Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Rearview Mirrors, 53753-53772 [05-17987]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by this action. Other types of entities not listed in the table could also be affected. To determine whether your facility would be affected by this action, you should carefully examine the applicability criteria in part 372 subpart B of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations. If you have questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed in the preceding FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. B. How Should I Submit CBI to the Agency? Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI electronically through EPA’s electronic public docket or by e-mail. Commenters wishing to submit proprietary information for consideration must clearly distinguish such information from other comments and clearly label it as CBI. Send submissions containing such proprietary information directly to the following address only, and not to the public docket, to ensure that proprietary information is not inadvertently placed in the docket: Attention: OEI Document Control Officer, Mail Code: 2822T, U.S. EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. You may claim information that you submit to EPA as CBI by marking any part or all of that information as CBI (if you submit CBI on disk or CD–ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD–ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD–ROM the specific information that is CBI). The EPA will disclose information claimed as CBI only to the extent allowed by the procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes any information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket and EPA’s electronic public docket. If you submit the copy that does not contain CBI on disk or CD–ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD–ROM clearly that it does not contain CBI. Information not marked as CBI will be included in the public docket and EPA’s electronic public docket without prior notice. If you have any questions about CBI or the procedures for claiming CBI, please consult the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 II. Background Information A. What Does This Notice Do and What Action Does This Notice Affect? This notice extends the comment period for EPA’s June 14, 2005 notice of data availability concerning the proposed rule to add a DINP category to the EPCRA section 313 list of toxic chemicals (70 FR 34437). B. Why and for How Long Is EPA Extending the Comment Period? EPA received a request from the public for a 30-day extension of the comment period for the June 14, 2005 DINP notice of data availability. The request was for additional time to review relevant information and prepare comments on the revised DINP hazard assessment that was made available for public comment in the notice of data availability. EPA considered the request and determined that extending the comment period is an appropriate action. Therefore, EPA is extending the comment period on the June 14, 2005 notice of data availability by 30 days until October 12, 2005. All comments should be submitted following the detailed instructions as provided in Unit I. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. All comments must be received by October 12, 2005. List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 372 Environmental protection, Chemicals, Community right-to-know, Hazardous substances, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Superfund. Dated: September 6, 2005. Kimberly T. Nelson, Assistant Administrator for Office of Environmental Information. [FR Doc. 05–18090 Filed 9–9–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 571 [Docket No. NHTSA 2004–19239] RIN 2127–AG41 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Rearview Mirrors National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 53753 SUMMARY: In response to a petition for rulemaking, this document proposes to require straight trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of between 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) and 11,793 kilograms (26,000 pounds) to be equipped with a rear object detection system. The purpose of the proposed requirement is to alert drivers to persons and objects directly behind the vehicle, thereby reducing backing-related deaths and injuries. This notice proposes two compliance options. Vehicle manufacturers could satisfy the proposed requirement either by installing a mirror system or rear video system that would make the area to the rear of the vehicle visible to the driver. The notice also asks a series of questions to help the agency determine whether the proposed requirements should be extended to vehicles in other weight classes and whether existing straight trucks engaged in interstate commerce should be retrofitted to meet the proposed requirements, as part of a future rulemaking. DATES: Comments must be received on or before November 14, 2005. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT DMS Docket Number above by any of the following methods: • Web site: http://dms.dot.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL–401, Washington, DC 20590– 001. • Hand Delivery: Room PL–401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Identification Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Public Participation heading of the Supplementary Information section of this document. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http://dms.dot.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading under Regulatory Notices. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 53754 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules comments received, go to http:// dms.dot.gov at any time or to Room PL– 401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For non-legal issues, you may contact Dr. Keith Brewer, Office of Crash Avoidance Standards (NVS–121), NHTSA, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590 (Telephone: 202–366–5280) (FAX: 202–366–4329). For legal issues, you may contact Mr. Eric Stas, Office of the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590 (Telephone: 202–366–2992) (FAX: 202–366–3820). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Executive Summary II. Background A. Petition for Rulemaking B. Request for Comments C. Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) D. Comments on the ANPRM III. Size of the Safety Problem A. Number of Injuries and Fatalities B. Vehicle Type Involvement in Backing Crashes C. Other Data and Summary IV. Agency Proposal A. Summary of Proposal B. Compliance Options 1. Cross-View Mirrors 2. Rear Video Systems C. Applicability D. Non-Visual Systems E. Retrofitting of Existing Commercial Vehicles F. FMCSA Issues Related to Retrofit and Preemption G. Effective Date V. Benefits VI. Costs VII. Public Participation VIII. Rulemaking Analyses and Notice I. Executive Summary In response to a petition for rulemaking, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 111, Rearview Mirrors, to require a rear object detection system on straight trucks 1 with a GVWR of between 4,536 kilograms (kg) (10,000 pounds) and 11,793 kg (26,000 pounds). Most of these vehicles have a significant blind spot in the rear. The purpose of the proposed requirement is to provide a uniform standard that would alert 1 A ‘‘straight truck’’ is a single-unit truck composed of an undetachable cab and body. Body types routinely incorporated as part of straight trucks include an enclosed box, flat bed, dump bed, bulk container, or special purpose equipment. VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 drivers of persons and objects directly behind the vehicle and to thereby reduce backing-related deaths and injuries. Children, the elderly, and persons with impaired senses are target populations of particular concern in backing-related incidents. NHTSA is proposing a regulation at this time for a number of reasons. First, agency research has demonstrated that straight trucks have a disproportionately higher back-up fatality rate than other vehicle types. Research indicates that backing straight trucks annually cause at least 79 fatalities (both on-road and offroad) and 148 injuries. The incidence rate for straight truck backing fatalities is 21.89 per 100 billion vehicle miles traveled and 29.68 per million registered vehicles, figures 8 to 17 times greater than for passenger vehicles. Second, technologies currently exist that could make a substantial area directly behind such trucks visible to the driver. Elimination of this blind spot could significantly mitigate the backing problem associated with these vehicles. Further, because individual States have begun to regulate in this area, NHTSA believes it is appropriate to develop a uniform set of requirements for rear object detection. In developing a proposed performance standard for rear object detection, NHTSA carefully considered a range of technologies. NHTSA examined both visual systems (e.g., cross-view mirrors and video cameras) and non-visual systems (e.g., sonar/ infrared devices and audible back-up alarms) in order to evaluate their efficacy in preventing backing-related injuries and fatalities. We believe primary responsibility for object detection should be placed upon the driver, such that the driver has visible confirmation that the pathway is clear before backing; non-visual systems, by their nature, cannot provide such confirmation. Consequently, we are proposing two compliance options that would provide a visual image to the driver of a 3 meter (m) by 3 m area immediately behind the vehicle. We propose that the following requirements would become effective for covered vehicles that are manufactured one year after publication of a final rule. Option 1: Cross-View Mirrors Under the first proposed compliance option, a cross-view mirror system would be required. A cross-view mirror is typically a convex mirror mounted on the driver’s side, upper rear corner of a vehicle that is used in conjunction with the driver’s side exterior rearview mirror to view the area directly behind a vehicle. PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 The cross-view mirror would be required to: (1) Have no discontinuities in the slope of its surface; (2) be adjustable both in the horizontal and vertical directions; (3) be installed on stable supports on the upper rear corner of the driver’s side of the vehicle; (4) have an average radius of curvature of no less than 203 millimeters (mm), and (5) be placed such that the geometric centers of the two mirrors would be separated by no more than 5 m. We also are proposing test requirements to ensure that the mirror system provides a detection zone that would permit the driver to survey the area behind the vehicle for obstacles before backing. The proposed test requirements would be similar in nature to the school bus mirror test requirements of FMVSS No. 111, which utilize a number of cylinders to simulate objects that would be difficult or impossible to see without the aid of mirrors. Option 2: Rear Video Systems Under the second proposed compliance option, a rear video system would be required that provides the same 3 m by 3 m field of view as in Option 1. To maximize its effectiveness, the system’s monitor would be required to be mounted as close to the centerline of the vehicle as practicable near the top of the windshield and have an image size of between 90 cm2 and 160 cm2. The video camera would be required to be adjustable so that it may tilt in both the horizontal and vertical directions, for aiming purposes, and the video monitor similarly would be required to be adjustable so as to accommodate drivers of different statures. The proposed test procedures, designed to ensure compliance with the rear video system’s detection zone requirement, would be essentially the same as those for the cross-view mirrors compliance option. Although we do not believe that nonvisual systems alone would achieve our safety objectives related to rear object detection, we intend neither to require nor to prohibit the voluntary installation of such systems by manufacturers. Finally, although we are not proposing to do so at this time, NHTSA is requesting comments as to whether, in the interests of safety, the proposed requirements should be extended to vehicles in other weight classes and whether existing commercial vehicles in the designated weight class should be required to be retrofitted with rear object detection systems that would comply with the new standard. The agency estimates that requiring a visual rear detection system would E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules result annually in a net reduction of 23 fatalities, 43 injuries, and an estimated $32 million in property damage savings (present discounted value). The associated cost burden is estimated to be approximately $77 million annually (in 2004 economics). II. Background A. Petition for Rulemaking In March 1995, Mr. Dee Norton submitted a petition for rulemaking to the agency seeking to amend FMVSS No. 111 to require convex, cross-view mirrors on the rear of the cargo box of stepvans and walk-in style delivery and service trucks. The petition was intended to prevent future tragedies similar to one that befell Mr. Norton’s grandson, who was killed when he was struck and backed over by a delivery truck in an apartment complex parking lot because the driver was unable to see the area directly behind the vehicle in its side-mounted rearview mirrors. In determining whether to grant the petition and deciding how to substantively respond, NHTSA decided to solicit comment from the public. To this end, NHTSA issued a request for comments, which was later followed by an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). B. Request for Comments NHTSA published a notice in the Federal Register on June 17, 1996, seeking information on cross-view mirrors and other alternative rear object detection systems (61 FR 30586).2 We received six comments in response to that notice. Commenters described a variety of available rear object detection devices, including both visual and non-visual systems. Visual systems include not only cross-view mirrors, but also video cameras mounted on the rear of the vehicle that are connected to a monitor in the occupant compartment. Existing non-visual systems include ultrasound, radar, microwave, and infrared sensor mechanisms, which detect an object and provide an auditory signal to the driver that an obstruction is behind the vehicle, as well as audible alarms that sound whenever a vehicle is backing. These comments provided initial insights that helped NHTSA to direct the course of the rulemaking process. 2 This Request for Comments and the comments subsequently received are available in hard copy in Docket No. NHTSA–96–53. However, for ease of reference, the Request for Comments also has been included in the electronic docket for the present rulemaking (Docket No. NHTSA–2000–7967–25). VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 C. Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking NHTSA issued an ANPRM on November 27, 2000, to gather further data on key issues related to rear object detection (65 FR 70681).3 In addition to a request for general comments, the ANPRM posed twenty specific questions for public input, which were broken down into four main categories: (1) Questions concerning rear crossview mirrors; (2) questions concerning rear video systems; (3) questions concerning other rear object detection systems, and (4) other questions. Generally, the cross-view mirror questions concerned the size, design, and placement of mirrors, the size of the detection area behind the vehicle, the use and capabilities of exterior, audible back-up alarms (as an alternative to mirrors), and test procedures. The rear video systems questions sought input regarding image size, display color, screen size and location, need for a system failure alert, possible conflicts with State laws against video screens/ monitors in view of the driver, and test procedures. The questions pertaining to other rear object detection systems asked about the capabilities and limitations of these non-visual systems, including efforts to increase the range of sensors so that they are effective at higher backing speeds. These questions also raised the issue of how to craft test procedures that would ensure the accuracy and reliability of non-visual systems under a variety of environmental conditions. The ‘‘other’’ category of questions asked whether manufacturers who have installed rear visibility systems have experienced significant property damage prevention benefits, whether this area should be regulated by the Federal government or the States, whether and how subcategories of vehicles should be defined, and whether existing commercial trucks in the applicable weight range should be required to be retrofitted with rear object detection systems. D. Comments on the ANPRM NHTSA received fourteen comments in response to the ANPRM, including submissions from trade associations, automobile and rear object detection system manufacturers, fleet operators, organized labor, a State agency, and individuals.4 In addition to responding 3 Docket No. NHTSA–2000–7967–1. were received from: (1) The National Private Truck Council (NPTC); (2) the American Trucking Associations (ATA); (3) the Towing and Recovery Association of America (TRAA); (4) the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA); (5) 4 Comments PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 53755 to the questions posed in the ANPRM, commenters also raised a variety of issues, including scope of the regulatory requirement, potential exclusions, alternatives to regulation, maintenance and training requirements, and preemption. The following discussion summarizes the comments received on the ANPRM. Scope and Exclusions NHTSA received a range of views regarding the scope of a regulation for rear object detection systems. Several commenters advocated narrowing coverage due to purported unsuitability of or lack of necessity for such systems on certain vehicles. For example, ATA stated that a ‘‘one-size-fits-all’’ approach would not be successful, because there is too much diversity in equipment and operations. NTEA stated that the rear object detection standard should only apply to ‘‘standard type vehicles.’’ Commenters also offered numerous suggestions for vehicles which they believe should be excluded from the requirements of an amended standard, including tow trucks, car carriers, flat beds, stake trucks, dump trucks, tradesmen’s and mechanic’s bodies, platform bodies, tank trucks, any vehicle equipped with a crane or aerial device operating in a rotational manner, and other special units. Other commenters, such as NYDOT, urged NHTSA to expand coverage of the standard to include lighter vehicles commonly used in residential deliveries (e.g., trucks with a GVWR of 6,500 lbs. to 16,000 lbs.). NATC suggested that other vehicles with large blind spots (e.g., windowless vans and light trucks with campers or canopy shells) may also be suitable for coverage under a revised FMVSS No. 111. These recommended changes could bring some passenger vehicles within the ambit of the rule. NYDOT suggested consideration of a phase-in period to permit earlier implementation of requirements for trucks that can readily be equipped with existing technology. In response to the questions about retrofitting, commenters expressed divergent views. NYDOT urged NHTSA to take the lead on retrofitting of existing vehicles so that there would not be a patchwork of remedial activities by the 50 States. Others, such as ABC, Ford Motor Company (Ford); (6) Sheffield Partners LLC (Sheffield); (7) Rostra Precision Controls, Inc. (Rostra); (8) Reliant Energy (Reliant); (9) ABC Supply Co., Inc. (ABC); (10) Federal Express Corporation (FedEx); (11) the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Teamsters); (12) the New York Department of Transportation (NYDOT); (13) the Nevada Automotive Test Center (NATC); and (14) Ronald G. Silc. These comments can be found in Docket No. NHTSA–2000–7967. E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 53756 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules opposed retrofitting, stating that retrofitting its entire fleet would be a ‘‘very lengthy and costly operation.’’ Rearview Mirrors Regarding rearview mirrors, the commenters generally agreed with NHTSA’s tentative determination that cross-view mirrors should be placed no more than 5 meters (approximately 16 feet) from the driver’s side rear view mirror, as the image size arguably becomes too small beyond this distance to be useful to the driver. However, ATA urged greater clarity in how NHTSA would measure the distance between the two mirrors. Commenters also discussed the issue of trucks that are particularly long or high, thereby posing greater challenges in terms of rear object detection. For example, FedEx expressed concerns about situations where the height of a truck is so great that a top-mounted cross-view mirror is not visible in the side mirror. NYDOT stated that some trucks approaching 11,793 kg (26,000 pounds) may exceed the length where it would be feasible to use a cross-view mirror system, but it urged the agency to maintain some alternative rear object detection requirement for such vehicles. In the ANPRM, we requested comments on whether a 3 m by 3 m detection area behind a vehicle would be adequate. Some commenters suggested alternative detection zones that would be either larger or asymmetrical, but they did not provide a strong rationale or data to support their position. However, ATA and Ford suggested that NHTSA’s estimation of the backing speed used to calculate the detection zone (i.e., 3 mph) underestimates actual backing speeds. These organizations stated that a reasonable estimate of backing speeds could be in the 5 mph to 8 mph range. Rear Video Systems Commenters likewise expressed a range of views on rear video systems. Some commenters, such as ABC, expressed concern about the expense of this technology. Other commenters, such as the Teamsters, specifically requested that NHTSA adopt a performance standard that would permit use of video systems. Reliant argued that the presence of a video camera may encourage theft (presumably of the camera), but NATC made the argument that video cameras and rear mirrors may deter theft of items from the back of the vehicle when stopped. In terms of the image presented by a rear video system, commenters suggested that an acceptable size for a VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 screen may be as small as 3.8 cm (1.5 inches) on the diagonal and as large as 25.4 cm (10 inches) on the diagonal. NATC stated that the size of the screen needed will depend upon the placement of the monitor relative to the driver’s seating position. Reliant expressed concern about placing a video monitor in a truck’s ‘‘already full’’ cab. Varying views were expressed regarding screen color for rear video monitors. Mr. Silc stated that militarygreen monitors are more efficient than black-and-white monitors and that they provide three-times better contrast to the human eye and greater visibility. However, NATC reasoned that a blackand-white screen would be sufficient, because color would be lost in strong daylight and a black-and-white screen’s contrast would be helpful in distinguishing objects and movement. Regarding placement for the video screen, one suggestion was to have the monitor in a location similar to a car’s rearview mirror, where the driver’s eyes can constantly be glancing at it. NATC urged NHTSA to conduct human factors analysis to determine the optimal placement of the monitor in the truck cab.5 NHTSA received conflicting viewpoints regarding the need for a system failure alert for the rear video system. Mr. Silc stated that it is unnecessary, arguing that if the screen is black, the system is either turned off or malfunctioning, and that either situation would be easily detectable by the driver. In contrast, the Teamsters supported use of a failure alert, expressing concern that the image of the monitor must reflect in real time the area behind the truck. In response to the ANPRM’s questions about State laws regulating the existence and use of video monitors/screens in the occupant compartment which are in view of the driver, ATA stated that such restrictions are similar to those contained in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) 393.88. That provision specifically prohibits monitors that are in view of the driver that can receive a television signal or can be used to view video tapes. However, such prohibitions would not be applicable here, where the image presented only displays the area to the rear of the vehicle for backing purposes 5 We note that NHTSA has defined and is conducting an innovative, detailed human factors analysis to understand driver requirements for indirect viewing surfaces in the cabs of heavy trucks. Related static and dynamic testing was initiated in 2004 and is expected to be completed in 2005. The results from this testing will assist the agency in defining a performance specification to be used to evaluate various indirect viewing technologies in future cab designs. PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 and where auxiliary video input connections are missing. Audible Backup Alarms The ANPRM asked a number of questions regarding the efficacy of audible backup alarms and whether trucks equipped with OSHA-specified alarms should be excluded from the standard’s new performance requirements. Some commenters such as NATC and ATA favored exclusion of such vehicles, arguing that audible backup alarms provide an effective warning for most pedestrians. As an added benefit, commenters stated that those systems are relatively easy to maintain. However, other commenters pointed out significant limitations associated with backup alarm systems. NYDOT stated that young children, who account for a disproportionate number of the fatalities and injuries related to backing crashes, may not understand or be able to properly respond to such alarms. Rostra stated that auditory backup alarms do not work adequately with the hearing impaired, and the Teamsters added that the elderly may also experience problems with such systems (e.g., due to decreased mobility, hearing impairment). Reliant added that these alarms can be