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Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From Help, Inc.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From Help, Inc.

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
July 31, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 147 (Wednesday, July 31, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46406-46407]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-18397]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0313]


Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application 
for an Exemption From Help, Inc.

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

ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA requests public comment on an application for exemption 
from Help, Inc. to allow its transponder systems to be mounted on 
commercial motor vehicles lower in the windshield than is currently 
permitted by the Agency's regulations in order to utilize a mounting 
location that maximizes the device's ability to send and receive 
roadside data. 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. Help, 
Inc. believes that mounting the transponder lower in the windshield 
will maximize a driver's external view of the roadway.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 30, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT DMS Docket Number 
FMCSA-2013-0313 by any of the following methods:
     Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments on the Federal electronic docket 
site.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, 
DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: Ground Floor, Room W12-140, DOT Building, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and 
docket number for this notice. For detailed instructions on submitting 
comments and additional information on the exemption process, see the 
``Public Participation'' heading below. Note that all comments received 
will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including 
any personal information provided. Please see the ``Privacy Act'' 
heading for further information.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or to Room W12-140, 
DOT Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19476) or you may visit http://www.regulations.gov.
    Public participation: The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is 
generally available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You can get 
electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the 
``help'' section of the http://www.regulations.gov Web site and also at 
the DOT's http://docketsinfo.dot.gov Web site. If you want us to notify 
you that we received your comments, please include a self addressed, 
stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that 
appears after submitting comments online.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Brian J. Routhier, Vehicle and 
Roadside Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and 
Operations, MC-PSV, (202) 366-1225; 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. 401] amended 49 
U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e) to provide authority to grant exemptions from 
the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). On August 20, 
2004, FMCSA published a final rule (69 FR 51589) implementing section 
4007. Under this rule, FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption 
request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 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.
    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 Federal 
Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)). If the Agency denies the request, it must 
state the reason for doing so. If the decision is to grant the 
exemption, the notice must specify the person or class of persons 
receiving the exemption and the regulatory provision or provisions from 
which an exemption is granted. The notice must also specify the 
effective period of the exemption (up to 2 years) and explain the terms 
and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 
381.315(c) and 49 CFR 381.300(b)).

Help, Inc. Application for Exemption

    Help, Inc. applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1) to 
allow the installation of transponders on its customer's commercial 
motor vehicles in a location that is lower than currently allowed under 
the regulation. Section 393.60(e)(1) of the FMCSRs prohibits the 
obstruction of the driver's field of view by devices mounted on the 
windshield. Antennas, transponders and similar 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, 
highway signs and signals.
    In its application, Help Inc. states:

    Help, Inc. is making this request because we are coordinating 
device development and installation of PrePass transponder in up to 
430,000 commercial motor vehicles. The 5.9 and toll transponder 
equipment installed is located at the bottom of the windshield, but 
within the swept area of windshield because the safety equipment 
must have a clear forward facing view of the road, and low

[[Page 46407]]

enough to accurately be read by roadside infrastructure . . . The 
restrictions on the location of devices mounted in the windshield 
area significantly degrade the ability to capture the proper viewing 
area in commercial motor vehicles. A 5.9 and toll transponder which 
lacks an effective view of the roadside infrastructure through the 
front windshield will negatively impact the ability to send and 
receive roadside data.

    Help Inc.'s preferred mounting location for the transponders is 2 
inches right of the center of the windshield, and 2-3 inches above the 
dashboard. Help Inc. states that using this mounting location that is 
lower in the windshield than currently permitted by the FMCSRs ``will 
offer the best opportunity to optimize the data transmission and 
evaluate the benefits of such a system'' while maximizing ``the 
external view of the roadway.''

Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests 
public comment from all interested persons on Help Inc.'s application 
for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.76(c)(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.

    Issued on: July, 23, 2013.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2013-18397 Filed 7-30-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P



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