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Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From the International Window Film Association

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From the International Window Film Association

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
January 23, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 15 (Thursday, January 23, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 3916-3917]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-01301]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0436]


Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application 
for an Exemption From the International Window Film Association

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 the International Window Film Association (IWFA) to allow the use 
of certain glazing in the windows that does not meet the light 
transmission requirements specified in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations (FMCSR). Section 393.60(d) of the FMCSRs currently permits 
windshields and to the immediate right and left of the driver windows 
to be tinted, as long as the light transmission is not restricted to 
less than 70 percent of normal. IWFA contends that since a reduction of 
light entering the truck cab interior will decrease not only available 
visible light but also scattered light, the exemption can significantly 
improve driver comfort and reduce eye strain while allowing films to be 
used that can also reduce the heat load of the interior environment, 
thus making the driver more comfortable as well as lowering energy use 
for cooling.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 24, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT DMS Docket Number 
FMCSA-2013-0436 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 Routhier, Vehicle and 
Roadside

[[Page 3917]]

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)).

Background

IWFA Application for Exemption

    IWFA applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(d) to allow the 
use glazing in the windows to the immediate right and left of the 
driver that does not meet the light transmission requirements specified 
in the FMCSRs. A copy of the application is included in the docket 
referenced at the beginning of this notice.
    Section 393.60(d) of the FMCSRs permits coloring or tinting of 
windshields and the windows to the immediate right and left of the 
driver, as long as the ``parallel luminous transmittance through the 
colored or tinted glazing is not less than 70 percent of the light at 
normal incidence in those portions of the windshield or windows which 
are marked as having a parallel luminous transmittance of not less than 
70 percent.'' The transmittance restriction does not apply to other 
windows on the commercial motor vehicle.
    In its application, IWFA states:

    Many commercial operators, however, have been unable to obtain 
the approved film products in a timely and local basis; this has 
generated a significant volume of inquiries to federal, state, and 
association offices. We are therefore requesting a favorable 
consideration for the use of a market-standard 50%-type of film with 
a 7% measurement tolerance (to accommodate variances in glass, glass 
condition, film manufacturing variation, and meter differences.) 
This would allow the standard 50%-type film to be used on CMVs for 
the windows to the immediate right and left of the driver. This film 
is the same minimum visibility requirement used in the majority of 
states for automobiles and is essentially ``clear'' to the extent 
that, in most cases, it is difficult to determine if a vehicle even 
has had film applied. Since a reduction of light entering the truck 
cab interior will decrease not only available visible light but also 
scattered light (sometimes called ``interference haze'' by optical 
researchers), it can significantly improve driver comfort and reduce 
eye strain while also allowing films to be used which can also 
reduce the heat load of the interior environment, thus making the 
driver more comfortable as well as lowering energy use for cooling.

In support of its application, IWFA also provided an excerpt from an 
article titled ``Safety Benefits and Costs of Tinted Glazing'' 
published in 1988 by Harold Wakeley of the IIT Research Institute of 
Chicago.
    In addition, IWFA stated:

    This level of application would retain the industry's commitment 
to the enforcement community and also provide the commercial fleet 
operator with the expanded benefits of a larger number of film 
products which can provide energy and emissions improvements. It 
should be noted that while there may be no additional improvement in 
UV protection from that received by the current standard of 70 
percent, the added benefit of fuel savings (and therefore greenhouse 
gas reductions) as well as reduced glare (haze) and enhanced driver 
comfort are greatly expanded by the benefits associated with the use 
of the requested level of film on CMVs.

Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests 
public comment from all interested persons on IWFA's application for an 
exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(d). 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: January 10, 2014.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2014-01301 Filed 1-22-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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