turned off and that drivers may forget to turn them on again, and it also stated that residential customers frequently complain about loud backing alarms on trucks used at night. Other Non-Visual Rear Object Detection Systems Commenters expressed a range of views about the efficacy of a variety of non-visual rear object detection systems, such as those utilizing sonar and infrared technology. The Teamsters stated that manufacturers should be permitted to use non-visual systems as well as visual systems for rear object detection. NPTC argued that additional data are required on the effectiveness of devices other than mirrors, before such non-visual systems would be suitable as compliance options. Offering yet another possible approach, Federal Express confirmed that its vehicles are equipped with sonar backing systems used in concert with cross-view mirrors. Comments also were received regarding the timing of the alert and detection capabilities provided by nonvisual systems. Rostra stated that detection time should be derived from the distance of a calibrated test object; the speed of the alert would depend upon the distance from the sensor and ` the vehicle’s closing speed vis-a-vis the object. Ford stated that typical latency times for radar and ultrasonic systems E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules are approximately 250–400 milliseconds (ms), but it added that a system’s alert time could be increased by relying on multiple sensors to validate that the system is detecting a ‘‘true’’ target. In this context, commenters again raised concerns that NHTSA’s assumption of a 3 mph backing speed may be an underestimation. Ford also stated that surface characteristics are very complex in the real world and that the reflective characteristics of irregular surfaces are infinite. Because of this inability of nonvisual systems to detect all objects, Ford argued that NHTSA must specify a limited number of objectively defined obstacles for any certification test. Equipment Damage The ANPRM also asked questions about potential damage to various rear object detection systems. Some commenters, such as Reliant, argued that mirrors are high maintenance items due to breakage and theft. Others suggested that damage inflicted by dirt, mud, rocks, brush, and limbs could limit the mirrors’ effectiveness. ATA stated that while rear detection systems could be damaged by vibration and shock, it believes that these systems could be designed to withstand most of these conditions. Testing In response to questions about test procedures for the potential new rear object detection provisions, commenters generally urged NHTSA to conduct testing under as many different conditions as possible under which objects would be difficult to detect. Regarding mirrors, NATC stated that test procedures should utilize objects of various sizes, colors, heights, and positions, and the organization urged NHTSA to conduct testing under rugged conditions (e.g., vibration, humidity, and extreme high and low temperatures). For non-visual rear object detection systems, commenters stated that a welldefined and objective standard and test methodology are even more important, including specification of the size and shape of objects to be detected in such tests. Ford suggested use of the standard pole target developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which the company has used since 1996 for testing both its ultrasonic and radar systems. Furthermore, both Rostra and NATC stated their belief that environmental conditions should be specified as part of any performance test for non-visual systems under the standard. Factors such as temperature, rain, snow, VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 humidity, dirt, driving surfaces, submersion, and mounting surfaces were specifically mentioned as potentially affecting such systems’ detection capabilities. Costs and Benefits Commenters provided varying estimates regarding the cost of crossview mirrors, ranging from $80–$160 per truck (depending upon whether one or two mirrors are required). ATA stated that NHTSA should factor in the potentially frequent damage to crossview mirrors from a variety of sources over the life of the vehicle when determining the cost of the regulation. Figures were not provided regarding the cost of rear video systems, although NATC expressed doubt regarding the availability of such systems for as little as $200, a figure mentioned in the ANPRM. Rostra provided some figures to put the economic costs of backing crashes in perspective, stating that back-up accidents cost U.S. drivers over $1.3 billion per year. Sheffield qualitatively described the benefits of a rear object detection system as including reduction in equipment damage, repair costs, insurance rates, and downtime. According to Rostra, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested six mid-size SUVs in crashes at 5 mph and found that only two of them suffered less than $5,000 in damages during four crash tests. Rostra stated that the cost of an object detection system is often less than the cost of the insurance deductible incurred when there is a collision. NATC suggested that the insurance industry could participate in encouraging the use of these systems through monetary incentives (presumably a reduction in premiums). Federal vs. State Regulation The ANPRM asked whether it would be better to allow States to address the safety problem associated with backing trucks, because the States routinely regulate vehicles in use and regulate by type of use. ABC argued that due to frequent and regular interstate movement of truck traffic, requirements for rear detection systems should be addressed at the Federal level, asserting that a patchwork of differing individual State standards would render compliance extremely difficult. Need for a Requirement There were differences of opinion among the commenters as to the need to amend FMVSS No. 111 to set a requirement for rear object detection. Some commenters, such as Reliant, NATC, and the Teamsters, expressed PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 53757 support for a performance standard for backing vehicles, although there was not any consensus regarding the best approach for such standard (e.g., suggestions provided for various technologies or driver-based backing programs). Other commenters, such as NPTC, ATA, and FedEx opposed a federal requirement for rear object detection, recommending instead that NHTSA support voluntary programs that leave improvements to the discretion of the fleet operators. Training and Recordkeeping Several commenters raised the issue of driver back-up training, either as a supplement to or substitute for rear object detection systems under the standard. The Teamsters recommended a requirement for employers to develop and implement procedures for drivers to follow in the event that rear object detection technology fails or is damaged, and they also supported required maintenance and recordkeeping for the system. ATA favored voluntary training (and possible operations restrictions) for drivers as the remedy for backing problems, stating that without appropriate training, drivers simply ignore rear object detection systems and their images. FMCSA Regulations/Funding NYDOT expressed concern that if NHTSA amends FMVSS No. 111, FMCSA would deem State requirements for cross-view mirrors or other rear object detection devices to be a burden on interstate commerce that would create a breach of the conditions for States to receive Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) funding. For example, New York State’s earlier proposed legislation related to rear object detection was vetoed by the Governor because it was determined to be incompatible with a FMCSA regulation, thereby jeopardizing millions of dollars of FMCSA grants. NYDOT stated that if NHTSA cannot persuade FMCSA to change its regulations, NHTSA should specify parameters for State action so that States may avoid loss of MCSAP funding. Several commenters stated that NHTSA should clearly articulate whether and to what extent a revised FMVSS No. 111 preempts State requirements related to rear object detection. NTEA commented that if NHTSA does proceed with a rulemaking for rear object detection, it should convince the FMCSA to issue a regulation requiring vehicle owners to properly maintain the system when the vehicle is in use. Otherwise, NTEA argues, the standard alone would have little effect, E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 53758 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules particularly in light of the potential for damage and misalignment. III. Size of the Safety Problem A. Number of Injuries and Fatalities In order to determine an appropriate regulatory response, NHTSA undertook an analysis designed to ascertain the size of the backing problem by gathering data on the annual number of incidents of people being backed over by a motor vehicle of any size or type, both on-road and off-road (e.g., in parking lots, driveways). The data were then analyzed further to determine, to the extent possible, the number of incidents attributable to straight trucks. Since the time of the ANPRM, our analysis has been refined to incorporate additional data. NHTSA analyzed 1999 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data, 2000–2001 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) data, and 1995–1999 General Estimates System (GES) data. Generally, we found that backing injuries and fatalities remain a matter of ongoing concern, despite changes in the vehicle population and technology. The following are the highlights of our findings regarding injuries and fatalities associated with backing of straight trucks. Data suggest that straight trucks involved in backing incidents result annually in an estimated 79 fatalities. This figure represents 13 onroad fatalities and an estimated 66 offroad fatalities. In addition, data suggest that there are annually about 148 injuries attributable to backing straight trucks. We believe that these figures provide a conservative estimate of the problem, because many workplace incidents, a potentially significant source of backing injuries and fatalities, may go unreported. A more detailed summary of our findings is provided below, including the details and methodology related to the above statistics. However, for a more complete discussion of the fatality and injury data related to this proposal, please consult the Preliminary Regulatory Evaluation (PRE) that has been placed in the docket for this rulemaking. 1. Fatality Data To obtain a general understanding of fatalities associated with backing vehicles at the time of the ANPRM, the agency gathered data on the annual number of incidents of people being backed over by a motor vehicle of any type or size. (Fatality and injuries specifically attributable to straight trucks are discussed subsequently.) To this end, we initially reviewed FARS VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 data for 1991 to 1997. The FARS data system contains information on all fatal traffic crashes within the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. This search found a total of 381 backing fatalities for all vehicle types over this time period, or approximately 54 fatalities per year. To verify the accuracy of the 1991 to 1997 data, the agency later analyzed 1999 FARS data, which revealed 58 backing fatalities. However, by design, a fatality is included in the FARS database only if a motor vehicle is involved in a crash while traveling on a roadway customarily open to the public. Thus, FARS excludes other likely scenarios for backing fatalities, such as events where someone is backed over in a driveway, parking lot, or in a workplace such as a warehouse or construction site. We believe it is also important to consider off-road fatalities because onroad fatalities only represent a part of the problem in terms of backing-related incidents. Moreover, we believe that offroad backing fatalities represent a significant portion of the total fatalities that the agency is seeking to address under this rulemaking and should not be excluded. To ascertain the number of off-road backing fatalities, the agency worked with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) to gather data on these incidents. NCHS and NHTSA initiated a study utilizing 1998 death certificates in order to confirm the agency’s information regarding the frequency of backing-related fatalities. The report is based on 4,046 death certificates out of an estimated 5,500 cases from 1998, sampled from 35 states and the District of Columbia. As of May of 2004, the death certificate study is complete and available in the agency’s public docket (Docket Number NHTSA–2000–7967– 22). This study reported 91 fatalities occurring in 1998 due to backing vehicles (15 on-road and 76 off-road fatalities). Although the fatality data from the joint NCHS–NHTSA study do not represent a national value nor can they be extrapolated to one, we have assumed that the percent distribution between on- and off-road backing fatalities is representative of what is currently occurring nationally (i.e., 16.48% on-road fatalities and 83.52% off-road fatalities). Based upon that assumption, we applied the on-road/offroad percentage distribution from the death certificate study to the national sample represented by the FARS data, from which we estimate that annually, there are 276 off-road backing fatalities. PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 2. Injury Data In addition to fatality data, NHTSA conducted an inquiry into the number of non-fatal injuries associated with backing crashes. This analysis relied upon information drawn from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) and GES databases. However, because these two databases overlap, it is not possible to sum the results to directly determine an annual total of such injuries. Nevertheless, the available information demonstrates that there are a significant number of nonmotorist injuries that are attributable to backing vehicles. The NEISS database, the first source of injury data considered, is a statistically valid injury surveillance and follow-back system that has been operated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for nearly thirty years. The system’s primary purpose has been to provide timely data on consumer product-related injuries occurring in the U.S. NEISS injury data are gathered from the emergency departments of 100 hospitals selected as a probability sample of the more than 5,300 U.S. hospitals with emergency departments. Surveillance data enable CPSC analysts to generate national estimates of the number of injuries. During the course of this rulemaking, NHTSA funded a study of the July– December 2000 NEISS file, which showed 64 cases in which a pedestrian or a pedalcyclist was injured by a backing vehicle. These are the first relevant data available since the NEISS was expanded to include injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes. This data sample translates into a six-month national estimate of 3,556 injuries. To determine whether this number may be summed for an annual estimate, we also examined the January–June 2001 NEISS file. The 2001 file showed 75 cases where a non-motorist was injured by a backing vehicle, which translates into an estimated 3,863 national injuries over that six-month period. Because there is only a small difference between the estimates, we believe that the rate of non-motorist backing injuries is fairly constant over the course of the year. Therefore, summing the two injury figures for the six-month periods, we estimate 7,419 annual injuries to nonmotorists are attributable to backing injuries. The GES injury data will be discussed subsequently, in the context of the data related specifically to straight trucks. 3. Workplace Data We are also concerned about backingrelated injuries and fatalities that may E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules occur at the workplace, which may not be captured in other databases for various reasons. Consequently, we examined the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Web site, which documents at least 15 fatalities with the cause listed as being crushed between a backing vehicle and a loading dock. The OSHA Web site also includes over 50 reports of workers being killed by backing vehicles.6 OSHA has not performed a study to catalog all backing-related fatalities in the workplace, so it is not possible to definitively characterize the extent of the problem in the workplace environment. However, the anecdotal data assembled by OSHA document the existence and nature of a safety concern. Another area of concern is construction sites. Under 29 CFR Part 1926, Health and Safety Regulations for Construction, OSHA has issued requirements for back-up alarms on vehicles and equipment used in construction in order to address the issue of backing injuries/fatalities, unless someone is standing to the rear to direct the backing vehicle. However, OSHA was unable to provide any statistical data regarding the effectiveness of the required systems. Many backing crashes that occur in the workplace may go unreported to police, because they are handled privately by the businesses involved. In those cases, important incidence data may fail to be included in the FARS or NCHS databases, so the statistics generated from those sources may underestimate the actual backing problem. NHTSA would be interested in additional information on the backing crashes encountered in the workplace. As further indication of a backing problem, we are aware that several major employers with extensive truck fleets have begun equipping their vehicles with rear object detection systems, although we do not have firm figures regarding implementation on a national scale. For example, United Parcel Service (UPS) installed video monitoring systems on its entire fleet of 65,000 delivery trucks by October 2001. Similarly, the United States Postal Service (USPS) and Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) have equipped their vehicles with cross-view mirrors, and FedEx has installed both cross-view mirrors and sonar-based rear object detection systems on its vehicles. Further, NHTSA has learned that some trucks equipped with rear video systems 53759 also come with an audio feed, which place a microphone near the rear of a vehicle that is connected to a speaker near the driver. Such audio feed would allow an unnoticed person in the path of a backing vehicle to yell to alert the driver as to that person’s presence. While these companies were undoubtedly concerned with backing crashes that occur on public and private roads, we understand that prevention of injuries and fatalities in loading and docking areas of worksites was also a factor in adopting such equipment. B. Vehicle Type Involvement in Backing Crashes NHTSA has conducted research to determine the rate of involvement of specific types of vehicles in pedestrian and pedalcyclist backing fatalities, both on-road and off-road. As discussed below, NHTSA found that straight trucks are involved in a disproportionately high number of backing crashes resulting in pedestrian and pedalcyclist fatalities. For on-road incidents, the FARS data showed the following vehicle-type involvement for 1991–1997 pedestrian and pedalcyclist backing fatalities: TABLE 1.—CUMULATIVE NUMBER OF PEDESTRIAN AND PEDALCYCLIST FATALITIES IN ON-ROAD BACKING CRASHES (FARS DATA FROM 1991–1997) Number of fatalities Vehicle type Passenger car ................................................................................................................................................................................ Light truck/van ............................................................................................................................................................................... Bus ................................................................................................................................................................................................. Straight truck over 4,536 kg GVWR .............................................................................................................................................. Unknown truck over 4,536 kg GVWR ........................................................................................................................................... Combination truck .......................................................................................................................................................................... Other .............................................................................................................................................................................................. Unknown ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 129 139 1 81 12 15 2 2 Total ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 381 Based on the above FARS data, after distributing unknowns, we estimate straight trucks were involved in 92 onroad backing fatalities over the 7 year period, resulting in 13 fatalities per year. Thus, straight trucks were accountable for approximately 24% of the on-road backing fatalities during that period. Again, attributing the same percentage of backing incidents for straight trucks that occur on-road as occur off-road (as reflected in Table 1) yields 66 annual off-road fatalities (0.24 × 276). Summation of the on-road and off-road fatalities yields 79 annual fatalities attributable to backing straight trucks. Turning to the injury data specific to straight trucks, we examined the data from the GES, which include only injuries incurred in police-reported incidents. GES data overlap the previously discussed NEISS data, which record both police-reported incidents as well as unreported incidents. Therefore, the GES data on backing-related injury crashes are probably not representative of all backing-related injury crashes, because the data do not include information about injuries from backing 6 These cases were identified by searching OSHA’s Accident Investigation Search database and by entering appropriate key words. See http:// www.osha.gov/cgi-bin/inv/invl. VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 maneuvers in private areas such as driveways, parking lots, and work sites. Nevertheless, the GES data are useful for other reasons. First, the GES data break down accidents by both vehicle type and maneuver, so it is possible to determine the percentage of non-fatal backing injuries attributable to straight trucks (approximately two percent). We expect that the percentage of backing injuries for straight trucks would not change significantly from year to year. Further, we believe that the proportion of backing injuries attributable to straight trucks in the GES data and the NEISS data are comparable, so E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 53760 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules extrapolating to the larger NEISS database, the number of backing injuries attributable to straight trucks would translate into approximately 148 injuries per year (i.e., two percent of the 7,419 total injuries). The Preliminary Regulatory Evaluation accompanying this notice estimates the severity of these injuries attributable to backing straight trucks, based upon the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS). AIS is an anatomically-based system that classifies individual injuries by body region on a six-point ordinal scale of risk to life, with the MAIS score being the maximum injury level(s) an individual receives.7 According to the PRE, of the anticipated annual backing injuries, there are expected to be 120 MAIS–1 injuries, 19 MAIS–2 injuries, 7 MAIS–3 injuries, and 1 MAIS–4 injury (difference of 1 injury due to rounding). Please consult the PRE for a more complete discussion of backing injury severity levels (see Chapter III). However, we believe that the figures for cumulative number of backing crashes and the absolute number of fatalities do not provide a complete picture of the problem. Instead, one must consider the relative risk posed by different types of vehicles. We have used the number of vehicles in the fleet and the miles driven to calculate the rate of backing deaths for different vehicle types. This calculation was based upon estimates of registered vehicles and vehicle miles traveled information. As demonstrated in Table 2 below, straight trucks are significantly overrepresented in backing crashes resulting in pedestrian and pedalcyclist fatalities.8 TABLE 2.