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Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Grant of Exemption for Transecurity LLC (Transecurity)

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Trucking American Government Topics:  Transecurity

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Grant of Exemption for Transecurity LLC (Transecurity)

Anne S. Ferro
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
November 28, 2012


[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 229 (Wednesday, November 28, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 71028-71030]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-28823]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2011-0165]


Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Grant of 
Exemption for Transecurity LLC (Transecurity)

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 
announces its decision to grant an exemption to Transecurity LLC 
(Transecurity) that will allow the placement of an onboard safety 
monitoring system (OBMS) at the bottom of windshields on commercial 
motor vehicles (CMVs). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 
(FMCSRs) currently require antennas, transponders, and similar devices 
to be located not more than 6 inches below the upper edge of the 
windshield, outside the area swept by the windshield wipers, and 
outside the driver's sight lines to the road and highway signs and 
signals. Transecurity is coordinating the development and installation 
of camera-based monitoring systems in up to 500 CMVs operating 
throughout the United States in support of research being conducted on 
behalf of FMCSA. The exemption would enable motor carriers to 
participate in a field operation test to evaluate the system and allow 
for on-road data collection. FMCSA believes that permitting the OBMS to 
be mounted lower than currently allowed, but still outside the driver's 
sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals, will maintain a 
level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level

[[Page 71029]]

of safety achieved without the exemption.

DATES: This exemption is effective from November 28, 2012 until 
November 28, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Luke W. Loy, Vehicle and Roadside 
Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, 
MC-PSV, at (202) 366-0676 or luke.loy@dot.gov, Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 
20590-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    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. A rule implementing section 4007 was published on 
December 8, 1998 (63 FR 67600). Under this rule, FMCSA must publish a 
notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 FR 
381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public with an opportunity to 
inspect the information relevant to the application, including any 
safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must also provide 
an opportunity for public comment on the request.

Transecurity's Application for Exemption

    Transecurity applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1) to 
allow the installation of camera-based OBMS in up to 500 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 the FMCSA Analysis, Research and Technology Division. 
Transecurity contends that it must be able to mount the camera-based 
OBMS 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 brackets is at the bottom of the windshield; the best 
position is within and/or below three 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.

 FMCSA Grant of Waiver to Transecurity

    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 31315(a) and 49 CFR part 381, subpart B, 
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 49 CFR 393.60. This waiver was effective from 
July 24, 2012, through October 23, 2012. Up to 500 OBMS were to be 
installed on CMVs operated by the motor carriers listed below:
    1. DOT 90792; Eagle Transport Corporation-Rocky Mount, NC.
    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 and/or below three 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.

Comments

    On August 23, 2012, FMCSA published notice of the Transecurity 
application and asked for public comment (77 FR 51104). The Agency 
received no comments. While FMCSA acknowledges that Transecurity did 
not present specific studies or data showing that safety will not be 
degraded, the Agency believes that placement of the OBMS within and/or 
below three inches of the bottom of the driver side windshield wiper 
sweep (1) will be outside the drivers' sight lines, and therefore (2) 
will not have an adverse impact on safety. The FMCSA encourages any 
party having information that motor carriers utilizing this exemption 
are not achieving the requisite level of safety immediately to notify 
the Agency. If safety is being compromised, or if the continuation of 
the exemption is not consistent with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b) and 31136(e), 
FMCSA will take immediate steps to revoke the exemption.

Terms and Conditions for the Exemption

    Based on its evaluation of the application for an exemption, FMCSA 
grants Transecurity's request. The Agency believes that the safety 
performance of motor carriers during the 2-year exemption period will 
likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater 
than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption because (1) 
based on the technical information available, there is no indication 
that the OBMS would obstruct drivers' views of the roadway, highway 
signs and surrounding traffic; (2) generally, trucks and buses have an 
elevated seating position which greatly improves the forward visual 
field of the driver, and any impairment of available sight lines would 
be minimal; and (3) the location within and/or below three inches of 
the bottom of the driver side windshield wiper sweep, and out of the 
driver's sightline is reasonable and enforceable at roadside. Without 
the exemption, FMCSA would be unable to test this innovative onboard 
safety monitoring system. The Agency hereby grants the exemption for a 
two-year period, beginning October 24, 2012 and ending October 23, 
2014.
    During the temporary exemption period, up to 500 OBMS will be 
installed on CMVs operated by the motor carriers listed below:
    1. DOT 90792; Eagle Transport Corporation-Rocky Mount, NC.
    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. DOT2222676; AM Express Inc.-Escanaba, MI.
    These motor carriers must ensure that the OBMS is mounted within 
and/or below 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.

Preemption

    During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall 
enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with or is inconsistent 
with this exemption with respect to a person operating under the 
exemption.


[[Page 71030]]


    Issued on: November 21, 2012.
Anne S. Ferro,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2012-28823 Filed 11-27-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P



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