurity has applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1) to allow the installation of the camera-based OBMS at the bottom of the windshield on CMVs. A copy of the application is included in the docket referenced at the beginning of this notice.
Section 393.60(e)(1) of the FMCSRs prohibits the obstruction of the driver's field of view by devices mounted at the top of the windshield. Antennas, transponders and similar devices (devices) must not be mounted more than 152 mm (6 inches) below the upper edge of the windshield. These devices must be located outside the area swept by the windshield wipers and outside the driver's sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals.
Transecurity has applied for the exemption because it wants to install the camera- based OBMS equipment in up to 500 CMVs operating throughout the United States in support of research being conducted on behalf of FMCSA. Transecurity contends that it must be able to mount the camera-based OBMSs lower than allowed under 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1) “because the safety equipment must have a clear forward facing view of the road, and low enough to accurately scan facial features for detection of impaired driving.” Transecurity's mounting preference for the camera-based OBMS and necessary mounting brackets is at the bottom of the windshield, and is best suited for mounting within and/or below 3 inches of the bottom of the windshield wiper sweep, and out of the driver's sightlines to the road and highway signs and signals, to the extent practicable.
Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 31315(a) and 49 CFR part 381, subpart B, the FMCSA granted Transecurity a 90-day waiver on July 23, 2012 to allow the placement of the OBMS at the bottom of windshields on CMVs, outside of the area permitted by § 393.60 of the FMCSRs. This waiver is effective from July 24, 2012, through October 23, 2012. Up to 500 OBMS will be installed, and the affected motor carriers are listed as below:
1. DOT # 90792; Eagle Transport Corporation—Florida.
2. DOT # 252234; Holiday Tours Inc.—Randleman, NC.
3. DOT # 16377; H&W Trucking Co. Inc.—Mt. Airy, NC.
4. DOT # 348258; Associated Grocers—Baton Rouge, LA.
5. DOT # 2222676; AM Express Inc.—Escanaba, MI.
During the waiver period, these motor carriers participating in the FMCSA research field operation test must ensure that the OBMS is mounted within 3 inches of the bottom of the driver side windshield wiper sweep, and out of the driver's sightlines to the road and highway signs and signals as much as practicable. Vehicles participating in the study must carry a copy of this waiver in the vehicle.
In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests public comment from all interested persons on Transecurity's application for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1). All comments received before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated at the beginning of this notice will be considered and will be available for examination in the docket at the location listed under the “Addresses” section of this notice. Comments received after the comment closing date will be filed in the public docket and will be considered to the extent practicable. In addition to late comments, FMCSA will also continue to file, in the public docket, relevant information that becomes available after the comment closing date. Interested persons should continue to examine the public docket for new material.