—RATE OF ON-ROAD FATAL BACKING CRASHES (CUMULATIVE FARS DATA FROM 1991–1997) Pedestrians and pedalcyclists killed by a backing vehicle per million registered vehicles Vehicle type Pedestrians and pedalcyclists killed by a backing vehicle per 100 billion vehicle miles traveled 1.05 2.32 9.94 29.68 1.26 2.80 2.21 21.89 Passenger cars ............................................................................................................................................ Light trucks/vans .......................................................................................................................................... Combination trucks ...................................................................................................................................... Straight trucks over 4,356 kg GVWR .......................................................................................................... Table 2 provides the rate of pedestrians and pedalcyclists killed by straight trucks while backing is 21.89 per 100 billion vehicle miles traveled, and 29.68 per million registered vehicles. This risk is significantly higher than that for passenger vehicles (i.e., combining categories of passenger cars and light trucks/vans). Based upon this analysis, straight trucks stand out as a significant risk in terms of backing incidents. In its comments on the ANPRM, ATA expressed disagreement with the agency’s assessment of the size of the backing problem, arguing that NHTSA did not quantify accurately the relative hazard associated with each vehicle type in its risk conversion. ATA argued that considering the number of pedestrians and pedalcyclists killed by a backing vehicle per million registered vehicles ‘‘will certainly overstate the rate for straight and combination trucks relative to passenger cars and light trucks because of the fewer number of commercial vehicles’’ and that it does not take into account the number of backings that these vehicles perform. For the same reasons, ATA objected to NHTSA’s analysis of the number of backing-related deaths by different vehicle types per 100 billion vehicle miles traveled. Instead, ATA argued that it is more likely that straight trucks used for deliveries to businesses back up more as a percentage of miles driven than do passenger cars and light trucks. According to ATA, because straight trucks are typically utilized in local delivery operations and can make several deliveries per day, drivers are required to perform several backing operations per day. For this reason, ATA stated that straight trucks are likely to have a higher number of backings as a percentage of miles driven than private vehicles. Conversely, ATA argued that straight trucks used in home delivery settings, by practice, avoid backing up. This practice led ATA to believe that vehicles used in this manner are likely to have fewer backings related to miles traveled. Based upon these theories, ATA concluded that straight and combination trucks are likely to be safer relative to other types of vehicles. We do not agree with ATA’s rationale regarding quantification of relative hazard. If it is true, as ATA argues, that straight trucks are likely to back up more often than other types of vehicles, we believe that straight trucks, based upon their vehicle type, would be expected to present a greater risk in terms of backing incidents. As a result, we would expect that installation of a rear object detection system on straight trucks, more than on any other vehicle type, would reduce backing-related risks. Furthermore, it is important to note that the number of pedestrians and pedalcyclists killed by straight trucks while backing, per 100 billion vehicle miles traveled, is eight to seventeen times greater than for passenger vehicles. If straight trucks used in deliveries to homes avoid backing, it is logical to assume that an inordinate amount of fatalities involve straight trucks making business deliveries. When one considers that large fleet carriers such as UPS, the U.S. Postal Service, and FedEx, have all equipped their vehicles with rear object detection systems, we are even more convinced that the remaining straight trucks are overrepresented in the data. In addition, there is a fundamental difference between straight trucks and passenger vehicles, namely the fact that most straight trucks have a large blind spot directly behind the vehicle. Passenger vehicles, which usually have interior rearview mirrors and rear windows, generally have a more direct view of this area. Thus, passenger vehicle backing incidents are most likely to result from driver error, 7 The AIS system scores injuries based upon the following levels: AIS–1 (minor injury); AIS–2 (moderate injury); AIS–3 (serious injury); AIS–4 (severe injury); AIS–5 (critical injury), and AIS–6 (maximum injury). National Accident Sampling System, 1993 Crashworthiness Data System, Injury Coding Manual, (January 1993) (DOT HS 807 969). 8 Since the time of the ANPRM, NHTSA discovered a number of minor errors in its statistical data related to vehicle type involvement in backing crashes. These errors were corrected prior to incorporating the relevant information in this notice. VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules pedestrian/pedalcyclist error, or some combination thereof, problems without a clear remedy. However, in the case of straight trucks, visibility behind the vehicle is an objective problem amenable to amelioration through a regulatory requirement for a rear object detection system. C. Other Data and Summary NHTSA has considered comments in response to its APRM related to the number of victims of backing crashes. NYDOT commented that New York State has recorded 14,349 backing crashes involving trucks with an enclosed or walk-in delivery bay that resulted in 35 deaths and 5,393 injuries between 1990 and 1999; these crashes also were said to have resulted in 8,921 instances of property damage. Based upon the totality of the above information, we believe that there is a demonstrated backing problem associated with straight trucks resulting in a significant number of injuries and fatalities. These backing incidents occur on public roads, in private locations, and in workplace settings. While our existing data are most complete for onroad backing fatalities and injuries, preliminary data suggest that the problem is even greater in off-road locations, including private locations and in workplace settings. IV. Agency Proposal A. Summary of Proposal To address the identified problem of backing-related deaths and injuries associated with straight trucks, NHTSA is proposing to amend FMVSS No. 111, Rearview Mirrors, to require straight trucks with a GVWR of between 4,536 kg (10,000 pounds) and 11,793 kg (26,000 pounds) to be equipped with either a cross-view mirror or rear video system in order to provide the driver with a visual image of a 3 m by 3 m area immediately behind the vehicle. However, this requirement would not apply to those trucks for which the detection area is already visible through existing mirrors already required under the standard. The NPRM sets out proposed requirements for each of these two compliance options, as well as test procedures suitable for each option. However, in light of concerns regarding the feasibility of attaching rear object detection systems on certain types of trucks, we are requesting comments on categories of vehicles that the agency should consider excluding from the requirements of a final rule. We propose that the requirements would be effective for new vehicles VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 covered under the standard that are manufactured one year or later after publication of a final rule. However, we are also seeking public comment to help determine whether requirements for a rear object detection system should be extended to vehicles in other weight classes and whether existing commercial straight trucks should be required to be retrofitted, as part of a future rulemaking. B. Compliance Options In developing our proposed performance standard for rear object detection, NHTSA carefully considered a range of technologies. NHTSA examined both visual systems (e.g., cross-view mirrors and video cameras) and non-visual systems (e.g., sonar/ infrared devices and audible back-up alarms) in order to evaluate their efficacy in preventing backing-related injuries and fatalities. We believe that primary responsibility for object detection should be placed upon the driver, such that the driver has visible confirmation that the pathway is clear before backing; non-visual systems, by their nature, cannot provide such confirmation. Consequently, we are proposing two visual systems as compliance options, one for cross-view mirrors and another for rear video systems. 1. Cross-View Mirrors Under proposed Option 1, vehicle manufacturers would be required to install rear cross-view mirrors on covered vehicles so as to provide a 3 m by 3 m field of view of the area directly behind the vehicle. NHTSA’s research has determined that a 3 m by 3 m area is the maximum detection zone that could be provided by a cross-view mirror system, but one which we believe would be adequate in light of the standard’s safety objective.9 Selection of the proposed detection zone was based upon study results that found typical backing speeds to be 3.3 mph.10 However, as discussed earlier, commenters suggested that the agency’s assumptions regarding backing speed have underestimated real world experience, although data were not provided to demonstrate this point. If new data show that backing speeds have been significantly underestimated, this may necessitate extension of the proposed rearward field of view requirement. Because cross-view mirrors are not effective in providing a 9 ‘‘Read Cross-view Mirror Performance: Perception and Optical Measurements,’’ WESTAT (November 1998) (Docket No. NHSTA–2000–7967– 18). 10 Id. at 48. PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 53761 field of view beyond the 3 m by 3 m zone currently proposed, a change in calculation of backing speeds may preclude adoption of this technology as a compliance option and instead result in adoption of a requirement for a video camera, a device that does not possess the same field of view limitations. As proposed, the cross-view mirror would work in conjunction with the outside rearview mirror on the driver’s side of the vehicle, and the placement of the cross-view mirror would be such that the geometric centers of the two mirrors are separated by no more than 5 m. We have tentatively decided that 5 m is the furthest distance at which the mirror system could provide a meaningful image to the driver of any object behind the vehicle, a position with which commenters generally agreed.11 Longer trucks that cannot meet this requirement for maximum distance between mirrors would be required to install a video system that complies with Option 2. Our proposal also sets out other proposed requirements which the crossview mirror would be required to meet, including that it would be required to: (1) Have no discontinuities in the slope of its surface; (2) be adjustable both in the horizontal and vertical directions; (3) be installed on stable supports on the upper rear corner of the vehicle on the driver’s side, and (4) have an average radius of curvature of no less than 203 mm as determined under paragraph S12 of existing FMVSS No. 111. In addition, we are proposing test requirements to ensure that the detection zone specified under the proposed standard would be met. The procedures to verify compliance with these requirements are modeled in part after the existing school bus mirror test required under paragraph S13 of FMVSS No. 111, which utilizes a number of cylinders to simulate objects in front of the vehicle that would be difficult or impossible to see without the aid of mirrors. The proposed testing procedure would utilize the driver eye location specified in the current school bus mirror test that is based on the 25thpercentile adult female template. The proposed rule would require that the entire top surface of all the cylinders located at the rear of the vehicle described in the test procedure be visible to the driver when those procedures are followed. In our 11 This determination is based upon the findings of the WESTAT study, which reported diminished performance at the longest mirror separation distance tested (195 inches). ‘‘Read Cross-view Mirror Performance: Perception and Optical Measurements,’’ WESTAT (November 1998) (Docket No. NHTSA–2000–7967–18). E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 53762 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules proposal, we have simplified the carryover school bus procedural dimensions being used, and we have provided tolerances when possible. 2. Rear Video Systems Under the second compliance option, a rear video system would be required. The minimum field of view would be the same as that specified for the crossview mirror option (i.e., 3 m by 3 m). We are proposing several requirements for rear video systems. First, the system would be required to include a monitor that depicts a reversed image similar to what would be observed in a rearview mirror and which is mounted in full view of the driver. The monitor would be required to be mounted as close to the centerline of the vehicle as practicable near the top of the windshield, but located such that the distance from the center point of the eye location of a 25th-percentile adult female seated in the driver’s seat to the center of the monitor is no more than 100 cm. We believe that it would be beneficial to place the monitor in a location that is similar to that of a rearview mirror in a passenger vehicle. Presumably, truck drivers have extensive personal experience in driving passenger vehicles, so they would be accustomed to checking for objects behind the vehicle in that location. Would there be any difficulty having the monitor too close, such that for drivers who need reading glasses, the image in the monitor would be unfocused? If the monitor’s placement causes it to fall within the vehicle’s head impact area, the mounting would be required to deflect, collapse, or break away when subjected to a force of 400 Newtons (N) in any forward direction that is not more than 45° from the forward longitudinal direction, as is required for passenger car interior mirrors pursuant to S5.1.2 of FMVSS No. 111. We are concerned, however, that a monitor that fully breaks away from its mounting could create an additional hazard and cause potential injury in a crash. How likely is this situation to occur, and what preventative steps could be taken? Would it be feasible to equip the vehicle with a non-adjustable monitor that is fully integrated into the dashboard? This proposed compliance option also would require that the video system’s monitor have an image size between 90 cm2 and 160 cm2. We are proposing a size range for the monitor that maintains approximately the same size-to-distance ratio as that between the sideview mirror and the driver. We believe that the monitor size recommended by Mr. Silc (1.5 inches) would not be adequate. Accordingly, we believe that the range VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 that we have proposed would provide the driver with an image that is of a meaningful size and that would catch the driver’s attention. The video camera would be required to be adjustable so that it may tilt in both the horizontal and vertical directions, for aiming purposes, and the video monitor similarly would be required to be adjustable so as to accommodate drivers of different statures. Would any implementation problems be expected related to the aimability requirement for the video camera and monitor? The proposed test procedures are intended to ensure that the detection zone specified under the video system option is essentially the same as that for the cross-view mirrors compliance option. C. Applicability NHTSA is proposing to make the new requirements for a rear object detection system applicable to new straight trucks with a GVWR of between 4,536 kg (10,000 pounds) and 11,793 kg (26,000 pounds). The lower bound of this weight range is based on FARS data, which show that the rate of fatal backing crashes for these vehicles is substantially greater than that of vehicles with lower GVWRs. The upper bound of 11,793 kg is based on the agency’s belief that it represents the maximum weight of a typical straight truck. We note, however, that paragraph S7 of FMVSS No. 111 currently defines requirements for a narrower weight class between 4,536 kg and 11,340 kg. Accordingly, the agency is requesting comments on the proposed upper bound, specifically whether straight trucks greater than 11,340 kg also should be required to be equipped with a rear object detection system. We note that for certain vehicles, the proposed detection zone may be visible using the vehicle’s existing mirrors already required under FMVSS No. 111, in which case the rear object detection system that is the subject of this proposal would not be required. Accordingly, we are proposing that testing under the standard first be conducted to see whether the targets are visible with the mirrors already being supplied on that particular vehicle. If the targets are visible, the rear object detection system would not be required. Furthermore, we are aware that this weight classification encompasses a wide range of vehicles of many shapes and sizes, some of which may pose mounting and/or maintenance challenges for the rear object detection systems that would be required under the proposal. As a result, we might consider excluding certain types of PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 trucks from the standard’s new requirements when we issue a final rule, particularly where it can be demonstrated that a rear object detection system would not be practicable. As discussed below, we are requesting additional public input on defining appropriate categories of straight trucks for possible exclusion. In the ANPRM, NHTSA asked for comment on the appropriateness of applying a requirement for rear object detection to straight trucks in the designated weight range. A number of comments were received, the majority of which sought exclusion for certain types of trucks (e.g., flat beds, stake bodies, dump trucks, common light duty pickup truck beds, and other high-cube or full-size van applications such as tradesmen’s or mechanic’s bodies). Generally, commenters argued that many of these vehicles have body styles which do not permit installation of cross-view mirrors in an effective position or that the vehicles are used in a rugged environment that would cause damage to the mirrors or other systems, thereby requiring frequent replacement or repair. For example, commenters argued that under the circumstances in which most dump trucks are used, any system that is installed is likely to be damaged rather quickly. Commenters stated that dump trucks, as well as other work vehicles used off-road, may experience more vibration than vehicles used solely on-road; according to the commenters, such usage could either damage the system or render it ineffective due to misalignment. Commenters also argued that vibration could cause frequent deviation of cross-view mirrors and video cameras from their aimed position. In addition, commenters stated that other vehicles, such as stake bodies, tow trucks, and flat beds, may have no viable location to mount a rear object detection system. While we acknowledge that some vehicles may not be suitable for installation of one or more of the proposed systems, NHTSA would need to be confident that there was no suitable system available for a given type of vehicle before we exclude it from the safety requirement. To help to better define the applicability of the standard once a final rule is issued, we offer the following preliminary views on coverage, which may be modified based upon public input. We anticipate that it would be reasonable and practicable for the standard to apply to trucks in the designated weight range that have cargo boxes mounted on their chasses. Such vehicles have a configuration suitable E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules for mounting a rear object detection device, and these vehicles are regularly used in deliveries to both businesses and private residences. The States of New Jersey, New York, and Washington already have applied regulations to these types of vehicles, and we believe that it is important for any final rule to cover them, because of their constant presence in residential areas. Dump trucks and tank trucks are two types of trucks that we also believe have the potential to be covered under the standard. Vehicles with dump bodies make regular residential deliveries of products such as topsoil, gravel, and mulch. Commenters on the ANPRM claimed that the rugged environment in which dump trucks sometimes operate likely would damage any system installed on the back of the vehicle. Also, the commenters argued that if a damaged rear vision system had to be replaced on a regular basis, it would make the cost of the regulation too high. However, we are concerned about the potential for injury and fatality related to backing dump trucks. (The website of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration documents over two dozen fatalities caused by backing dump trucks.) We believe that a more robust system could be used which would withstand possible abuse and still provide the vehicle operators with the necessary rear vision. Regarding dump trucks, we seek input on the following issues. How frequently would one expect the work environment and vehicle use patterns to cause failure of a rear visibility system (e.g., due to vibration, camera breakage, lens degradation)? Could a durable video system be mounted on the backs of these types of trucks in such a way that the camera would be protected but at the same time remain effective (i.e., remain properly aimed at the detection zone specified in the standard)? Tank trucks, such as those used for delivery of home heating fuel, water for pools, and other liquids, and for septic tank cleaning, pose a different set of problems. Although they are not used in a rugged environment, the design of these vehicles and the curvature of the tank may make it impossible to use a cross-view mirror system, due to the inability to mount a mirror in an effective location. However, we believe that a video system with a camera mounted near the license plate may be a viable option for providing the requisite rearward view. More problematic are vehicles such as flat beds and stake bodies that have no place to mount a mirror and have only a limited number of places where a camera could be mounted. However, VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 even unloaded, these vehicles still may have a blind spot immediately behind the vehicle of sufficient size that could cause a child to be hidden from view, and once loaded with cargo, visibility would be expected to decline further. We invite input on these and other categories of vehicles that are potential candidates for exclusion from the proposed standard’s requirements. We request that any such comments provide information to demonstrate why none of the proposed compliance options would be practicable for that class of vehicles. In response to NYDOT’s comment that NHTSA should consider extending the standard to trucks that weigh less than 4,536 kg (10,000 pounds), we are not proposing such a requirement at this time because current data do not support such an action. Although smaller trucks often enter residential neighborhoods for the purposes of deliveries or other commercial transactions, many of these vehicles are configured as passenger-carrying vehicles, which do not have the same rear visibility limitations as larger vehicles. Nevertheless, we are continuing our research into injuries and fatalities associated with backing vehicles with a GVWR of less than 4,536 kg (10,000 pounds), and we may revisit this issue if data demonstrate that these vehicles pose a significant backing problem. We invite comment as to whether there are vehicles within the class proposed for coverage that could meet the field of view requirements without being equipped with a rear object detection system. What would be examples of such vehicles? Could such vehicles continue to meet the proposed requirements in a fully loaded condition? Should such vehicles be excluded from the proposed requirements of the standard? We also invite comment as to whether the proposal should be applied to buses. Smaller buses frequently are used in areas of high pedestrian traffic, such as around airports. In addition, school buses and city buses are used in areas of high pedestrian density. Comments on the following specific questions would assist the agency in possible future rulemakings: 1. For vehicles under 4,536 kg (10,000 pounds) GVWR, should further criteria be used to identify those vehicles most likely to be used as commercial vehicles in delivery service or which may have rear vision constraints? 2. What would be the optimal minimum weight for delivery trucks that should be subject to the standard’s requirements for a rear object detection system? Would it be appropriate, when PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 53763 the applicable vehicle characteristics are defined, to lower the applicable weight to 2,722 kg (6,000 pounds) GVWR, or some other weight? Would some light trucks, such as a pick-up truck with a cargo box, benefit from a rear visibility system? 3. Should the standard apply to vehicles over 203 cm (80 in.) in width (or some other figure) and with no windows to the side and rear regardless of their weight? Should wider vehicles with limited or no visibility via windows of the proposed 3 m by 3 m area to the rear of the vehicle be required to have a rear object detection system? 4. Should the standard apply to buses, and if so, should any types of buses be excluded? 5. As noted above, the proposed test procedures for rear object detection systems are modeled after the standard’s test procedures for school buses, although with simplified dimensional requirements and tolerances for most of those dimensions. Should these modified dimensional requirements be used for the school bus provisions as well? D. Non-Visual Systems After carefully considering the merits of a range of rear object detection devices, we have tentatively concluded that current non-visual systems (e.g., sonar/infrared systems and back-up alarms that emit an audible warning) do not provide by themselves an adequate and effective means of rear object detection for the following reasons. Foremost, we are concerned that nonvisual systems, particularly back-up alarms, implicitly shift the detection burden from the driver to persons who might unwittingly end up in the path of the backing vehicle. We remain particularly concerned that children, the primary focus of the protections contemplated by this rulemaking, often would be unable to comprehend and/or appropriately respond to an audible signal. We also note that a 2003 study reported that preschool children did not respond to audible back-up alarms with avoidance behavior, although about half of them did look toward the vehicle or halt their gait.12 While we understand that some non-visual systems (e.g., infrared systems) have the ability to detect children in some circumstances, we are not convinced that they will be able to do so consistently in all cases. 