In a notice of public rulemaking, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), to increase the area in which certain vehicle safety technology devices may be mounted on the interior of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) windshields.
This notice published on July 6 complies with directives contained in the FAST Act to exempt safety equipment mounted within the swept area of windshields (provided such devices do not degrade operational safety).
The FMCSRs prohibit obstruction of the driver’s field of view by devices mounted at the top of the windshield (Section 393.60(e)(1)(i)). Antennas and similar devices must not be mounted more than 152 mm (6 inches) below the upper edge of the windshield and must be outside the driver’s sightlines to the road and highway signs and signals.
Current FMCSRs require devices with vehicle safety technologies to be mounted not more than 100 mm (4 inches) below the upper edge and not more than 175 mm (7 inches) above the lower edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers. They also must be mounted outside the driver’s sightlines to the road and highway signs and signals (Section 393.60(e)(1)(ii)).
The proposed FMCSR update would increase the distance allowed from the upper edge of the wiper sweep from 4 inches to 8.5 inches.
Additionally, the agency proposes adding items to the definition of vehicle safety technology to include fleet-related incident management system, performance or behavior management system, speed management system, lane departure warning system, forward collision warning or mitigation system, active cruise control system, transponder, braking warning system, braking assist system, automatic emergency braking, driver camera system, attention assist warning, Global Positioning Systems, and traffic sign recognition.
Vehicle safety technology includes systems and devices that contain cameras, LiDAR, radar, sensors and/or video.
The first temporary exemption was granted in March 2009, and FMCSA states it is unaware of any crashes during that time attributed to the location of such devices.
To assist in the development of the proposed regulatory revisions, the agency is requesting your comments on the following questions:
Does the definition of vehicle safety technology need to be expanded further to address other potential technologies and/or multifunction devices, such as electronic logging devices, that incorporate technologies such as GPS and either require placement in the approximate middle of the CMV windshield or would benefit driver safety by not diverting the CMV driver’s eyes from the road and would be subject to the positioning requirements of § 393.60(e)(1)?
Would the proposed position of allowable vehicle safety technologies (not more than 8.5 inches below the upper and 7 inches above the lower edge of the swept area of the windshield) be sufficient for current and developing devices?
Comments must be received on or before Aug. 5, 2021.
Reprinted with permission from Bus & Motorcoach News.
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