Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Volvo Trucks of North America Application for an Exemption, 79412-79414 [2015-31972]

Download as PDF 79412 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 244 / Monday, December 21, 2015 / Notices that a safe and practicable protocol to allow some drivers with ITDM to operate CMVs is feasible. The September 3, 2003 (68 FR 52441), Federal Register notice in conjunction with the November 8, 2005 (70 FR 67777), Federal Register notice provides the current protocol for allowing such drivers to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. These 46 applicants have had ITDM over a range of 1 to 47 years. These applicants report no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness or seizure, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning symptoms, in the past 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the past 5 years. In each case, an endocrinologist verified that the driver has demonstrated a willingness to properly monitor and manage his/her diabetes mellitus, received education related to diabetes management, and is on a stable insulin regimen. These drivers report no other disqualifying conditions, including diabetes-related complications. Each meets the vision requirement at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). The qualifications and medical condition of each applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the August 6, 2015, Federal Register notice and they will not be repeated in this notice. III. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received no comments in this proceeding. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES IV. Basis for Exemption Determination Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption from the diabetes requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) if the exemption is likely to achieve an equivalent or greater level of safety than would be achieved without the exemption. The exemption allows the applicants to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. To evaluate the effect of these exemptions on safety, FMCSA considered medical reports about the applicants’ ITDM and vision, and reviewed the treating endocrinologists’ medical opinion related to the ability of the driver to safely operate a CMV while using insulin. Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these applicants from the diabetes requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the exemption. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:38 Dec 18, 2015 Jkt 238001 V. Conditions and Requirements The terms and conditions of the exemption will be provided to the applicants in the exemption document and they include the following: (1) That each individual submit a quarterly monitoring checklist completed by the treating endocrinologist as well as an annual checklist with a comprehensive medical evaluation; (2) that each individual reports within 2 business days of occurrence, all episodes of severe hypoglycemia, significant complications, or inability to manage diabetes; also, any involvement in an accident or any other adverse event in a CMV or personal vehicle, whether or not it is related to an episode of hypoglycemia; (3) that each individual provide a copy of the ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s report to the medical examiner at the time of the annual medical examination; and (4) that each individual provide a copy of the annual medical certification to the employer for retention in the driver’s qualification file, or keep a copy in his/her driver’s qualification file if he/she is selfemployed. The driver must also have a copy of the certification when driving, for presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement official. VI. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the 46 exemption applications, FMCSA exempts the following drivers from the diabetes requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), subject to the requirements cited above 949 CFR 391.64(b)): Earl H. Andreas (PA) Kristopher K. Bitting (PA) Eric A. Bouldin (TX) Joel K. Bredeson (WY) Clinton L. Carlaw, III (WI) Victor Carranza (IA) Steven A. Casavant (RI) Justin M. Coffey (RI) Steven W. Conrad, Jr. (PA) Jeremy L. Demar (MN) Anthony C. Eavenson (NM) Markie Q. Elsey (MD) Michael W. Finnegan (NJ) Gale A. Gallagher (IL) Scott E. Gallagher (VA) David L. Hareland (MN) J. Dale Hogrefe (MN) Moazzam Imtiaz (FL) Brian C. Kennerson (NH) Garrett P. Lockwood (IN) Sean P. McNally (AZ) Ryan A. McNaught (AZ) James S. Miller (PA) Paul R. Monfils (RI) Bryan Moser (AR) Richard G. Murman (PA) PO 00000 Frm 00111 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Anthony J. Nault (NH) Sammie J. Nazzise (UT) Doyle C. Owens (NM) Alvin W. Peck, Jr. (SD) Roy R. Phelps (CA) Loran L. Ragar (MO) Larry W. Reed (TN) Joey D. Renfrow (NC) Phillip J. Rigling (TN) Kenneth W. Romjue (OK) Robert T. Scott (OH) Larry Sherman (AR) John Smeal (PA) Ronald G. Smeltzer (IN) Randy E. Smith (PA) Curtis G. Taylor (WA) Jacob F.M. Tucker (UT) Jeremy D. Urbanosky (TX) Joseph T. Webb, Jr. (NH) Douglas L. Zerkle (OH) In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 each exemption is valid for two years unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be revoked if the following occurs: (1) The person fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained before it was granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315. If the exemption is still effective at the end of the 2-year period, the person may apply to FMCSA for a renewal under procedures in effect at that time. Issued on: December 9, 2015. