FMCSA proposes to include rear impact guards in annual inspections

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Rear impact guards (also known as underride guards and ICC bumpers) have been mandatory on most commercial vehicles for almost 70 years, but they are not on the list of components to check during inspection. compulsory annual vehicle. the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on December 29 released a Notice of proposed regulations to solve the problem.

The NPRM would simply add impact protection devices to Schedule G of Subchapter B of Chapter III of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, “Minimum Periodic Inspection Standards”. Additionally, the FMCSA is proposing to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) to maintain consistency with labeling requirements for rear impact protection and the exclusion of certain types of trailers, as included. into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (FMVSS) own set of federal motor vehicle safety standards since 2004 but has never been incorporated into the FMCSRs.

The NPRM arose out of a request from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance — the umbrella organization for highway inspection agencies in North America — as well as research from the US Government Accountability Office and interest from Congress.

“As the changes proposed by this rule are primarily technical changes that clarify existing requirements and improve consistency of application, the FMCSA believes this initiative will benefit from the support of stakeholders,” the file said. “Neither the labeling requirements that would result from this proposed rule nor the exclusion of [road construction controlled] horizontal unloading semi-trailers of these requirements would result in additional costs or benefits.

According to the FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS), of about 5.8 million regulatory violations identified during inspections in 2017, only about 2,400, or about 0.041%, were violations. rear impact protection, notes the file.

Indeed, the CVSA petition was developed following an initiative in August 2018 in which road inspectors focused on rear impact protections. The CVSA subsequently made operational policy changes “to NOT cite a violation for a missing certification label” in the United States, an interpretation that the label requirement belongs to the manufacturer and not the manufacturer. final user.

However, this August 2018 enforcement surge caught the attention of fleets and trailer repair shops. Strict enforcement of the labeling requirement and poor enforcement of exempt vehicle rules prompted complaints at the TMC’s fall meeting in September; later in the fall, calls started coming in to the National Trailer Dealers Association.

“It has become a controversial issue, apparently,” said NTDA President Gwen Brown. TRAILER / BODY MANUFACTURERS at the time.

As an example, Brown suggested an incident in which an OEM-built trailer was involved in an accident in the back and towed to a nearby trailer dealership affiliated with another manufacturer. The repair shop likely wouldn’t stock the OEM replacement rear bumper. And, depending on the interpretation of the label standards, the store could be exposed to a liability by installing a different protection. Sometimes there is also an issue of competition and lack of cooperation between repair shops representing different trailer manufacturers, she noted.

The NPRM does not address the issue of labeling trailers after a repair.

Comments on the proposed rule can be filed until March 1, 2021. File, FMCSA-2019-0211, is available surreglements.gov.


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