12 R E Sapien, J. Widman Roux, and L. FullertonGleason, ‘‘Children’s Response to a Commercial Back-up Warning Device,’’ 9 Injury Prevention 87– 88 (2003). See Docket No. NHTSA–2000–7967–21 for information related to this study. E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 53764 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules Research on the capabilities of these non-visual systems is extremely limited, and we are concerned about the lack of human factor testing, which involves an assessment of how people interact with a given piece of equipment. For example, in some instances, a nonvisual system may tend to give false warnings or fail to provide any warning, such as when a truck is backing on an incline or a decline. When backing a truck up a hill, the hill itself may enter into the sensors’ detection area and cause the system to alert the driver that an obstacle is present. Backing the truck down a hill can also be problematic for non-visual systems, because obstacles may be below the system’s detection zone, and consequently, the driver would not receive any warning. Although the driver may get out to investigate the first few times, warnings in similar situations may be ignored once the driver is familiar with a certain area or simply becomes aware that hills of a certain grade trigger the warning device. In addition, we believe that the virtually infinite number of characteristics of object surface reflectivities and other factors would render a test procedure for non-visual systems either ineffective (due to the omission of some possible object characteristics) or overly burdensome (if an attempt is made to include a large range of test objects). In sum, we believe that if a rear object detection system allows a driver to actually see a child or other person, the driver would be more likely to take appropriate action and to prevent a collision. Although we are not proposing a compliance option utilizing non-visual systems, we are not prohibiting vehicle manufacturers from installing them voluntarily. Although such systems do not add significantly to the safety benefits to be gained through the visual requirements proposed, they do not appear to cause substantial harm. There is no reason for the agency to preclude vehicle makers from providing non-visual systems as an additional customer feature. We also considered the role of driver training, but we do not believe that it is an adequate substitute for the visual image provided by a rear object detection system. The nature of such training would vary according to the form and function of the myriad straight trucks on U.S. roadways. However, such training could be a useful supplement to each of the proposed rear object detection systems, both in terms of understanding and successfully using that system, and otherwise promoting safe backing practices. VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 E. Retrofitting of Existing Commercial Vehicles Recently, NHTSA was delegated authority to promulgate safety standards for commercial motor vehicles and equipment subsequent to initial manufacture where the standards are based upon and similar to a Federal motor vehicle safety standard promulgated, either simultaneously or previously, under chapter 301 of Title 49 U.S.C. (see delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50(n)). This authority to promulgate safety standards for commercial motor vehicles reflects the fact that certain safety features may have sufficiently significant value to warrant their incorporation in existing commercial vehicles that transport property or passengers in interstate commerce.13 When utilizing this ‘‘retrofit’’ authority, NHTSA plans to coordinate with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding any such provision. At this time, we are not proposing to require any existing commercial straight trucks to be retrofitted to meet the standard’s newly proposed requirements for rear object detection systems. However, we are soliciting additional comments on several questions related to retrofitting, in the event that NHTSA later determines that such a requirement would be appropriate. The following discussion reflects our preliminary thinking regarding the feasibility and value of retrofitting existing commercial vehicles to meet the proposed requirements for an amended FVMSS No. 111. Experience suggests that equipping existing commercial straight trucks with rear object detection systems would provide safety and economic benefits. As with new trucks, owners of existing commercial trucks would benefit from the elimination of the sizable blind spot directly behind their vehicles; with such systems, drivers would be able to see children and other pedestrians (safety benefit), as well as poles and other obstructions before any collision-related damage occurs (economic benefit). However, there also would be costs. We are exploring the possibility of retrofitting these commercial vehicles as a means of maximizing the benefit of the proposed requirement. Would any special problems be anticipated with retrofitting specific vehicle types? Should certain commercial vehicles be excluded from any future retrofitting requirement? 13 The terms ‘‘commercial motor vehicle’’ and ‘‘interstate commerce’’ are defined under FMCSA regulations at 49 CFR 390.5. PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 The States of New Jersey, New York, and Washington presumably considered such benefits and costs when passing legislation requiring the retrofitting of trucks in those States with rear object detection systems. As a further example, UPS, one of the largest delivery companies, has chosen to retrofit its vehicles with video systems. Thus, experience suggests that retrofitting in this context has been deemed by some to be reasonable, economically feasible, and practicable. In addition, requiring retrofitting of existing commercial vehicles would permit the public to realize the full benefit of these safety devices approximately ten years sooner than would otherwise occur, if only new vehicles were required to be so equipped. Public input on the following questions would assist the agency regarding retrofitting. What are expected to be the potential costs and benefits of retrofitting existing commercial vehicles with a rear object detection system consistent with the proposed requirements for FMVSS No. 111? Should any types of such vehicles be excluded? How much lead time would be required to retrofit existing commercial vehicles to meet the proposed requirements for rear object detection? F. FMCSA Issues Related To Retrofit and Preemption In light of the comments of the New York State Department of Transportation (NYDOT) and the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) pertaining to FMCSA preemption of State law, we believe that it is necessary to clarify the scope and nature of FMCSA’s policies and programs. NHTSA consulted with FMCSA in drafting the current proposal, and FMCSA provided the following input, particularly regarding how its regulations and programs would impact a State’s efforts to adopt rear object detection requirements for vehicles operating within the State. According to FMCSA, that agency does not consider a State’s adoption of safety requirements that are identical to the FMVSSs (applicable only to vehicles manufactured on or after the effective date of the safety standard) to be a matter of concern under the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP).14 The example referenced by the NYDOT in its comments concerned the State’s efforts to adopt a rear object detection system requirement applicable to vehicles operated in interstate commerce, prior to NHTSA’s 14 See E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 49 CFR Part 350. 12SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules publication of a rulemaking proposal on the subject. FMCSA concluded that the State should either limit the applicability of its requirement to commercial motor vehicles operating exclusively in intrastate commerce or adopt requirements compatible with the FMVSSs, in the event NHTSA adopts requirements for a rear object detection system. Therefore, if NHTSA amends FMVSS No. 111 to require a rear object detection system, FMCSA stated that it would not consider a State’s adoption of those requirements for vehicles manufactured on or after the effective date to be inconsistent with the MCSAP regulations. Additionally, with regard to NTEA’s remarks, FMCSA stated that it is committed to ensuring that its requirements for vehicle parts and accessories necessary for safe operations 15 are consistent with the requirements under NHTSA’s FMVSSs. Part 393 of the FMCSA’s safety regulations already includes many cross-references to specific requirements under the FMVSSs, such as lamps and reflectors, anti-lock braking systems (ABS), automatic brake adjusters, rear impact guards and protection, seat belts, and emergency exits on school buses. If NHTSA amends FMVSS No. 111 to require a rear object detection system, FMCSA stated that it would consider amending 49 CFR Part 393 to require motor carriers operating in interstate commerce to ensure that such systems are maintained. According to FMCSA, amending Part 393 also would result in the States being required under the MCSAP to adopt compatible motor carrier safety regulations within three years of the effective date of the FMCSA rulemaking. G. Effective Date We are proposing to require covered new vehicles to comply with the rear object detection requirements to prevent backing deaths and injuries one year after publication of a final rule. We have tentatively concluded that a relatively rapid implementation schedule would be appropriate. Installation of crossview mirrors would not involve substantial engineering efforts or changes in manufacturing processes. Manufacturers might need additional time to implement more technically demanding video systems, although we believe that one year would provide sufficient time for manufacturers to incorporate these systems as well. 15 See 49 CFR Part 393. VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 V. Benefits The agency estimates that this proposal would result in a net reduction of 23 fatalities and 43 injuries annually once all single-unit trucks are equipped with a rear object detection system, assuming a 33% effectiveness rate for these crash avoidance devices.16 The present discounted value of anticipated property damage savings is estimated to be $32 million annually (at a 3-percent discount rate). In most of these cases, the benefits would result from the ability of the rear object detection system to allow the driver to prevent the collision entirely. The PRE provides additional detail regarding benefits, including values at a 7-percent discount rate and a discussion of the methodology used in calculating those benefits (see Chapter IV of the PRE). In addition, because our estimate of the effectiveness of rear object detection systems (33 percent) is based primarily upon the findings of a single study conducted by Federal Express in 1984, the agency decided to include a sensitivity analysis in the PRE to examine how different effectiveness rates would impact the results of our cost and benefit analyses. Accordingly, in the sensitivity analysis, we have examined the net costs, benefits, and cost per equivalent life saved if rear object detection systems were 20 percent, 40 percent, and 60 percent effective (see Chapter VII of the PRE). VI. Costs Although discussed more fully in the PRE (see Chapters V and VII), the following summarizes our estimation of the costs associated with this proposal to require rear object detection systems in new straight trucks. The agency estimates that about 18 percent of the 365,000 new single-unit trucks sold annually have cross-view mirrors or video cameras, leaving the remaining 299,300 new trucks affected by this rulemaking. In addition, based on the agency-sponsored study discussed previously, we have tentatively 16 As discussed in Chapter IV of the PRE, NHTSA’s estimation of the effectiveness of rear object detection systems is based upon two public comments referencing a 1984 pilot study conducted by FedEx in four cities that found that backing incidents were reduced by 33 percent when crossview mirrors were installed. Although the study itself was not made directly available, the Nevada Automotive Test Center provided the 33 percent figure (Docket No. NHTSA–2000–7967–7), and the Teamsters qualitatively discussed that a reduction in incidents occurred (Docket No. NHTSA–2000– 7967–8). We have decided to use the same value for the effectiveness of video camera systems, although we believe that such systems may be somewhat more effective. PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 53765 determined that 5 meters is the maximum distance between a crossview mirror (mounted at the rear of a truck) and an outside rearview mirror (mounted next to the driver) that would provides a meaningful image. Under the proposal, trucks with a mirror separation of more than 5 meters would be required to use a camera system. Therefore, of the 299,300 trucks, we estimate a counter-measure distribution of about 25 percent with mirrors and 75 percent with a camera system. The estimated consumer cost per vehicle, including installation, for an 8-inch diameter mirror and hardware is $51.64, for a 10-inch diameter mirror and hardware is $56.85, and for a camera system, monitor, and mounting hardware is $325.10. It is possible that there may be some maintenance and repair costs associated with rear object detection systems, although we do not have information as to the frequency or extent of such activities. We invite comments regarding maintenance and repair costs associated with the rear object detection systems discussed in this proposal. Based upon this information, the total consumer cost of this proposal is estimated to be $77 million annually (in 2004 economics). The cost per equivalent life saved is estimated to be $2.3 million (at a 3-percent discount rate). VII. Public Participation How Can I Influence NHTSA’s Thinking on This Notice? In developing this notice, NHTSA tried to address the concerns of all stakeholders. Your comments will help us determine what standard should be set for rear object detection as part of FMVSS No. 111. We invite you to provide different views on the questions we ask, new approaches and technologies about which we did not ask, new data, how this notice may affect you, or other relevant information. We welcome your views on all aspects of this notice, but we especially request comments on the specific questions articulated throughout this document. Your comments will be most effective if you follow the suggestions below: • Explain your views and reasoning as clearly as possible. • Provide empirical evidence, wherever possible, to support your views. • If you estimate potential costs, explain how you arrived at the estimate. • Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns. • Offer specific alternatives. • Reference specific sections of the notice in your comments, such as the E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 53766 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules units or page numbers of the preamble, or the regulatory sections. • Be sure to include the name, date, and docket number of the proceeding as part of your comments. How Do I Prepare and Submit Comments? Your comments must be written in English. To ensure that your comments are correctly filed in the Docket, please include the docket number of this document in your comments. Please submit two copies of your comments, including any attachments, to Docket Management at the address given above under ADDRESSES. Comments may also be submitted to the docket electronically by logging onto the Dockets Management System Web site at http://dms.dot.gov. Click on ‘‘Help & Information’’ or ‘‘Help/Info’’ to obtain instructions for filing your document electronically. How Can I Be Sure That My Comments Were Received? If you wish Docket Management to notify you upon its receipt of your comments, enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard in the envelope containing your comments. Upon receiving your comments, Docket Management will return the postcard by mail. Each electronic filer will receive electronic confirmation that his or her submission has been received. How Do I Submit Confidential Business Information? If you wish to submit any information under a claim of confidentiality, you should submit three copies of your complete submission, including the information you claim to be confidential business information, to the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the address given above under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. In addition, you should submit two copies, from which you have deleted the claimed confidential business information, to Docket Management at the address given above under ADDRESSES. When you send a comment containing information claimed to be confidential business information, you should include a cover letter delineating that information, as specified in our confidential business information regulation. (See 49 CFR part 512). Will the Agency Consider Late Comments? We will consider all comments that Docket Management receives before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated above under DATES. To the extent possible, we will VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 also consider comments that Docket Management receives after that date. If Docket Management receives a comment too late for us to consider it in developing a rule (assuming that one is issued), we will consider that comment as an informal suggestion for future rulemaking action. How Can I Read Comments Submitted By Other People? You may read the comments received by Docket Management at the address given above under ADDRESSES. The hours of the Docket are indicated above in the same location. You may also review filed public comments on the Internet. To read the comments on the Internet, take the following steps: (1) Go to the Docket Management System (DMS) Web page of the Department of Transportation (http:// dms.dot.gov/). (2) On that page, click on ‘‘search.’’ (3) On the next page (http:// dms.dot.gov/search/), type in the fourdigit docket number shown at the beginning of this document. (Example: If the docket number were ‘‘NHTSA– 2002–1234,’’ you would type ‘‘1234.’’) After typing the docket number, click on ‘‘search.’’ (4) On the next page, which contains docket summary information for the docket you selected, click on the desired comments. You may download the comments. However, since the comments are imaged documents, instead of word processing documents, the downloaded comments are not word searchable. Please note that even after the comment closing date, we will continue to file relevant information in the Docket as it becomes available. Furthermore, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, we recommend that you periodically check the Docket for new material. Data Quality Act Statement Pursuant to the Data Quality Act, in order for substantive data submitted by third parties to be relied upon and used by the agency, it must also meet the information quality standards set forth in the DOT Data Quality Act guidelines. Accordingly, members of the public should consult the guidelines in preparing information submissions to the agency. DOT’s guidelines may be accessed at http://dmses.dot.gov/ submit/DataQualityGuidelines.pdf. VIII. Rulemaking Analyses and Notice A. Vehicle Safety Act Under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301, Motor Vehicle Safety (49 U.S.C. 30101 et seq.), PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 the Secretary of Transportation is responsible for prescribing motor vehicle safety standards that are practicable, meet the need for motor vehicle safety, and are stated in objective terms.17 These motor vehicle safety standards set a minimum standard for motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment performance.18 When prescribing such standards, the Secretary must consider all relevant, available motor vehicle safety information.19 The Secretary also must consider whether a proposed standard is reasonable, practicable, and appropriate for the type of motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment for which it is prescribed and the extent to which the standard will further the statutory purpose of reducing traffic accidents and associated deaths.20 The responsibility for promulgation of Federal motor vehicle safety standards has been delegated to NHTSA.21 In proposing to require a rear object detection system for straight trucks, the agency carefully considered these statutory requirements. First, this proposal is preceded by both a Request for Comments and an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which facilitated the efforts of the agency to obtain and consider relevant motor vehicle safety information, as well as public comments. Further, in preparing this document, the agency carefully evaluated previous agency research and vehicle testing relevant to this proposal. We also conducted a new death certificate study to ascertain the number of backing-related fatalities and injuries, and we updated our analyses to determine the relevant target population and potential costs and benefits of our proposal. In sum, this document reflects our consideration of all relevant, available motor vehicle safety information. Second, to ensure that the proposed rear object detection requirements are practicable, the agency considered the cost, availability, and suitability of various rear object detection systems for mounting on straight trucks, consistent with our safety objectives. We note that the visual systems contemplated under the proposal (i.e., cross-view mirrors and video cameras) are already installed on many vehicles proposed for coverage under these amendments. However, we have requested comments as to types of 17 49 U.S.C. 30111(a). U.S.C. 30102(a)(9). 19 49 U.S.C. 30111(b). 20 Id. 21 49 U.S.C. 105 and 322; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. 18 49 E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules vehicles for which such systems would be impracticable due to rugged work environments or the lack of an appropriate mounting location; if such practicability concerns cannot be resolved, the agency may find it appropriate to exclude such vehicles from the requirements of the final rule. Although the costs for some rear object detection systems (i.e., video cameras) may be relatively high, we believe that manufacturers would be able to pass these costs on to vehicle customers without experiencing appreciable changes in sales. In sum, we believe that this proposal to prevent deaths and injuries associated with backing straight trucks is practicable. Third, the proposed regulatory text following this preamble is stated in objective terms in order to specify precisely what performance is required and how performance will be tested to ensure compliance with the standard. Specifically, the proposal sets forth performance requirements for both cross-view mirrors and video systems. Mirrors and video cameras are familiar technologies, and we do not believe that the specifications for these devices themselves or their placement are likely to be misinterpreted. The proposal also includes test requirements for visual detection of a 3 m by 3 m area behind the vehicle, as marked by a set of test cylinders. This test is modeled after a similar test for object detection in front of school buses, which has been part of the standard for a number of years. Thus, the agency believes that this test procedure is sufficiently objective and would not result in any uncertainty as to whether a given vehicle satisfies the proposed rear object detection requirements. Fourth, we believe that this proposal will meet the need for motor vehicle safety because the proposed rear object detection requirement would eliminate the blind spot directly behind most straight trucks and allow visual confirmation by the driver that the way is clear, thereby preventing backingrelated deaths and injuries. Finally, we believe that this proposal is reasonable and appropriate for motor vehicles subject to the proposed requirements. As discussed elsewhere in this notice, the agency is concerned with the amount of fatalities and serious injuries related from backing straight trucks. Our statistical data indicates that vehicles subject to the proposed requirements have a high rate of backing incidents resulting in death and injury. Available evidence also suggests that rear object detection systems are an effective countermeasure in these situations. Accordingly, we believe that VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 this proposal is appropriate for covered vehicles that are or would become subject to these provisions of FMVSS No. 111 because it furthers the agency’s objective of preventing deaths and serious injuries associated with backing incidents. B. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures Executive Order 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review’’ (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), provides for making determinations whether a regulatory action is ‘‘significant’’ and therefore subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and to the requirements of the Executive Order. The Order defines a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ as one that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or Tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order. This rulemaking document was reviewed by OMB under E.O. 12866. Further, this action has been determined to be ‘‘significant’’ under the Department of Transportation’s Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979). As discussed in the Preliminary Regulatory Evaluation (PRE), this rulemaking amending FMVSS No. 111 to require installation of rear object detection systems on certain new vehicles is expected have a total consumer cost estimated at $77 million annually (in 2004 economics). The agency has prepared a separate document (i.e., the PRE) addressing in detail the benefits and costs of the proposed rule, as well as alternatives considered. A copy of the PRE is being placed in the docket. As discussed in that document and in the preceding sections of this notice, requiring a rear object detection system on straight trucks has the potential to prevent a number of backing-related deaths and injuries, thereby furthering the agency’s safety mission. Straight trucks have an incidence rate for PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 53767 backing fatalities that is 8 to 17 times greater than for passenger vehicles. However, by requiring installation of either a cross-view mirror or rear video camera, we believe that it would be possible to eliminate the blind spot behind these vehicles, to permit vehicle operators to have visual confirmation that the area immediately behind the vehicle is clear, and to thereby reduce the number of backing-related injuries and fatalities. We estimate that this proposal would result in a net reduction of 23 fatalities and 43 injuries annually once all straight trucks are equipped with a rear object detection system, assuming a 33 percent effectiveness rate for these crash avoidance devices. The present discounted value of anticipated property damage savings is estimated to be $32 million annually. In most cases, these benefits would result from the ability of the system to prevent the collision entirely. Our estimation of the cost of the proposed rule is based upon the following. We estimate that about 18 percent of the 365,000 new straight trucks sold annually already come equipped with a rear object detection system that would meet the proposed requirements of the rule. That leaves the remaining 299,300 new straight trucks affected by this rulemaking. Because agency-sponsored research has shown 5 meters to be the maximum distance between a cross-view mirror and an outside rearview mirror that could provide a meaningful image, under this proposal, trucks with a mirror separation of more than 5 meters would be required to use a camera system. Accordingly, NHTSA estimates a counter-measure distribution of about 25 percent for mirrors and 75 percent for cameras. The estimated consumer cost per vehicle, including installation, for an 8-inch diameter mirror and hardware is $51.64, for a 10-inch diameter mirror and hardware is $56.85, and for a camera system, monitoring, and mounting hardware is $325.10. The cost per equivalent life saved is estimated to be $2.3 million. Although the costs for some rear object detection systems may be fairly substantial, we believe that single-unit truck manufacturers would be able to pass these costs on to vehicle customers without experiencing appreciable changes in sales. It is expected that the proposed requirements and associated costs would apply evenly across the industry and not adversely impact any one segment of that industry. As part of this rulemaking, the agency considered a number of regulatory alternatives. We considered a variety of E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 53768 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules systems for rear object, but we decided that a visual system was needed in the interest of safety, in order to provide the driver with a view of the backing vehicle’s pathway and to maintain driver responsibility for safe operation of the vehicle while backing. We also considered the use of detection zones of different sizes and the possibility of excluding certain types of vehicles from the proposed requirements. Once again, a complete discussion of these issues related to benefits, costs, and alternatives may be found in the PRE. C. Regulatory Flexibility Act Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). However, no regulatory or flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. SBREFA amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. NHTSA has considered the effects of this rulemaking action under the Regulatory Flexibility Act and has included a regulatory flexibility analysis in the PRE. This analysis discusses potential regulatory alternatives that the agency considered that would still meet the identified safety need of eliminating the blind spot behind straight trucks. Alternatives considered included the use of detection zones of different sizes and exclusion of certain types of vehicles from the proposed requirements. To summarize the conclusions of that analysis, the agency believes that the proposal would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small businesses. There are a substantial number of single-unit truck manufacturers (about 750 in the U.S.), and the cost of video cameras is relatively high. We estimate that there are approximately 12 mirror manufacturers, of which 3 are small businesses. We do not expect manufacturers of video cameras to be classified as small businesses. VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 As with any other Federal motor vehicle safety standard, single-unit truck manufacturers would be required to certify the vehicle’s compliance with all applicable FMVSSs. However, we anticipate that single-unit truck manufacturers would pass the cost of the rear object detection system on to consumers. Further, we believe that the increase in price would have a small impact, at most, on the sales of singleunit trucks, because such vehicles are usually a necessary expense for businesses conducting routine operations. We also expect that the proposed requirements and associated costs would apply evenly across the industry and not adversely impact any one segment of that industry. We expect that the proposed requirements could have a small positive economic impact on mirror manufacturers, due to increased sales volumes. D. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) Executive Order 13132, ‘‘Federalism’’ (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), requires NHTSA to develop an accountable process to ensure ‘‘meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.’’ ‘‘Policies that have federalism implications’’ are defined in the Executive Order to include regulations that have ‘‘substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.’’ Under Executive Order 13132, the agency may not issue a regulation with Federalism implications, that imposes substantial direct compliance costs, and that is not required by statute, unless the Federal government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by State and local governments, the agency consults with State and local governments, or the agency consults with State and local officials early in the process of developing the proposed regulation. NHTSA also may not issue a regulation with Federalism implications and that preempts a State law unless the agency consults with State and local officials early in the process of developing the regulation. The proposed rule to amend this Federal motor vehicle safety standard is being issued pursuant to NHTSA’s statutory authority under section 30111 of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (49 U.S.C. Chapter 301), and was analyzed in accordance with the principles and criteria set forth in Executive Order PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 13132. The agency determined that the rule would not have sufficient Federalism implications to warrant consultations with State and local officials or the preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. This proposed rule would not have any substantial effects on the States, or on the current distribution of power and responsibilities among the various local officials. The reason is that this proposed rule, if made final, would apply to motor vehicle manufacturers, and not to the States or local governments. Thus, the requirements of Section 6 of the Executive Order do not apply to this proposed rule. We would note that States may comment on this proposal and that one State (New York) did comment on the ANPRM. Section 30103(b) of 49 U.S.C. provides, ‘‘When a motor vehicle safety standard is in effect under this chapter, a State or a political subdivision of a State may prescribe or continue in effect a standard applicable to the same aspect of performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment only if the standard is identical to the standard prescribed under this chapter.’’ If adopted, our proposed amendments would preempt all state statutes, regulations and common law requirements that differ with it. More specifically, the amended FMVSS No. 111 would preempt State requirements for a rear object detection system on new motor vehicles that is not the same as the one that would be required under the standard. Thus, for example, it would preempt aspects of at least three State laws currently in force (i.e., provisions in New Jersey,22 New York,23 and Washington 24). Our proposal reflects careful balancing of a variety of considerations and objectives in this field. As a primary matter, we believe that the proposal should reflect the fact that drivers have the responsibility to ensure that the pathway is clear before backing the vehicle. To this end, the NPRM is proposing several technological options that would ensure that drivers can visually confirm that the pathway is clear, including cross-view mirrors, a rear video camera, or even the driver’s vision (if the configuration of the vehicle is such that the driver can see all relevant test points). We have concerns that non-visual systems, such as infrared and sonar systems, may not be sufficiently reliable or provide the same level of certainty as visual 22 N.J. Stat. Ann. § 39:3–71.1 (West 2004). Vehicle and Traffic Law § 375(9)(e) (McKinney 2003). 24 Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 46.37.400 (West 2004). 23 N.Y. E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules systems. We are also concerned that other systems, such as audible back-up alarms, could shift the burden to the person behind the backing vehicle to get out of the way; some pedestrians (e.g., children, the elderly) may be illequipped to take the necessary evasive action in those situations. Thus, we believe that requiring a visual rear object detection system, as proposed, would adequately address the identified backing problem with straight trucks. We also intend to specify a uniform set of requirements for rear object detection systems installed on straight trucks consistent with the Federal system established by Congress. Congress provided NHTSA with the responsibility to establish performance standards to ensure that motor vehicles—including straight trucks—are manufactured in such a way as to meet the need for motor vehicle safety. Congress gave FMCSA the responsibility to ensure that straight trucks are operationally safe in accordance with a uniform Federal, rather than a myriad of State, operational standards. As noted above, FMCSA has concluded that States should adopt requirements consistent with the FMVSS or should limit State requirements to vehicles that will operate solely in intrastate commerce. Although we do not propose to prohibit the voluntary installation of supplemental systems by manufacturers, we believe our proposal addresses the safety need and that supplemental State or local requirements would subvert the Federal safety program Congress has established between NHTSA and FMCSA. E. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform) Pursuant to Executive Order 12988, ‘‘Civil Justice Reform’’ (61 FR 4729, February 7, 1996), the agency has considered whether this proposed rule would have any retroactive effect. We conclude that it would not have such an effect. Under 49 U.S.C. 30103, whenever a Federal motor vehicle safety standard is in effect, a State may not adopt or maintain a safety standard applicable to the same aspect of performance which is not identical to the Federal standard, except to the extent that the State requirement imposes a higher level of performance and applies only to vehicles procured for the State’s use. 49 U.S.C. 30161 sets forth a procedure for judicial review of final rules establishing, amending, or revoking Federal motor vehicle safety standards. That section does not require submission of a petition for reconsideration or other administrative VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 proceedings before parties may file a suit in court. F. Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks) Executive Order 13045, ‘‘Protection of Children from Environmental Health and Safety Risks’’ (62 FR 19855, April 23, 1997), applies to any rule that: (1) is determined to be ‘‘economically significant’’ as defined under Executive Order 12866, and (2) concerns an environmental, health, or safety risk that the agency has reason to believe may have a disproportionate effect on children. If the regulatory action meets both criteria, the agency must evaluate the environmental health or safety effects of the planned rule on children, and explain why the planned regulation is preferable to other potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives considered by the agency. This proposed rule is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is not ‘‘economically significant,’’ as defined in Executive Order 12866. G. Paperwork Reduction Act Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), a person is not required to respond to a collection of information by a federal agency unless the collection displays a valid OMB control number. NHTSA has determined that, if made final, this proposed rule would not impose any ‘‘collection of information’’ burdens on the public, within the meaning of the PRA. This rulemaking would not impose any filing or recordkeeping requirements on any manufacturer or any other party. For this reason, we discuss neither electronic filing and recordkeeping nor do we discuss a fully electronic reporting option. H. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104– 113, (15 U.S.C. 272) directs the agency to evaluate and use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless doing so would be inconsistent with applicable law or is otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies, such as the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The NTTAA directs us to provide Congress (through OMB) with explanations when the agency decides not to use available PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 53769 and applicable voluntary consensus standards. The NTTAA does not apply to symbols. NHTSA is not aware of any voluntary consensus standards related to the proposed rear object detection systems that are available at this time. However, NHTSA will consider any such standards as they become available. I. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) requires federal agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more than $100 million annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995). Before promulgating a NHTSA rule for which a written statement is needed, section 205 of the UMRA generally requires the agency to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of section 205 do not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable law. Moreover, section 205 allows the agency to adopt an alternative other than the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative if the agency publishes with the final rule an explanation of why that alternative was not adopted. This proposal will not result in the expenditure of $100 million or more by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector. Thus, this proposal is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA. J. National Environmental Policy Act NHTSA has analyzed this proposed rulemaking action for the purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act. The agency has determined that implementation of this action will not have any significant impact on the quality of the human environment. K. Regulatory Identifier Number (RIN) The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document to find this action in the Unified Agenda. E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 53770 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules L. Privacy Act Please note that 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 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477– 78), or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov. List of Subjects in 49 CFR Parts 571 Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Tires. In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA is proposing to amend 49 CFR part 571 as follows: PART 571—FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS 1. The authority citation for part 571 of Title 49 would continue to read as follows: Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117, and 30166; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. 2. Section 571.111 would be amended by revising S4, S7, S7.1, S8, S8.1, and S13 Figure 3, and by adding new S7.2, S7.2.1, S7.2.2, S14, S14.1, S14.2, S14.3, S14.4, S14.5, S14.6, and Figure 5 to read as follows: § 571.111 mirrors. Standard No. 111; Rearview * * * * * S4. Definitions Convex mirror means a mirror having a curved reflective surface whose shape is the same as that of the exterior surface of a section of a sphere. Effective mirror surface means the portions of a mirror that reflect images, excluding the mirror rim or mounting brackets. Straight truck means a single-unit truck composed of an undetachable cab and body. Unit magnification mirror means a plane or flat mirror with a reflective surface through which the angular height and width of the image of an object is equal to the angular height and width of the object when viewed directly at the same distance except for flaws that do not exceed normal manufacturing tolerances. For the VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 purposes of this regulation, a prismatic day-night adjustment rearview mirror, one of whose positions provides unit magnification, is considered a unit magnification mirror. * * * * * S7. Requirements for multipurpose passenger vehicles and trucks with a GVWR of more than 4,536 kg and less than 11,793 kg and buses, other than school buses, with a GVWR of more than 4,536 kg. S7.1 Each multipurpose passenger vehicle and truck with a GVWR of more than 4,536 kg and less than 11,793 kg and each bus, other than a school bus, with a GVWR of more than 4,536 kg must have outside mirrors of unit magnification, each with not less than 323 cm2 of reflective surface, installed with stable supports on both sides of the vehicle. The mirrors must be located so as to provide the driver a view to the rear along both sides of the vehicle and shall be adjustable both in the horizontal and vertical directions to view the rearward scene. S7.2 When tested in accordance with the procedures of S14, each straight truck with a GVWR of more than 4,536 kg and less than 11,793 kg must have either a convex cross-view mirror that meets the requirements of S7.2.1 or a video monitoring system that meets the requirements of S7.2.2. However, this requirement does not apply if the straight truck equipped with the mirrors specified in S7.1 or the mirrors specified in S7.1 and S5.1 can comply with S7.2.1(a), when tested in accordance with S14. S7.2.1 Cross-view Mirror. A convex mirror must be located with stable supports on the upper rear corner of the vehicle on the driver’s side, such that: (a) The entire top surface of all the test cylinders (right circular in shape) must be visible; (b) Its geometric center must be no more than 5,000 mm from the geometric center of the outside rearview mirror on the driver’s side; (c) It must not have any discontinuities or flaws that exceed normal manufacturing tolerances in the slope of its surface; (d) It must provide for adjustment by tilting in both the horizontal and vertical directions; and PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 (e) It must have an average radius of curvature of no less than 203 mm, as determined under S12. S7.2.2 Video Monitoring System. A video monitoring system must be located on the vehicle and have properties such that: (a) The entire top surface of all the test cylinders (right circular in shape) must be visible; (b) It must include a video monitor mounted in full view of the driver; (c) The monitor must be mounted as close to the centerline of the vehicle as practicable near the top of the windshield, but located such that the distance from the center point of the eye location of a 25th-percentile adult female seated in the driver’s seat to the center of the monitor is no more than 1,000 mm; (d) The system must provide an image size of not less than 90 cm2 and not more than 160 cm2, and the image must be reversed to show the scene as if it were viewed through a rearview mirror; (e) The video camera and monitor each must be adjustable by tilting in both the horizontal and vertical directions; (f) The system must provide an image only when the vehicle’s transmission is in reverse; and (g) If the monitor is in the head impact area, as defined in 49 CFR § 571.3, the mounting must deflect, collapse, or break away when subjected to a force of 400 ± 1 Newtons (N) in any forward direction that is not more than 45° from the forward longitudinal direction. S8. Requirements for multipurpose passenger vehicles and trucks with a GVWR of 11,793 kg or more. S8.1 Each multipurpose passenger vehicle and truck with a GVWR of 11,793 kg or more must have outside mirrors of unit magnification, each with not less than 323 cm2 reflective surface, installed with stable supports on both sides of the vehicle. The mirrors must be located so as to provide the driver a view to the rear along both sides of the vehicle and must be adjustable both in the horizontal and vertical directions to view the rearward scene. * * * * * S13. School bus mirror test procedures. * * * * * * * * E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 * * * * * S14. Cross-view mirror and video system test procedures. When determining compliance with the requirements of S7.2, the vehicle is tested in accordance with the following conditions and procedures. S14.1 Utilize cylinders of a color which provides a high contrast with the surface on which the vehicle is parked. S14.2 The cylinders are 305 ± 1 mm high and 305 ± 1 mm in diameter. S14.3 Place the cylinders at locations as specified in S14.3(a) through S14.3(d) below and as illustrated in Figure 5. (a) Place cylinders G, H, and I so that they are tangent to a transverse vertical plane tangent to the rearward-most surface of the vehicle’s rear bumper. Place cylinders D, E, and F so that their centers are located in a transverse vertical plane that is 1,500 ± 10 mm rearward of a transverse vertical plane passing through the centers of cylinders G, H, and I. Place cylinders A, B, and C so that their centers are located in a transverse vertical plane that is 3,000 ± 10 mm rearward of the transverse vertical plane passing through the centers of cylinders G, H, and I. (b) Place cylinders B, E, and H so that their centers are within 10 mm of the longitudinal vertical plane that passes through the vehicle’s longitudinal centerline. (c) Place cylinders A, D, and G so that their centers are in a longitudinal vertical plane that is 1,500 ± 10 mm, toward the passenger side, from the longitudinal vertical plane passing through the center of cylinders B, E, and H. VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 (d) Place cylinders C, F, and I so that their centers are in a longitudinal vertical plane that is 1,500 ± 10 mm, toward the driver side, from the longitudinal vertical plane passing through the centers of cylinders B, E, and H. S14.4 The driver’s eye location is the eye location of a 25th-percentile adult female, when seated in the driver’s seat as follows: (a) The center point of the driver’s eye location is the point located 685 ± 5 mm vertically above the intersection of the seat cushion and the seat back at the longitudinal centerline of the seat. (b) Adjust the driver’s seat to the midway point between the forwardmost and rearward-most positions. If there is not an adjustment position at the midway point, use the closest adjustment position to the rear of the midpoint. If the seat is separately adjustable in the vertical direction, adjust it to the lowest position. If the seat back is adjustable, adjust the seat back angle to the manufacturer’s nominal design riding position in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. S14.5 Adjustment of Viewing Devices. (a) If a cross-view mirror is used, adjust the driver’s side exterior mirror and the cross-view mirror in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations before the test. If there are no manufacturer’s recommendations, adjust the mirrors to meet the field-of-view requirements herein. The mirrors must not be moved or readjusted thereafter. PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 53771 (b) If a video system is used, adjust the monitor and video camera in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. If there are no manufacturer’s recommendations, adjust the monitor and video camera to meet the field-of-view requirements herein. The monitor and video camera must not be moved or readjusted thereafter. (c) If an inside rearview mirror is used, adjust the mirror to achieve the field of view specified in S5.1.1. S14.6 Determination of Compliance. (a) If mirrors are used for compliance purposes, place a 35 mm or larger format camera, or video camera, so that the center of its image plane is located at the center point of the driver’s eye location or at any single point within a semicircular area established by a 152 ± 1 mm radius parallel to and forward of the center point (determined in accordance with Figure 3 of S13). With the camera or video camera at any location on or within the semicircle, look through the camera or video camera at the driver’s side mirror (or the inside rearview mirror if so equipped) and determine if the entire top surface of each cylinder is directly visible, and photograph the results. If a video camera is used, the monitor’s output may be recorded for the test results. (b) If a video system is used for compliance purposes, place a 35 mm or larger format camera, or video camera, so that the center of its image plane is located at the center point of the driver’s eye location or at any single point within a semicircular area established by a 152 ± 1 mm radius parallel to and E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 EP12SE05.003</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules 53772 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 175 / Monday, September 12, 2005 / Proposed Rules forward of the center point (determined in accordance with Figure 3 of S13). With the camera or video camera at any location on or within the semicircle, look through the camera or video camera at the video system monitor and determine if the entire top surface of each cylinder is directly visible, and photograph the results. If a video camera is used, the monitor’s output may be recorded for the test results. BILLING CODE 4910–59–P VerDate Aug<18>2005 15:21 Sep 09, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\12SEP1.SGM 12SEP1 EP12SE05.004</GPH> Issued: September 2, 2005. Stephen R. Kratzke, Associate Administrator for Rulemaking. [FR Doc. 05–17987 Filed 9–9–05; 8:45 am]