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2015–31975 Filed 12–18–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2015–0239] Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Volvo Trucks of North America Application for an Exemption Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announces its decision to grant Volvo Trucks of North America’s (Volvo) application for a limited 2-year exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1) on behalf of motor carriers operating Volvo commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to use a rain and ambient light detection sensor mounted in the windshield area SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\21DEN1.SGM 21DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 244 / Monday, December 21, 2015 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES at a height lower than what is currently allowed by the regulation. The sensor is part of a hands-free driver aid equipment package intended to improve driver safety. The Agency has determined that the placement of the rain and ambient light detection sensor in the windshield area would not have an adverse impact on safety and that the terms and conditions of the exemption would achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety provided by the regulation. DATES: This exemption is effective December 21, 2015 and ending December 20, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Luke Loy, Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC–PSV, (202) 366–0676, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590– 0001. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments submitted to notice requesting public comments on the exemption application, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12–140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The online Federal document management system is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. The docket number is listed at the beginning of this notice. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from certain parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment on the request. The Agency reviews safety analyses and public comments submitted, and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:38 Dec 18, 2015 Jkt 238001 exemption, and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is granted. The notice must also specify the effective period and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)). Volvo’s Application for Exemption Volvo applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1) to allow the placement of a rain and ambient light detection sensor on Volvo CMVs lower in the windshield than is currently permitted by the Agency’s regulations in order to utilize a mounting location that allows the sensor to function correctly. A copy of the application is included in the docket referenced at the beginning of this notice. Section 393.60(e)(1) of the FMCSRs prohibits the obstruction of the driver’s field of view by devices mounted on the windshield. Antennas, transponders, and similar devices must not be mounted more than 152 mm (6 inches) below the upper edge of the windshield. These devices must be located outside the area swept by the windshield wipers, and outside the driver’s sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals. The application stated: Volvo is making this request so that it becomes possible to introduce a rain and ambient light detection sensor as an option on some Volvo commercial motor vehicles. In order for the sensor to function correctly, it must be installed in the wiper swept area of the windshield. This is due to the fact that an unswept portion of the windshield, which would not necessarily be kept clean and dry by the wipers, could make it difficult for the sensor to determine if the wipers are needed or not. The sensor, which is approximately 2.6 inches tall by 2.2 inches wide, would be placed on the passenger side of the windshield, outside the driver’s sight lines to all mirrors, highway signs, signals, and view of the road ahead. Therefore, we respectfully request an exemption to grant us permission to proceed with the installation of the sensor on the lower part of the windshield within the bottom 6 inches of the area swept by the wipers. . . This will enable Volvo to install this hands-free driver aid equipment for commercial motor vehicle operators while ensuring the adherence to the specified location requirements requested. . . Without the proposed exemption, Volvo stated that it will not be able to deploy the rain sensor and ambient light system in vehicle models because (1) its ‘‘customers will be fined for violating the current regulation,’’ and (2) ‘‘the rain and ambient light sensing system will not perform adequately and will not generate the hands-free driver aid benefits that would be expected.’’ PO 00000 Frm 00112 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 79413 The exemption would apply to all Volvo CMVs. Volvo believes that mounting the sensor lower in the windshield will allow it to function properly while maximizing the external view of the road and maintaining an adequate forward facing field of view for the driver. Comments FMCSA published a notice of the application in the Federal Register on July 24, 2015, and asked for public comment (80 FR 44186). The Agency received one comment from an anonymous commenter, supporting the exemption application. FMCSA Decision The FMCSA has evaluated the Volvo exemption application. The Agency believes that granting the temporary exemption to allow the placement of the rain and ambient light detection sensor lower in the windshield than is currently permitted by the Agency’s regulations will provide a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption because (1) based on the technical information available, there is no indication that the rain and ambient light detection sensor would obstruct drivers’ views of the roadway, highway signs and surrounding traffic; (2) generally, trucks and buses have an elevated seating position that greatly improves the forward visual field of the driver, and any impairment of available sight lines would be minimal; and (3) the location within the bottom 7 inches of the area swept by the windshield wiper 1 and out of the driver’s normal sightline will be reasonable and enforceable at roadside. In addition, the Agency believes that the use of rain and ambient light detection sensors by fleets is likely to improve the overall level