underride guards, Land Line speed limiters
The administration’s spring 2022 regulatory agenda includes controversial rules, including side underride guards and speed limiters.
In total, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have dozens of rules that follow the regulatory process.
Scheduled to be issued as an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in July, NHTSA is expected to review requirements for side underride guards on trailers and semi-trailers to mitigate sideways underride collisions. of these vehicles.
The regulations would respond to a 2013 petition from the Truck Safety Coalition. In addition, it would aim to fulfill the requirements of the Infrastructure Act 2021 to conduct research on side underrun protections to assess their effectiveness, feasibility, costs and benefits.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association remains opposed to any requirement for underride guards on the sides or front of semi-trailers.
In comments regarding bypass mandates in 2021, OOIDA called the measures costly and impractical.
“OOIDA opposes efforts that would mandate the installation of front and side underride guards on all (commercial motor vehicles) and trailers exceeding 10,000 pounds of gross vehicle weight,” the Association wrote. “Over the past several years, NHTSA has considered many options involving side underride guards, but has always concluded that federal warrants would be impractical and costly, thus outweighing the perceived safety benefits. Any proposal to impose lateral waivers ignores this reality and ignores the safety, economic and operational concerns that have been raised by industry stakeholders.
Another item on the regulatory agenda that is attracting considerable opposition from truckers is a speed-limiter mandate.
In May, the FMCSA issued a supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to consider requiring most commercial motor vehicles to be speed limited. Commercial vehicles with a gross weight of 26,001 pounds or more that are equipped with a steerable electric motor control unit would be subject to the mandate. A speed had not been determined, but previous proposals hinted at the possibilities of 60, 65 or 68 miles per hour.
FMCSA is accepting comments on the supplemental notice until July 18. Nearly 15,000 people have already commented and a significant majority oppose it.
OOIDA encourages its members to comment if they have not already done so.
“We unequivocally oppose any action that would make speed limiters mandatory,” OOIDA wrote in May. “Studies and research have proven that traffic is safer when all vehicles travel at the same relative speed. Limiting trucks to speeds below the flow of traffic increases interactions between vehicles and will lead to more accidents. Any effort to impose speed limiters will take more control away from drivers and penalize small businesses. »
Although the FMCSA’s additional notice has breathed new life into a potential speed-limiter warrant, the agency doesn’t seem to be in a rush. Speed limiter regulation remains in FMCSA’s long-term actions, and a second notice of proposed rulemaking is not expected until June 2023.
Other regulations on the regulatory agenda
The FMCSA is expected to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding self-insurance in April.
The agency will propose changes to fees charged for processing new self-insurance applications and add new fees for ongoing monitoring of carrier compliance with self-insurance program requirements.
According to the agenda, the filing fee would go to the FMCSA licensing and insurance account while the monitoring fee is to be sent to the Treasury. The regulations would seek to ensure that the limited number of primarily large motor carriers that benefit from the program bear a commensurate cost of participating in the program.
Some of the other regulations on the FMCSA agenda would cover performance standards for automatic emergency braking systems, a revised ELD mandate to deter harassment, safety fitness procedures, financial accountability brokers and freight forwarders, automated driving systems, CDL testing and drug and alcohol clearing house.
A complete list of regulations from the U.S. Department of Transportation Regulatory Program is available here.
Also of note, the Environmental Protection Agency is projecting a final rule regarding air pollution control on new heavy-duty vehicles and their engines for December.
OOIDA argues that new technologies should not be mandatory. The Association says that once the equipment works properly and reduces costs, motor carriers will line up to buy the new trucks.
“All truckers believe in clean air, but the EPA should not use the consumer as a guinea pig,” OOIDA wrote in recent comments. “The technology used in heavy-duty trucks to reduce emissions must be affordable and reliable.” LL