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 175 (Monday, September 12, 2005)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 53753-53772]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-17987]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. NHTSA 2004-19239]
RIN 2127-AG41


Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Rearview Mirrors

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: In response to a petition for rulemaking, this document 
proposes to require straight trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating 
(GVWR) of between 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) and 11,793 kilograms 
(26,000 pounds) to be equipped with a rear object detection system. The 
purpose of the proposed requirement is to alert drivers to persons and 
objects directly behind the vehicle, thereby reducing backing-related 
deaths and injuries. This notice proposes two compliance options. 
Vehicle manufacturers could satisfy the proposed requirement either by 
installing a mirror system or rear video system that would make the 
area to the rear of the vehicle visible to the driver. The notice also 
asks a series of questions to help the agency determine whether the 
proposed requirements should be extended to vehicles in other weight 
classes and whether existing straight trucks engaged in interstate 
commerce should be retrofitted to meet the proposed requirements, as 
part of a future rulemaking.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before November 14, 2005.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT DMS Docket Number 
above by any of the following methods:
     Web site: http://dms.dot.gov. Follow the instructions for 
submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, 
Washington, DC 20590-001.
     Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the 
Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC., between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://
www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and 
docket number or Regulatory Identification Number (RIN) for this 
rulemaking. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and 
additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Public 
Participation heading of the Supplementary Information section of this 
document. Note that all comments received will be posted without change 
to http://dms.dot.gov, including any personal information provided. 
Please see the Privacy Act heading under Regulatory Notices.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or

[[Page 53754]]

comments received, go to http://dms.dot.gov at any time or to Room PL-
401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal Holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For non-legal issues, you may contact 
Dr. Keith Brewer, Office of Crash Avoidance Standards (NVS-121), NHTSA, 
400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590 (Telephone: 202-366-5280) 
(FAX: 202-366-4329).
    For legal issues, you may contact Mr. Eric Stas, Office of the 
Chief Counsel, NHTSA, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590 
(Telephone: 202-366-2992) (FAX: 202-366-3820).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Executive Summary
II. Background
    A. Petition for Rulemaking
    B. Request for Comments
    C. Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM)
    D. Comments on the ANPRM
III. Size of the Safety Problem
    A. Number of Injuries and Fatalities
    B. Vehicle Type Involvement in Backing Crashes
    C. Other Data and Summary
IV. Agency Proposal
    A. Summary of Proposal
    B. Compliance Options
    1. Cross-View Mirrors
    2. Rear Video Systems
    C. Applicability
    D. Non-Visual Systems
    E. Retrofitting of Existing Commercial Vehicles
    F. FMCSA Issues Related to Retrofit and Preemption
    G. Effective Date
V. Benefits
VI. Costs
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Rulemaking Analyses and Notice

I. Executive Summary

    In response to a petition for rulemaking, the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing to amend Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 111, Rearview Mirrors, to 
require a rear object detection system on straight trucks \1\ with a 
GVWR of between 4,536 kilograms (kg) (10,000 pounds) and 11,793 kg 
(26,000 pounds). Most of these vehicles have a significant blind spot 
in the rear. The purpose of the proposed requirement is to provide a 
uniform standard that would alert drivers of persons and objects 
directly behind the vehicle and to thereby reduce backing-related 
deaths and injuries. Children, the elderly, and persons with impaired 
senses are target populations of particular concern in backing-related 
incidents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ A ``straight truck'' is a single-unit truck composed of an 
undetachable cab and body. Body types routinely incorporated as part 
of straight trucks include an enclosed box, flat bed, dump bed, bulk 
container, or special purpose equipment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA is proposing a regulation at this time for a number of 
reasons. First, agency research has demonstrated that straight trucks 
have a disproportionately higher back-up fatality rate than other 
vehicle types. Research indicates that backing straight trucks annually 
cause at least 79 fatalities (both on-road and off-road) and 148 
injuries. The incidence rate for straight truck backing fatalities is 
21.89 per 100 billion vehicle miles traveled and 29.68 per million 
registered vehicles, figures 8 to 17 times greater than for passenger 
vehicles.
    Second, technologies currently exist that could make a substantial 
area directly behind such trucks visible to the driver. Elimination of 
this blind spot could significantly mitigate the backing problem 
associated with these vehicles. Further, because individual States have 
begun to regulate in this area, NHTSA believes it is appropriate to 
develop a uniform set of requirements for rear object detection.
    In developing a proposed performance standard for rear object 
detection, NHTSA carefully considered a range of technologies. NHTSA 
examined both visual systems (e.g., cross-view mirrors and video 
cameras) and non-visual systems (e.g., sonar/infrared devices and 
audible back-up alarms) in order to evaluate their efficacy in 
preventing backing-related injuries and fatalities.
    We believe primary responsibility for object detection should be 
placed upon the driver, such that the driver has visible confirmation 
that the pathway is clear before backing; non-visual systems, by their 
nature, cannot provide such confirmation. Consequently, we are 
proposing two compliance options that would provide a visual image to 
the driver of a 3 meter (m) by 3 m area immediately behind the vehicle. 
We propose that the following requirements would become effective for 
covered vehicles that are manufactured one year after publication of a 
final rule.

Option 1: Cross-View Mirrors

    Under the first proposed compliance option, a cross-view mirror 
system would be required. A cross-view mirror is typically a convex 
mirror mounted on the driver's side, upper rear corner of a vehicle 
that is used in conjunction with the driver's side exterior rearview 
mirror to view the area directly behind a vehicle.
    The cross-view mirror would be required to: (1) Have no 
discontinuities in the slope of its surface; (2) be adjustable both in 
the horizontal and vertical directions; (3) be installed on stable 
supports on the upper rear corner of the driver's side of the vehicle; 
(4) have an average radius of curvature of no less than 203 millimeters 
(mm), and (5) be placed such that the geometric centers of the two 
mirrors would be separated by no more than 5 m.
    We also are proposing test requirements to ensure that the mirror 
system provides a detection zone that would permit the driver to survey 
the area behind the vehicle for obstacles before backing. The proposed 
test requirements would be similar in nature to the school bus mirror 
test requirements of FMVSS No. 111, which utilize a number of cylinders 
to simulate objects that would be difficult or impossible to see 
without the aid of mirrors.

Option 2: Rear Video Systems

    Under the second proposed compliance option, a rear video system 
would be required that provides the same 3 m by 3 m field of view as in 
Option 1. To maximize its effectiveness, the system's monitor would be 
required to be mounted as close to the centerline of the vehicle as 
practicable near the top of the windshield and have an image size of 
between 90 cm\2\ and 160 cm\2\. The video camera would be required to 
be adjustable so that it may tilt in both the horizontal and vertical 
directions, for aiming purposes, and the video monitor similarly would 
be required to be adjustable so as to accommodate drivers of different 
statures.
    The proposed test procedures, designed to ensure compliance with 
the rear video system's detection zone requirement, would be 
essentially the same as those for the cross-view mirrors compliance 
option.
    Although we do not believe that non-visual systems alone would 
achieve our safety objectives related to rear object detection, we 
intend neither to require nor to prohibit the voluntary installation of 
such systems by manufacturers.
    Finally, although we are not proposing to do so at this time, NHTSA 
is requesting comments as to whether, in the interests of safety, the 
proposed requirements should be extended to vehicles in other weight 
classes and whether existing commercial vehicles in the designated 
weight class should be required to be retrofitted with rear object 
detection systems that would comply with the new standard.
    The agency estimates that requiring a visual rear detection system 
would

[[Page 53755]]

result annually in a net reduction of 23 fatalities, 43 injuries, and 
an estimated $32 million in property damage savings (present discounted 
value). The associated cost burden is estimated to be approximately $77 
million annually (in 2004 economics).

II. Background

A. Petition for Rulemaking

    In March 1995, Mr. Dee Norton submitted a petition for rulemaking 
to the agency seeking to amend FMVSS No. 111 to require convex, cross-
view mirrors on the rear of the cargo box of stepvans and walk-in style 
delivery and service trucks. The petition was intended to prevent 
future tragedies similar to one that befell Mr. Norton's grandson, who 
was killed when he was struck and backed over by a delivery truck in an 
apartment complex parking lot because the driver was unable to see the 
area directly behind the vehicle in its side-mounted rearview mirrors.
    In determining whether to grant the petition and deciding how to 
substantively respond, NHTSA decided to solicit comment from the 
public. To this end, NHTSA issued a request for comments, which was 
later followed by an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM).

B. Request for Comments

    NHTSA published a notice in the Federal Register on June 17, 1996, 
seeking information on cross-view mirrors and other alternative rear 
object detection systems (61 FR 30586).\2\ We received six comments in 
response to that notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ This Request for Comments and the comments subsequently 
received are available in hard copy in Docket No. NHTSA-96-53. 
However, for ease of reference, the Request for Comments also has 
been included in the electronic docket for the present rulemaking 
(Docket No. NHTSA-2000-7967-25).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Commenters described a variety of available rear object detection 
devices, including both visual and non-visual systems. Visual systems 
include not only cross-view mirrors, but also video cameras mounted on 
the rear of the vehicle that are connected to a monitor in the occupant 
compartment. Existing non-visual systems include ultrasound, radar, 
microwave, and infrared sensor mechanisms, which detect an object and 
provide an auditory signal to the driver that an obstruction is behind 
the vehicle, as well as audible alarms that sound whenever a vehicle is 
backing. These comments provided initial insights that helped NHTSA to 
direct the course of the rulemaking process.

C. Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    NHTSA issued an ANPRM on November 27, 2000, to gather further data 
on key issues related to rear object detection (65 FR 70681).\3\ In 
addition to a request for general comments, the ANPRM posed twenty 
specific questions for public input, which were broken down into four 
main categories: (1) Questions concerning rear cross-view mirrors; (2) 
questions concerning rear video systems; (3) questions concerning other 
rear object detection systems, and (4) other questions. Generally, the 
cross-view mirror questions concerned the size, design, and placement 
of mirrors, the size of the detection area behind the vehicle, the use 
and capabilities of exterior, audible back-up alarms (as an alternative 
to mirrors), and test procedures. The rear video systems questions 
sought input regarding image size, display color, screen size and 
location, need for a system failure alert, possible conflicts with 
State laws against video screens/monitors in view of the driver, and 
test procedures.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Docket No. NHTSA-2000-7967-1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The questions pertaining to other rear object detection systems 
asked about the capabilities and limitations of these non-visual 
systems, including efforts to increase the range of sensors so that 
they are effective at higher backing speeds. These questions also 
raised the issue of how to craft test procedures that would ensure the 
accuracy and reliability of non-visual systems under a variety of 
environmental conditions. The ``other'' category of questions asked 
whether manufacturers who have installed rear visibility systems have 
experienced significant property damage prevention benefits, whether 
this area should be regulated by the Federal government or the States, 
whether and how subcategories of vehicles should be defined, and 
whether existing commercial trucks in the applicable weight range 
should be required to be retrofitted with rear object detection 
systems.