of safety to the motoring public. This action is consistent with previous Agency action permitting the placement of similarly-sized devices on CMVs within the lower portion of the windshield within the bottom 7 inches of the wiper swept area. In March 2015, FMCSA granted a temporary exemption to Volvo/Prevost, LLC enabling the mounting of lane departure warning 1 In its exemption application, Volvo referenced two different mounting locations: ‘‘within the bottom 6 inches of the area swept by the wipers,’’ and ‘‘within 7 inches at the bottom of the wiper swept area of the windshield. FMCSA confirmed with the applicant, Mr. Tim LaFon, Volvo’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, that the top of the sensor will be located 160 mm (6.3 inches) from the bottom of the windshield. As such, the subject exemption permits mounting of the rain and ambient light detection sensor within the bottom 7 inches of the area swept by the wipers. E:\FR\FM\21DEN1.SGM 21DEN1 79414 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 244 / Monday, December 21, 2015 / Notices (LDW) system sensors not more than 7 inches above the lower edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers and outside the driver’s sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals (80 FR 13460). FMCSA is not aware of any evidence showing that the installation of the LDW system sensors has resulted in any degradation in safety. Terms and Conditions for the Exemption mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Preemption In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31313(d), as implemented by 49 CFR 381.600, during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation applicable to interstate commerce that conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a firm or person operating under the exemption. States may, but are not required to, adopt the same exemption with respect to operations in intrastate commerce. 17:38 Dec 18, 2015 Jkt 238001 [FR Doc. 2015–31972 Filed 12–18–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2015–0345] The Agency hereby grants the exemption for a 2-year period, beginning December 21, 2015 and ending December 20, 2017. During the temporary exemption period, motor carriers will be allowed to operate CMVs manufactured by Volvo equipped with rain and ambient light detection sensors placed on the lower part of the passenger side of the windshield within the bottom 7 inches of the area swept by the wipers, outside the driver’s sight lines to all mirrors, highway signs, signals, and view of the road ahead. The exemption will be valid for 2 years unless rescinded earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be rescinded if: (1) Motor carriers and/or commercial motor vehicles fail to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained before it was granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b). Interested parties possessing information that would demonstrate that motor carriers operating Volvo CMVs equipped with rain and ambient light sensors are not achieving the requisite statutory level of safety should immediately notify FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any such information and, if safety is being compromised or if the continuation of the exemption is not consistent with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), will take immediate steps to revoke the exemption. VerDate Sep<11>2014 Issued on: December 10, 2015. T.F. Scott Darling, III, Acting Administrator. Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of applications for exemptions; request for comments. AGENCY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 19 individuals for exemption from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. They are unable to meet the vision requirement in one eye for various reasons. The exemptions will enable these individuals to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce without meeting the prescribed vision requirement in one eye. If granted, the exemptions would enable these individuals to qualify as drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 20, 2016. All comments will be investigated by FMCSA. The exemptions will be issued the day after the comment period closes. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA– 2015–0345 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. Instructions: Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket numbers for this notice. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below for further information. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to http:// www.regulations.gov at any time or Room W12–140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want acknowledgment that we received your comments, please include a selfaddressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments on-line. Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL–14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christine A. Hydock, Chief, Medical Programs Division, (202) 366–4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W64– 113, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have questions regarding viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a 2-year period if it finds ‘‘such exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved absent such exemption.’’ FMCSA can renew exemptions at the end of each 2-year period. The 19 individuals listed in this notice have each requested such an exemption from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), which applies to drivers of CMVs in interstate commerce. Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate the qualifications of each applicant to determine whether granting an exemption will achieve the required level of safety mandated by statute. E:\FR\FM\21DEN1.SGM 21DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 244 (Monday, December 21, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 79412-79414]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-31972]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0239]


Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Volvo Trucks 
of North America Application for an Exemption

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

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

SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 
announces its decision to grant Volvo Trucks of North America's (Volvo) 
application for a limited 2-year exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1) on 
behalf of motor carriers operating Volvo commercial motor vehicles 
(CMVs) to use a rain and ambient light detection sensor mounted in the 
windshield area

[[Page 79413]]

at a height lower than what is currently allowed by the regulation. The 
sensor is part of a hands-free driver aid equipment package intended to 
improve driver safety. The Agency has determined that the placement of 
the rain and ambient light detection sensor in the windshield area 
would not have an adverse impact on safety and that the terms and 
conditions of the exemption would achieve a level of safety equivalent 
to or greater than the level of safety provided by the regulation.

DATES: This exemption is effective December 21, 2015 and ending 
December 20, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Luke Loy, Vehicle and Roadside 
Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC-
PSV, (202) 366-0676, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments submitted to notice requesting public comments on the 
exemption application, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit 
Room W12-140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays. The on-line Federal document 
management system is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. 
The docket number is listed at the beginning of this notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from certain parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations. FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in 
the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the 
public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the 
application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. 
The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment on the 
request.
    The Agency reviews safety analyses and public comments submitted, 
and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a 
level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be 
achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of 
the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 
381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application 
and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving 
the exemption, and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is 
granted. The notice must also specify the effective period and explain 
the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed 
(49 CFR 381.300(b)).

Volvo's Application for Exemption

    Volvo applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1) to allow 
the placement of a rain and ambient light detection sensor on Volvo 
CMVs lower in the windshield than is currently permitted by the 
Agency's regulations in order to utilize a mounting location that 
allows the sensor to function correctly. A copy of the application is 
included in the docket referenced at the beginning of this notice.
    Section 393.60(e)(1) of the FMCSRs prohibits the obstruction of the 
driver's field of view by devices mounted on the windshield. Antennas, 
transponders, and similar devices must not be mounted more than 152 mm 
(6 inches) below the upper edge of the windshield. These devices must 
be located outside the area swept by the windshield wipers, and outside 
the driver's sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals.
    The application stated:

    Volvo is making this request so that it becomes possible to 
introduce a rain and ambient light detection sensor as an option on 
some Volvo commercial motor vehicles. In order for the sensor to 
function correctly, it must be installed in the wiper swept area of 
the windshield. This is due to the fact that an unswept portion of 
the windshield, which would not necessarily be kept clean and dry by 
the wipers, could make it difficult for the sensor to determine if 
the wipers are needed or not. The sensor, which is approximately 2.6 
inches tall by 2.2 inches wide, would be placed on the passenger 
side of the windshield, outside the driver's sight lines to all 
mirrors, highway signs, signals, and view of the road ahead. 
Therefore, we respectfully request an exemption to grant us 
permission to proceed with the installation of the sensor on the 
lower part of the windshield within the bottom 6 inches of the area 
swept by the wipers. . .
    This will enable Volvo to install this hands-free driver aid 
equipment for commercial motor vehicle operators while ensuring the 
adherence to the specified location requirements requested. . .

    Without the proposed exemption, Volvo stated that it will not be 
able to deploy the rain sensor and ambient light system in vehicle 
models because (1) its ``customers will be fined for violating the 
current regulation,'' and (2) ``the rain and ambient light sensing 
system will not perform adequately and will not generate the hands-free 
driver aid benefits that would be expected.''
    The exemption would apply to all Volvo CMVs. Volvo believes that 
mounting the sensor lower in the windshield will allow it to function 
properly while maximizing the external view of the road and maintaining 
an adequate forward facing field of view for the driver.