D. Comments on the ANPRM

    NHTSA received fourteen comments in response to the ANPRM, 
including submissions from trade associations, automobile and rear 
object detection system manufacturers, fleet operators, organized 
labor, a State agency, and individuals.\4\ In addition to responding to 
the questions posed in the ANPRM, commenters also raised a variety of 
issues, including scope of the regulatory requirement, potential 
exclusions, alternatives to regulation, maintenance and training 
requirements, and preemption. The following discussion summarizes the 
comments received on the ANPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Comments were received from: (1) The National Private Truck 
Council (NPTC); (2) the American Trucking Associations (ATA); (3) 
the Towing and Recovery Association of America (TRAA); (4) the 
National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA); (5) Ford Motor Company 
(Ford); (6) Sheffield Partners LLC (Sheffield); (7) Rostra Precision 
Controls, Inc. (Rostra); (8) Reliant Energy (Reliant); (9) ABC 
Supply Co., Inc. (ABC); (10) Federal Express Corporation (FedEx); 
(11) the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Teamsters); (12) 
the New York Department of Transportation (NYDOT); (13) the Nevada 
Automotive Test Center (NATC); and (14) Ronald G. Silc. These 
comments can be found in Docket No. NHTSA-2000-7967.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scope and Exclusions
    NHTSA received a range of views regarding the scope of a regulation 
for rear object detection systems. Several commenters advocated 
narrowing coverage due to purported unsuitability of or lack of 
necessity for such systems on certain vehicles. For example, ATA stated 
that a ``one-size-fits-all'' approach would not be successful, because 
there is too much diversity in equipment and operations. NTEA stated 
that the rear object detection standard should only apply to ``standard 
type vehicles.''
    Commenters also offered numerous suggestions for vehicles which 
they believe should be excluded from the requirements of an amended 
standard, including tow trucks, car carriers, flat beds, stake trucks, 
dump trucks, tradesmen's and mechanic's bodies, platform bodies, tank 
trucks, any vehicle equipped with a crane or aerial device operating in 
a rotational manner, and other special units.
    Other commenters, such as NYDOT, urged NHTSA to expand coverage of 
the standard to include lighter vehicles commonly used in residential 
deliveries (e.g., trucks with a GVWR of 6,500 lbs. to 16,000 lbs.). 
NATC suggested that other vehicles with large blind spots (e.g., 
windowless vans and light trucks with campers or canopy shells) may 
also be suitable for coverage under a revised FMVSS No. 111. These 
recommended changes could bring some passenger vehicles within the 
ambit of the rule. NYDOT suggested consideration of a phase-in period 
to permit earlier implementation of requirements for trucks that can 
readily be equipped with existing technology.
    In response to the questions about retrofitting, commenters 
expressed divergent views. NYDOT urged NHTSA to take the lead on 
retrofitting of existing vehicles so that there would not be a 
patchwork of remedial activities by the 50 States. Others, such as ABC,

[[Page 53756]]

opposed retrofitting, stating that retrofitting its entire fleet would 
be a ``very lengthy and costly operation.''
Rearview Mirrors
    Regarding rearview mirrors, the commenters generally agreed with 
NHTSA's tentative determination that cross-view mirrors should be 
placed no more than 5 meters (approximately 16 feet) from the driver's 
side rear view mirror, as the image size arguably becomes too small 
beyond this distance to be useful to the driver. However, ATA urged 
greater clarity in how NHTSA would measure the distance between the two 
mirrors.
    Commenters also discussed the issue of trucks that are particularly 
long or high, thereby posing greater challenges in terms of rear object 
detection. For example, FedEx expressed concerns about situations where 
the height of a truck is so great that a top-mounted cross-view mirror 
is not visible in the side mirror. NYDOT stated that some trucks 
approaching 11,793 kg (26,000 pounds) may exceed the length where it 
would be feasible to use a cross-view mirror system, but it urged the 
agency to maintain some alternative rear object detection requirement 
for such vehicles.
    In the ANPRM, we requested comments on whether a 3 m by 3 m 
detection area behind a vehicle would be adequate. Some commenters 
suggested alternative detection zones that would be either larger or 
asymmetrical, but they did not provide a strong rationale or data to 
support their position. However, ATA and Ford suggested that NHTSA's 
estimation of the backing speed used to calculate the detection zone 
(i.e., 3 mph) underestimates actual backing speeds. These organizations 
stated that a reasonable estimate of backing speeds could be in the 5 
mph to 8 mph range.
Rear Video Systems
    Commenters likewise expressed a range of views on rear video 
systems. Some commenters, such as ABC, expressed concern about the 
expense of this technology. Other commenters, such as the Teamsters, 
specifically requested that NHTSA adopt a performance standard that 
would permit use of video systems.
    Reliant argued that the presence of a video camera may encourage 
theft (presumably of the camera), but NATC made the argument that video 
cameras and rear mirrors may deter theft of items from the back of the 
vehicle when stopped.
    In terms of the image presented by a rear video system, commenters 
suggested that an acceptable size for a screen may be as small as 3.8 
cm (1.5 inches) on the diagonal and as large as 25.4 cm (10 inches) on 
the diagonal. NATC stated that the size of the screen needed will 
depend upon the placement of the monitor relative to the driver's 
seating position. Reliant expressed concern about placing a video 
monitor in a truck's ``already full'' cab.
    Varying views were expressed regarding screen color for rear video 
monitors. Mr. Silc stated that military-green monitors are more 
efficient than black-and-white monitors and that they provide three-
times better contrast to the human eye and greater visibility. However, 
NATC reasoned that a black-and-white screen would be sufficient, 
because color would be lost in strong daylight and a black-and-white 
screen's contrast would be helpful in distinguishing objects and 
movement.
    Regarding placement for the video screen, one suggestion was to 
have the monitor in a location similar to a car's rearview mirror, 
where the driver's eyes can constantly be glancing at it. NATC urged 
NHTSA to conduct human factors analysis to determine the optimal 
placement of the monitor in the truck cab.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ We note that NHTSA has defined and is conducting an 
innovative, detailed human factors analysis to understand driver 
requirements for indirect viewing surfaces in the cabs of heavy 
trucks. Related static and dynamic testing was initiated in 2004 and 
is expected to be completed in 2005. The results from this testing 
will assist the agency in defining a performance specification to be 
used to evaluate various indirect viewing technologies in future cab 
designs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA received conflicting viewpoints regarding the need for a 
system failure alert for the rear video system. Mr. Silc stated that it 
is unnecessary, arguing that if the screen is black, the system is 
either turned off or malfunctioning, and that either situation would be 
easily detectable by the driver. In contrast, the Teamsters supported 
use of a failure alert, expressing concern that the image of the 
monitor must reflect in real time the area behind the truck.
    In response to the ANPRM's questions about State laws regulating 
the existence and use of video monitors/screens in the occupant 
compartment which are in view of the driver, ATA stated that such 
restrictions are similar to those contained in Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Regulation (FMCSR) 393.88. That provision specifically prohibits 
monitors that are in view of the driver that can receive a television 
signal or can be used to view video tapes. However, such prohibitions 
would not be applicable here, where the image presented only displays 
the area to the rear of the vehicle for backing purposes and where 
auxiliary video input connections are missing.
Audible Backup Alarms
    The ANPRM asked a number of questions regarding the efficacy of 
audible backup alarms and whether trucks equipped with OSHA-specified 
alarms should be excluded from the standard's new performance 
requirements. Some commenters such as NATC and ATA favored exclusion of 
such vehicles, arguing that audible backup alarms provide an effective 
warning for most pedestrians. As an added benefit, commenters stated 
that those systems are relatively easy to maintain.
    However, other commenters pointed out significant limitations 
associated with backup alarm systems. NYDOT stated that young children, 
who account for a disproportionate number of the fatalities and 
injuries related to backing crashes, may not understand or be able to 
properly respond to such alarms. Rostra stated that auditory backup 
alarms do not work adequately with the hearing impaired, and the 
Teamsters added that the elderly may also experience problems with such 
systems (e.g., due to decreased mobility, hearing impairment). Reliant 
added that these alarms can be turned off and that drivers may forget 
to turn them on again, and it also stated that residential customers 
frequently complain about loud backing alarms on trucks used at night.
Other Non-Visual Rear Object Detection Systems
    Commenters expressed a range of views about the efficacy of a 
variety of non-visual rear object detection systems, such as those 
utilizing sonar and infrared technology. The Teamsters stated that 
manufacturers should be permitted to use non-visual systems as well as 
visual systems for rear object detection. NPTC argued that additional 
data are required on the effectiveness of devices other than mirrors, 
before such non-visual systems would be suitable as compliance options. 
Offering yet another possible approach, Federal Express confirmed that 
its vehicles are equipped with sonar backing systems used in concert 
with cross-view mirrors.
    Comments also were received regarding the timing of the alert and 
detection capabilities provided by non-visual systems. Rostra stated 
that detection time should be derived from the distance of a calibrated 
test object; the speed of the alert would depend upon the distance from 
the sensor and the vehicle's closing speed vis-[agrave]-vis the object. 
Ford stated that typical latency times for radar and ultrasonic systems

[[Page 53757]]

are approximately 250-400 milliseconds (ms), but it added that a 
system's alert time could be increased by relying on multiple sensors 
to validate that the system is detecting a ``true'' target. In this 
context, commenters again raised concerns that NHTSA's assumption of a 
3 mph backing speed may be an underestimation.
    Ford also stated that surface characteristics are very complex in 
the real world and that the reflective characteristics of irregular 
surfaces are infinite. Because of this inability of non-visual systems 
to detect all objects, Ford argued that NHTSA must specify a limited 
number of objectively defined obstacles for any certification test.
Equipment Damage
    The ANPRM also asked questions about potential damage to various 
rear object detection systems. Some commenters, such as Reliant, argued 
that mirrors are high maintenance items due to breakage and theft. 
Others suggested that damage inflicted by dirt, mud, rocks, brush, and 
limbs could limit the mirrors' effectiveness. ATA stated that while 
rear detection systems could be damaged by vibration and shock, it 
believes that these systems could be designed to withstand most of 
these conditions.
Testing
    In response to questions about test procedures for the potential 
new rear object detection provisions, commenters generally urged NHTSA 
to conduct testing under as many different conditions as possible under 
which objects would be difficult to detect. Regarding mirrors, NATC 
stated that test procedures should utilize objects of various sizes, 
colors, heights, and positions, and the organization urged NHTSA to 
conduct testing under rugged conditions (e.g., vibration, humidity, and 
extreme high and low temperatures).
    For non-visual rear object detection systems, commenters stated 
that a well-defined and objective standard and test methodology are 
even more important, including specification of the size and shape of 
objects to be detected in such tests. Ford suggested use of the 
standard pole target developed by the International Organization for 
Standardization (ISO), which the company has used since 1996 for 
testing both its ultrasonic and radar systems. Furthermore, both Rostra 
and NATC stated their belief that environmental conditions should be 
specified as part of any performance test for non-visual systems under 
the standard. Factors such as temperature, rain, snow, humidity, dirt, 
driving surfaces, submersion, and mounting surfaces were specifically 
mentioned as potentially affecting such systems' detection 
capabilities.
Costs and Benefits
    Commenters provided varying estimates regarding the cost of cross-
view mirrors, ranging from $80-$160 per truck (depending upon whether 
one or two mirrors are required). ATA stated that NHTSA should factor 
in the potentially frequent damage to cross-view mirrors from a variety 
of sources over the life of the vehicle when determining the cost of 
the regulation. Figures were not provided regarding the cost of rear 
video systems, although NATC expressed doubt regarding the availability 
of such systems for as little as $200, a figure mentioned in the ANPRM.
    Rostra provided some figures to put the economic costs of backing 
crashes in perspective, stating that back-up accidents cost U.S. 
drivers over $1.3 billion per year. Sheffield qualitatively described 
the benefits of a rear object detection system as including reduction 
in equipment damage, repair costs, insurance rates, and downtime.
    According to Rostra, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 
(IIHS) tested six mid-size SUVs in crashes at 5 mph and found that only 
two of them suffered less than $5,000 in damages during four crash 
tests. Rostra stated that the cost of an object detection system is 
often less than the cost of the insurance deductible incurred when 
there is a collision. NATC suggested that the insurance industry could 
participate in encouraging the use of these systems through monetary 
incentives (presumably a reduction in premiums).
Federal vs. State Regulation
    The ANPRM asked whether it would be better to allow States to 
address the safety problem associated with backing trucks, because the 
States routinely regulate vehicles in use and regulate by type of use. 
ABC argued that due to frequent and regular interstate movement of 
truck traffic, requirements for rear detection systems should be 
addressed at the Federal level, asserting that a patchwork of differing 
individual State standards would render compliance extremely difficult.
Need for a Requirement
    There were differences of opinion among the commenters as to the 
need to amend FMVSS No. 111 to set a requirement for rear object 
detection. Some commenters, such as Reliant, NATC, and the Teamsters, 
expressed support for a performance standard for backing vehicles, 
although there was not any consensus regarding the best approach for 
such standard (e.g., suggestions provided for various technologies or 
driver-based backing programs). Other commenters, such as NPTC, ATA, 
and FedEx opposed a federal requirement for rear object detection, 
recommending instead that NHTSA support voluntary programs that leave 
improvements to the discretion of the fleet operators.
Training and Recordkeeping
    Several commenters raised the issue of driver back-up training, 
either as a supplement to or substitute for rear object detection 
systems under the standard. The Teamsters recommended a requirement for 
employers to develop and implement procedures for drivers to follow in 
the event that rear object detection technology fails or is damaged, 
and they also supported required maintenance and recordkeeping for the 
system. ATA favored voluntary training (and possible operations 
restrictions) for drivers as the remedy for backing problems, stating 
that without appropriate training, drivers simply ignore rear object 
detection systems and their images.
FMCSA Regulations/Funding
    NYDOT expressed concern that if NHTSA amends FMVSS No. 111, FMCSA 
would deem State requirements for cross-view mirrors or other rear 
object detection devices to be a burden on interstate commerce that 
would create a breach of the conditions for States to receive Motor 
Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) funding. For example, New 
York State's earlier proposed legislation related to rear object 
detection was vetoed by the Governor because it was determined to be 
incompatible with a FMCSA regulation, thereby jeopardizing millions of 
dollars of FMCSA grants.
    NYDOT stated that if NHTSA cannot persuade FMCSA to change its 
regulations, NHTSA should specify parameters for State action so that 
States may avoid loss of MCSAP funding. Several commenters stated that 
NHTSA should clearly articulate whether and to what extent a revised 
FMVSS No. 111 preempts State requirements related to rear object 
detection.
    NTEA commented that if NHTSA does proceed with a rulemaking for 
rear object detection, it should convince the FMCSA to issue a 
regulation requiring vehicle owners to properly maintain the system 
when the vehicle is in use. Otherwise, NTEA argues, the standard alone 
would have little effect,

[[Page 53758]]

particularly in light of the potential for damage and misalignment.

III. Size of the Safety Problem

A. Number of Injuries and Fatalities

    In order to determine an appropriate regulatory response, NHTSA 
undertook an analysis designed to ascertain the size of the backing 
problem by gathering data on the annual number of incidents of people 
being backed over by a motor vehicle of any size or type, both on-road 
and off-road (e.g., in parking lots, driveways). The data were then 
analyzed further to determine, to the extent possible, the number of 
incidents attributable to straight trucks.
    Since the time of the ANPRM, our analysis has been refined to 
incorporate additional data. NHTSA analyzed 1999 Fatality Analysis 
Reporting System (FARS) data, 2000-2001 National Electronic Injury 
Surveillance System (NEISS) data, and 1995-1999 General Estimates 
System (GES) data. Generally, we found that backing injuries and 
fatalities remain a matter of ongoing concern, despite changes in the 
vehicle population and technology.
    The following are the highlights of our findings regarding injuries 
and fatalities associated with backing of straight trucks. Data suggest 
that straight trucks involved in backing incidents result annually in 
an estimated 79 fatalities. This figure represents 13 on-road 
fatalities and an estimated 66 off-road fatalities. In addition, data 
suggest that there are annually about 148 injuries attributable to 
backing straight trucks. We believe that these figures provide a 
conservative estimate of the problem, because many workplace incidents, 
a potentially significant source of backing injuries and fatalities, 
may go unreported.
    A more detailed summary of our findings is provided below, 
including the details and methodology related to the above statistics. 
However, for a more complete discussion of the fatality and injury data 
related to this proposal, please consult the Preliminary Regulatory 
Evaluation (PRE) that has been placed in the docket for this 
rulemaking.

1. Fatality Data

    To obtain a general understanding of fatalities associated with 
backing vehicles at the time of the ANPRM, the agency gathered data on 
the annual number of incidents of people being backed over by a motor 
vehicle of any type or size. (Fatality and injuries specifically 
attributable to straight trucks are discussed subsequently.) To this 
end, we initially reviewed FARS data for 1991 to 1997. The FARS data 
system contains information on all fatal traffic crashes within the 50 
States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. This search found a 
total of 381 backing fatalities for all vehicle types over this time 
period, or approximately 54 fatalities per year. To verify the accuracy 
of the 1991 to 1997 data, the agency later analyzed 1999 FARS data, 
which revealed 58 backing fatalities.
    However, by design, a fatality is included in the FARS database 
only if a motor vehicle is involved in a crash while traveling on a 
roadway customarily open to the public. Thus, FARS excludes other 
likely scenarios for backing fatalities, such as events where someone 
is backed over in a driveway, parking lot, or in a workplace such as a 
warehouse or construction site.
    We believe it is also important to consider off-road fatalities 
because on-road fatalities only represent a part of the problem in 
terms of backing-related incidents. Moreover, we believe that off-road 
backing fatalities represent a significant portion of the total 
fatalities that the agency is seeking to address under this rulemaking 
and should not be excluded.
    To ascertain the number of off-road backing fatalities, the agency 
worked with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) to gather 
data on these incidents. NCHS and NHTSA initiated a study utilizing 
1998 death certificates in order to confirm the agency's information 
regarding the frequency of backing-related fatalities. The report is 
based on 4,046 death certificates out of an estimated 5,500 cases from 
1998, sampled from 35 states and the District of Columbia. As of May of 
2004, the death certificate study is complete and available in the 
agency's public docket (Docket Number NHTSA-2000-7967-22). This study 
reported 91 fatalities occurring in 1998 due to backing vehicles (15 
on-road and 76 off-road fatalities). Although the fatality data from 
the joint NCHS-NHTSA study do not represent a national value nor can 
they be extrapolated to one, we have assumed that the percent 
distribution between on- and off-road backing fatalities is 
representative of what is currently occurring nationally (i.e., 16.48% 
on-road fatalities and 83.52% off-road fatalities). Based upon that 
assumption, we applied the on-road/off-road percentage distribution 
from the death certificate study to the national sample represented by 
the FARS data, from which we estimate that annually, there are 276 off-
road backing fatalities.

2. Injury Data

    In addition to fatality data, NHTSA conducted an inquiry into the 
number of non-fatal injuries associated with backing crashes. This 
analysis relied upon information drawn from the National Electronic 
Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) and GES databases. However, because 
these two databases overlap, it is not possible to sum the results to 
directly determine an annual total of such injuries. Nevertheless, the 
available information demonstrates that there are a significant number 
of non-motorist injuries that are attributable to backing vehicles.
    The NEISS database, the first source of injury data considered, is 
a statistically valid injury surveillance and follow-back system that 
has been operated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for 
nearly thirty years. The system's primary purpose has been to provide 
timely data on consumer product-related injuries occurring in the U.S. 
NEISS injury data are gathered from the emergency departments of 100 
hospitals selected as a probability sample of the more than 5,300 U.S. 
hospitals with emergency departments. Surveillance data enable CPSC 
analysts to generate national estimates of the number of injuries.
    During the course of this rulemaking, NHTSA funded a study of the 
July-December 2000 NEISS file, which showed 64 cases in which a 
pedestrian or a pedalcyclist was injured by a backing vehicle. These 
are the first relevant data available since the NEISS was expanded to 
include injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes. This data sample 
translates into a six-month national estimate of 3,556 injuries. To 
determine whether this number may be summed for an annual estimate, we 
also examined the January-June 2001 NEISS file. The 2001 file showed 75 
cases where a non-motorist was injured by a backing vehicle, which 
translates into an estimated 3,863 national injuries over that six-
month period. Because there is only a small difference between the 
estimates, we believe that the rate of non-motorist backing injuries is 
fairly constant over the course of the year. Therefore, summing the two 
injury figures for the six-month periods, we estimate 7,419 annual 
injuries to non-motorists are attributable to backing injuries. The GES 
injury data will be discussed subsequently, in the context of the data 
related specifically to straight trucks.

3. Workplace Data

    We are also concerned about backing-related injuries and fatalities 
that may

[[Page 53759]]

occur at the workplace, which may not be captured in other databases 
for various reasons. Consequently, we examined the Occupational Safety 
and Health Administration's (OSHA) Web site, which documents at least 
15 fatalities with the cause listed as being crushed between a backing 
vehicle and a loading dock. The OSHA Web site also includes over 50 
reports of workers being killed by backing vehicles.\6\ OSHA has not 
performed a study to catalog all backing-related fatalities in the 
workplace, so it is not possible to definitively characterize the 
extent of the problem in the workplace environment. However, the 
anecdotal data assembled by OSHA document the existence and nature of a 
safety concern.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ These cases were identified by searching OSHA's Accident 
Investigation Search database and by entering appropriate key words. 
See http://www.osha.gov/cgi-bin/inv/invl.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Another area of concern is construction sites. Under 29 CFR Part 
1926, Health and Safety Regulations for Construction, OSHA has issued 
requirements for back-up alarms on vehicles and equipment used in 
construction in order to address the issue of backing injuries/
fatalities, unless someone is standing to the rear to direct the 
backing vehicle. However, OSHA was unable to provide any statistical 
data regarding the effectiveness of the required systems.
    Many backing crashes that occur in the workplace may go unreported 
to police, because they are handled privately by the businesses 
involved. In those cases, important incidence data may fail to be 
included in the FARS or NCHS databases, so the statistics generated 
from those sources may underestimate the actual backing problem. NHTSA 
would be interested in additional information on the backing crashes 
encountered in the workplace.
    As further indication of a backing problem, we are aware that 
several major employers with extensive truck fleets have begun 
equipping their vehicles with rear object detection systems, although 
we do not have firm figures regarding implementation on a national 
scale. For example, United Parcel Service (UPS) installed video 
monitoring systems on its entire fleet of 65,000 delivery trucks by 
October 2001. Similarly, the United States Postal Service (USPS) and 
Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) have equipped their vehicles 
with cross-view mirrors, and FedEx has installed both cross-view 
mirrors and sonar-based rear object detection systems on its vehicles. 
Further, NHTSA has learned that some trucks equipped with rear video 
systems also come with an audio feed, which place a microphone near the 
rear of a vehicle that is connected to a speaker near the driver. Such 
audio feed would allow an unnoticed person in the path of a backing 
vehicle to yell to alert the driver as to that person's presence. While 
these companies were undoubtedly concerned with backing crashes that 
occur on public and private roads, we understand that prevention of 
injuries and fatalities in loading and docking areas of worksites was 
also a factor in adopting such equipment.

B. Vehicle Type Involvement in Backing Crashes

    NHTSA has conducted research to determine the rate of involvement 
of specific types of vehicles in pedestrian and pedalcyclist backing 
fatalities, both on-road and off-road. As discussed below, NHTSA found 
that straight trucks are involved in a disproportionately high number 
of backing crashes resulting in pedestrian and pedalcyclist fatalities.
    For on-road incidents, the FARS data showed the following vehicle-
type involvement for 1991-1997 pedestrian and pedalcyclist backing 
fatalities:

Table 1.--Cumulative Number of Pedestrian and Pedalcyclist Fatalities in
           On-Road Backing Crashes (FARS Data From 1991-1997)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Number of
                     Vehicle type                          fatalities
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Passenger car........................................                129
Light truck/van......................................                139
Bus..................................................                  1
Straight truck over 4,536 kg GVWR....................                 81
Unknown truck over 4,536 kg GVWR.....................                 12
Combination truck....................................                 15
Other................................................                  2
Unknown..............................................                  2
                                                      ------------------
    Total............................................                381
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on the above FARS data, after distributing unknowns, we 
estimate straight trucks were involved in 92 on-road backing fatalities 
over the 7 year period, resulting in 13 fatalities per year. Thus, 
straight trucks were accountable for approximately 24% of the on-road 
backing fatalities during that period.
    Again, attributing the same percentage of backing incidents for 
straight trucks that occur on-road as occur off-road (as reflected in 
Table 1) yields 66 annual off-road fatalities (0.24 x 276). Summation 
of the on-road and off-road fatalities yields 79 annual fatalities 
attributable to backing straight trucks.
    Turning to the injury data specific to straight trucks, we examined 
the data from the GES, which include only injuries incurred in police-
reported incidents. GES data overlap the previously discussed NEISS 
data, which record both police-reported incidents as well as unreported 
incidents. Therefore, the GES data on backing-related injury crashes 
are probably not representative of all backing-related injury crashes, 
because the data do not include information about injuries from backing 
maneuvers in private areas such as driveways, parking lots, and work 
sites.
    Nevertheless, the GES data are useful for other reasons. First, the 
GES data break down accidents by both vehicle type and maneuver, so it 
is possible to determine the percentage of non-fatal backing injuries 
attributable to straight trucks (approximately two percent). We expect 
that the percentage of backing injuries for straight trucks would not 
change significantly from year to year. Further, we believe that the 
proportion of backing injuries attributable to straight trucks in the 
GES data and the NEISS data are comparable, so

[[Page 53760]]

extrapolating to the larger NEISS database, the number of backing 
injuries attributable to straight trucks would translate into 
approximately 148 injuries per year (i.e., two percent of the 7,419 
total injuries).
    The Preliminary Regulatory Evaluation accompanying this notice 
estimates the severity of these injuries attributable to backing 
straight trucks, based upon the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS). AIS is 
an anatomically-based system that classifies individual injuries by 
body region on a six-point ordinal scale of risk to life, with the MAIS 
score being the maximum injury level(s) an individual receives.\7\ 
According to the PRE, of the anticipated annual backing injuries, there 
are expected to be 120 MAIS-1 injuries, 19 MAIS-2 injuries, 7 MAIS-3 
injuries, and 1 MAIS-4 injury (difference of 1 injury due to rounding). 
Please consult the PRE for a more complete discussion of backing injury 
severity levels (see Chapter III).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ The AIS system scores injuries based upon the following 
levels: AIS-1 (minor injury); AIS-2 (moderate injury); AIS-3 
(serious injury); AIS-4 (severe injury); AIS-5 (critical injury), 
and AIS-6 (maximum injury). National Accident Sampling System, 1993 
Crashworthiness Data System, Injury Coding Manual, (January 1993) 
(DOT HS 807 969).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    However, we believe that the figures for cumulative number of 
backing crashes and the absolute number of fatalities do not provide a 
complete picture of the problem. Instead, one must consider the 
relative risk posed by different types of vehicles. We have used the 
number of vehicles in the fleet and the miles driven to calculate the 
rate of backing deaths for different vehicle types. This calculation 
was based upon estimates of registered vehicles and vehicle miles 
traveled information. As demonstrated in Table 2 below, straight trucks 
are significantly overrepresented in backing crashes resulting in 
pedestrian and pedalcyclist fatalities.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ Since the time of the ANPRM, NHTSA discovered a number of 
minor errors in its statistical data related to vehicle type 
involvement in backing crashes. These errors were corrected prior to 
incorporating the relevant information in this notice.

  Table 2.--Rate of On-Road Fatal Backing Crashes (Cumulative FARS Data
                             From 1991-1997)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Pedestrians and    Pedestrians and
                                      pedalcyclists      pedalcyclists
                                       killed by a        killed by a
           Vehicle type              backing vehicle    backing vehicle
                                       per million      per 100 billion
                                        registered       vehicle miles
                                         vehicles           traveled
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Passenger cars....................               1.05               1.26
Light trucks/vans.................               2.32               2.80
Combination trucks................               9.94               2.21
Straight trucks over 4,356 kg GVWR              29.68              21.89
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 2 provides the rate of pedestrians and pedalcyclists killed 
by straight trucks while backing is 21.89 per 100 billion vehicle miles 
traveled, and 29.68 per million registered vehicles. This risk is 
significantly higher than that for passenger vehicles (i.e., combining 
categories of passenger cars and light trucks/vans). Based upon this 
analysis, straight trucks stand out as a significant risk in terms of 
backing incidents.
    In its comments on the ANPRM, ATA expressed disagreement with the 
agency's assessment of the size of the backing problem, arguing that 
NHTSA did not quantify accurately the relative hazard associated with 
each vehicle type in its risk conversion. ATA argued that considering 
the number of pedestrians and pedalcyclists killed by a backing vehicle 
per million registered vehicles ``will certainly overstate the rate for 
straight and combination trucks relative to passenger cars and light 
trucks because of the fewer number of commercial vehicles'' and that it 
does not take into account the number of backings that these vehicles 
perform. For the same reasons, ATA objected to NHTSA's analysis of the 
number of backing-related deaths by different vehicle types per 100 
billion vehicle miles traveled.
    Instead, ATA argued that it is more likely that straight trucks 
used for deliveries to businesses back up more as a percentage of miles 
driven than do passenger cars and light trucks. According to ATA, 
because straight trucks are typically utilized in local delivery 
operations and can make several deliveries per day, drivers are 
required to perform several backing operations per day. For this 
reason, ATA stated that straight trucks are likely to have a higher 
number of backings as a percentage of miles driven than private 
vehicles. Conversely, ATA argued that straight trucks used in home 
delivery settings, by practice, avoid backing up. This practice led ATA 
to believe that vehicles used in this manner are likely to have fewer 
backings related to miles traveled. Based upon these theories, ATA 
concluded that straight and combination trucks are likely to be safer 
relative to other types of vehicles.
    We do not agree with ATA's rationale regarding quantification of 
relative hazard. If it is true, as ATA argues, that straight trucks are 
likely to back up more often than other types of vehicles, we believe 
that straight trucks, based upon their vehicle type, would be expected 
to present a greater risk in terms of backing incidents. As a result, 
we would expect that installation of a rear object detection system on 
straight trucks, more than on any other vehicle type, would reduce 
backing-related risks.
    Furthermore, it is important to note that the number of pedestrians 
and pedalcyclists killed by straight trucks while backing, per 100 
billion vehicle miles traveled, is eight to seventeen times greater 
than for passenger vehicles. If straight trucks used in deliveries to 
homes avoid backing, it is logical to assume that an inordinate amount 
of fatalities involve straight trucks making business deliveries. When 
one considers that large fleet carriers such as UPS, the U.S. Postal 
Service, and FedEx, have all equipped their vehicles with rear object 
detection systems, we are even more convinced that the remaining 
straight trucks are overrepresented in the data.
    In addition, there is a fundamental difference between straight 
trucks and passenger vehicles, namely the fact that most straight 
trucks have a large blind spot directly behind the vehicle. Passenger 
vehicles, which usually have interior rearview mirrors and rear 
windows, generally have a more direct view of this area. Thus, 
passenger vehicle backing incidents are most likely to result from 
driver error,

[[Page 53761]]

pedestrian/pedalcyclist error, or some combination thereof, problems 
without a clear remedy. However, in the case of straight trucks, 
visibility behind the vehicle is an objective problem amenable to 
amelioration through a regulatory requirement for a rear object 
detection system.

C. Other Data and Summary

    NHTSA has considered comments in response to its APRM related to 
the number of victims of backing crashes. NYDOT commented that New York 
State has recorded 14,349 backing crashes involving trucks with an 
enclosed or walk-in delivery bay that resulted in 35 deaths and 5,393 
injuries between 1990 and 1999; these crashes also were said to have 
resulted in 8,921 instances of property damage.
    Based upon the totality of the above information, we believe that 
there is a demonstrated backing problem associated with straight trucks 
resulting in a significant number of injuries and fatalities. These 
backing incidents occur on public roads, in private locations, and in 
workplace settings. While our existing data are most complete for on-
road backing fatalities and injuries, preliminary data suggest that the 
problem is even greater in off-road locations, including private 
locations and in workplace settings.

IV. Agency Proposal

A. Summary of Proposal

    To address the identified problem of backing-related deaths and 
injuries associated with straight trucks, NHTSA is proposing to amend 
FMVSS No. 111, Rearview Mirrors, to require straight trucks with a GVWR 
of between 4,536 kg (10,000 pounds) and 11,793 kg (26,000 pounds) to be 
equipped with either a cross-view mirror or rear video system in order 
to provide the driver with a visual image of a 3 m by 3 m area 
immediately behind the vehicle. However, this requirement would not 
apply to those trucks for which the detection area is already visible 
through existing mirrors already required under the standard.
    The NPRM sets out proposed requirements for each of these two 
compliance options, as well as test procedures suitable for each 
option. However, in light of concerns regarding the feasibility of 
attaching rear object detection systems on certain types of trucks, we 
are requesting comments on categories of vehicles that the agency 
should consider excluding from the requirements of a final rule.
    We propose that the requirements would be effective for new 
vehicles covered under the standard that are manufactured one year or 
later after publication of a final rule. However, we are also seeking 
public comment to help determine whether requirements for a rear object 
detection system should be extended to vehicles in other weight classes 
and whether existing commercial straight trucks should be required to 
be retrofitted, as part of a future rulemaking.

B. Compliance Options

    In developing our proposed performance standard for rear object 
detection, NHTSA carefully considered a range of technologies. NHTSA 
examined both visual systems (e.g., cross-view mirrors and video 
cameras) and non-visual systems (e.g., sonar/infrared devices and 
audible back-up alarms) in order to evaluate their efficacy in 
preventing backing-related injuries and fatalities.
    We believe that primary responsibility for object detection should 
be placed upon the driver, such that the driver has visible 
confirmation that the pathway is clear before backing; non-visual 
systems, by their nature, cannot provide such confirmation. 
Consequently, we are proposing two visual systems as compliance 
options, one for cross-view mirrors and another for rear video systems.

1. Cross-View Mirrors

    Under proposed Option 1, vehicle manufacturers would be required to 
install rear cross-view mirrors on covered vehicles so as to provide a 
3 m by 3 m field of view of the area directly behind the vehicle. 
NHTSA's research has determined that a 3 m by 3 m area is the maximum 
detection zone that could be provided by a cross-view mirror system, 
but one which we believe would be adequate in light of the standard's 
safety objective.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ ``Read Cross-view Mirror Performance: Perception and Optical 
Measurements,'' WESTAT (November 1998) (Docket No. NHSTA-2000-7967-
18).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Selection of the proposed detection zone was based upon study 
results that found typical backing speeds to be 3.3 mph.\10\ However, 
as discussed earlier, commenters suggested that the agency's 
assumptions regarding backing speed have underestimated real world 
experience, although data were not provided to demonstrate this point. 
If new data show that backing speeds have been significantly 
underestimated, this may necessitate extension of the proposed rearward 
field of view requirement. Because cross-view mirrors are not effective 
in providing a field of view beyond the 3 m by 3 m zone currently 
proposed, a change in calculation of backing speeds may preclude 
adoption of this technology as a compliance option and instead result 
in adoption of a requirement for a video camera, a device that does not 
possess the same field of view limitations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ Id. at 48.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As proposed, the cross-view mirror would work in conjunction with 
the outside rearview mirror on the driver's side of the vehicle, and 
the placement of the cross-view mirror would be such that the geometric 
centers of the two mirrors are separated by no more than 5 m. We have 
tentatively decided that 5 m is the furthest distance at which the 
mirror system could provide a meaningful image to the driver of any 
object behind the vehicle, a position with which commenters generally 
agreed.\11\ Longer trucks that cannot meet this requirement for maximum 
distance between mirrors would be required to install a video system 
that complies with Option 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ This determination is based upon the findings of the WESTAT 
study, which reported diminished performance at the longest mirror 
separation distance tested (195 inches). ``Read Cross-view Mirror 
Performance: Perception and Optical Measurements,'' WESTAT (November 
1998) (Docket No. NHTSA-2000-7967-18).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Our proposal also sets out other proposed requirements which the 
cross-view mirror would be required to meet, including that it would be 
required to: (1) Have no discontinuities in the slope of its surface; 
(2) be adjustable both in the horizontal and vertical directions; (3) 
be installed on stable supports on the upper rear corner of the vehicle 
on the driver's side, and (4) have an average radius of curvature of no 
less than 203 mm as determined under paragraph S12 of existing FMVSS 
No. 111.
    In addition, we are proposing test requirements to ensure that the 
detection zone specified under the proposed standard would be met. The 
procedures to verify compliance with these requirements are modeled in 
part after the existing school bus mirror test required under paragraph 
S13 of FMVSS No. 111, which utilizes a number of cylinders to simulate 
objects in front of the vehicle that would be difficult or impossible 
to see without the aid of mirrors. The proposed testing procedure would 
utilize the driver eye location specified in the current school bus 
mirror test that is based on the 25th-percentile adult female template. 
The proposed rule would require that the entire top surface of all the 
cylinders located at the rear of the vehicle described in the test 
procedure be visible to the driver when those procedures are followed. 
In our

[[Page 53762]]

proposal, we have simplified the carryover school bus procedural 
dimensions being used, and we have provided tolerances when possible.
2. Rear Video Systems
    Under the second compliance option, a rear video system would be 
required. The minimum field of view would be the same as that specified 
for the cross-view mirror option (i.e., 3 m by 3 m).
    We are proposing several requirements for rear video systems. 
First, the system would be required to include a monitor that depicts a 
reversed image similar to what would be observed in a rearview mirror 
and which is mounted in full view of the driver. The monitor would be 
required to be mounted as close to the centerline of the vehicle as 
practicable near the top of the windshield, but located such that the 
distance from the center point of the eye location of a 25th-percentile 
adult female seated in the driver's seat to the center of the monitor 
is no more than 100 cm. We believe that it would be beneficial to place 
the monitor in a location that is similar to that of a rearview mirror 
in a passenger vehicle. Presumably, truck drivers have extensive 
personal experience in driving passenger vehicles, so they would be 
accustomed to checking for objects behind the vehicle in that location. 
Would there be any difficulty having the monitor too close, such that 
for drivers who need reading glasses, the image in the monitor would be 
unfocused?
    If the monitor's placement causes it to fall within the vehicle's 
head impact area, the mounting would be required to deflect, collapse, 
or break away when subjected to a force of 400 Newtons (N) in any 
forward direction that is not more than 45[deg] from the forward 
longitudinal direction, as is required for passenger car interior 
mirrors pursuant to S5.1.2 of FMVSS No. 111. We