Comments

    FMCSA published a notice of the application in the Federal Register 
on July 24, 2015, and asked for public comment (80 FR 44186).
    The Agency received one comment from an anonymous commenter, 
supporting the exemption application.

FMCSA Decision

    The FMCSA has evaluated the Volvo exemption application. The Agency 
believes that granting the temporary exemption to allow the placement 
of the rain and ambient light detection sensor lower in the windshield 
than is currently permitted by the Agency's regulations will provide a 
level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of 
safety achieved without the exemption because (1) based on the 
technical information available, there is no indication that the rain 
and ambient light detection sensor would obstruct drivers' views of the 
roadway, highway signs and surrounding traffic; (2) generally, trucks 
and buses have an elevated seating position that greatly improves the 
forward visual field of the driver, and any impairment of available 
sight lines would be minimal; and (3) the location within the bottom 7 
inches of the area swept by the windshield wiper \1\ and out of the 
driver's normal sightline will be reasonable and enforceable at 
roadside. In addition, the Agency believes that the use of rain and 
ambient light detection sensors by fleets is likely to improve the 
overall level of safety to the motoring public.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ In its exemption application, Volvo referenced two different 
mounting locations: ``within the bottom 6 inches of the area swept 
by the wipers,'' and ``within 7 inches at the bottom of the wiper 
swept area of the windshield. FMCSA confirmed with the applicant, 
Mr. Tim LaFon, Volvo's Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, that 
the top of the sensor will be located 160 mm (6.3 inches) from the 
bottom of the windshield. As such, the subject exemption permits 
mounting of the rain and ambient light detection sensor within the 
bottom 7 inches of the area swept by the wipers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This action is consistent with previous Agency action permitting 
the placement of similarly-sized devices on CMVs within the lower 
portion of the windshield within the bottom 7 inches of the wiper swept 
area. In March 2015, FMCSA granted a temporary exemption to Volvo/
Prevost, LLC enabling the mounting of lane departure warning

[[Page 79414]]

(LDW) system sensors not more than 7 inches above the lower edge of the 
area swept by the windshield wipers and outside the driver's sight 
lines to the road and highway signs and signals (80 FR 13460). FMCSA is 
not aware of any evidence showing that the installation of the LDW 
system sensors has resulted in any degradation in safety.

Terms and Conditions for the Exemption

    The Agency hereby grants the exemption for a 2-year period, 
beginning December 21, 2015 and ending December 20, 2017. During the 
temporary exemption period, motor carriers will be allowed to operate 
CMVs manufactured by Volvo equipped with rain and ambient light 
detection sensors placed on the lower part of the passenger side of the 
windshield within the bottom 7 inches of the area swept by the wipers, 
outside the driver's sight lines to all mirrors, highway signs, 
signals, and view of the road ahead. The exemption will be valid for 2 
years unless rescinded earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be 
rescinded if: (1) Motor carriers and/or commercial motor vehicles fail 
to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the 
exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained 
before it was granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not 
be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 
31315(b).
    Interested parties possessing information that would demonstrate 
that motor carriers operating Volvo CMVs equipped with rain and ambient 
light sensors are not achieving the requisite statutory level of safety 
should immediately notify FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any such 
information and, if safety is being compromised or if the continuation 
of the exemption is not consistent with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 
31315(b), will take immediate steps to revoke the exemption.

Preemption

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31313(d), as implemented by 49 CFR 
381.600, during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall 
enforce any law or regulation applicable to interstate commerce that 
conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a 
firm or person operating under the exemption. States may, but are not 
required to, adopt the same exemption with respect to operations in 
intrastate commerce.

    Issued on: December 10, 2015.
T.F. Scott Darling, III,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2015-31972 Filed 12-18-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P