Driving of Commercial Motor Vehicles: Use of Seat Belts, 36474-36479 [2016-13099]

Download as PDF 36474 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 109 / Tuesday, June 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366–9896. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PART 252—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 252.211–7006 [Amended] 11. Amend section 252.211–7006 by— a. Removing the clause date ‘‘(SEP 2011)’’ and adding ‘‘(JUN 2016)’’ in its place; ■ b. In paragraph (b)(1)(ii) introductory text, removing ‘‘http://www.acq.osd.mil/ log/rfid/’’ and adding ‘‘http:// www.acq.osd.mil/log/sci/RFID_ship-tolocations.html’’ in its place; ■ c. In paragraph (d)(2), removing ‘‘located at http://www.acq.osd.mil/log/ rfid/tag_data.htm’’ and adding ‘‘located in the DoD Suppliers’ Passive RFID Information Guide at http:// www.acq.osd.mil/log/sci/ait.html’’ in its place. ■ ■ [FR Doc. 2016–13258 Filed 6–6–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 392 [Docket No. FMCSA–2015–0396] RIN 2126–AB87 Driving of Commercial Motor Vehicles: Use of Seat Belts Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: FMCSA revises the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) by requiring passengers in property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to use the seat belt assembly whenever the vehicles are operated on public roads in interstate commerce. This rule holds motor carriers and drivers responsible for ensuring that passengers riding in the property-carrying CMV are using the seat belts required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs). DATES: This rule is effective August 8, 2016. Petitions for Reconsideration of this final rule must be submitted to the FMCSA Administrator no later than July 7, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles A. Horan, Director; Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety Standards, Office of Policy, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590– 0001 or by telephone at (202) 366–5370. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:20 Jun 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 injuries avoided or reduced in severity as a result of seat belt use; these benefits are discussed later. I. Executive Summary A. Availability of Rulemaking Documents A. Purpose and Summary of the Major Provisions Section 393.93(b)(2)–(3) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) (49 CFR 393.93) requires every truck and truck tractor manufactured on or after July 1, 1971, to comply with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208 (49 CFR 571.208), relating to the installation of seat belt assemblies. They must also comply with FMVSS No. 210 (49 CFR 571.210), dealing with the installation of seat belt assembly anchorages, and FMVSS No. 207 (49 CFR 571.207), addressing seating systems more generally. Under FMVSS No. 208, trucks and multipurpose passenger vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds manufactured on or after September 1, 1990, are allowed by S4.3.2.1 an option to comply by providing a ‘‘complete passenger protection system,’’ but nearly all CMV manufacturers choose the second compliance option (S4.3.2.2) and install a ‘‘belt system.’’ This second option requires a seat belt assembly ‘‘at each designated seating position.’’ In short, the FMVSS and FMCSRs require seat belts at every seating position in a property-carrying CMV. In addition, 49 CFR 392.16 requires that a CMV that has a seat belt assembly installed at the driver’s seat shall not be driven unless the driver has properly restrained himself or herself with the seat belt assembly. In this final rule, FMCSA requires that motor carriers and drivers ensure that passengers riding in property-carrying CMVs use their seat belts when the vehicles are operated on public roads. B. Benefits and Costs As indicated above, NHTSA requires vehicle manufacturers to install driver and passenger seat belts in large trucks. FMCSA already requires drivers to use their seat belts. However, the FMCSRs were previously silent on the use of seat belts by passengers in trucks. This final rule requires that every passenger in a property-carrying CMV use a seat belt, if one is installed. The only quantifiable cost of the final rule is the value of the person’s time necessary to buckle the seat belt, which is negligible. The benefits of this rule are any fatalities or PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 II. Rulemaking Documents For access to docket FMCSA–2015– 0396 to read background documents and comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov at any time, or to Docket Services at U.S. Department of Transportation, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. B. 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. III. Legal Basis for the Rulemaking This final rule is based on the Motor Carrier Act of 1935 (1935 Act) and the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 (1984 Act). The 1935 Act (49 U.S.C. 31502) authorizes FMCSA to prescribe requirements for the safety of operation and equipment standards of for-hire and private motor carriers. This final rule is directly related to safe motor carrier operations. The 1984 Act (49 U.S.C. 31136) requires FMCSA to adopt regulations to ensure, among other things, that ‘‘commercial motor vehicles are maintained, equipped, loaded, and operated safely’’ (sec. 31136(a)(1)). This rule will increase the safety, not only of passengers, but also of CMV drivers whose control of the vehicle could otherwise be affected by unsecured passengers potentially thrown about the cab as a result of emergency steering or braking maneuvers. A 2012 amendment to the 1984 Act requires FMCSA to ensure that CMV drivers are not coerced to violate certain provisions of the FMCSRs (sec. 31136(a)(5)). Coercion is now prohibited by 49 CFR 390.6. Given the obvious value of this final rule and the ease of compliance, the Agency believes that no one will be coerced not to wear a seat belt. It should be noted that the 1984 Act also authorizes FMCSA to ‘‘perform other acts [the Agency] considers appropriate’’ (49 U.S.C. 31133(a)(10)). E:\FR\FM\07JNR1.SGM 07JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 109 / Tuesday, June 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations IV. Background This final rule responds to a petition submitted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) on October 29, 2013 (available in the docket to this rulemaking). CVSA requested that FMCSA require all occupants in a property-carrying CMV to restrain themselves when the vehicle is being driven. The petition referred to data available from the Agency’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) (available at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ research-and-analysis/research/largetruck-crash-causation-study). Specifically, the petition noted that the 2011 LTCCS data indicate that 34 percent of truck occupants killed in fatal crashes were not wearing seat belts. Today’s final rule follows a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) with the same title, published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2015 (80 FR 76649). Although responding to CVSA’s petition, the NPRM slightly modified some of the petitioner’s requests. FMCSA used the word ‘‘occupant’’ in addition to ‘‘passenger’’ to make clear that the regulation would apply to any person in the property-carrying CMV. ‘‘Occupants’’ would include instructors, evaluators, or any other personnel who might be seated in a property-carrying CMV, regardless of their status. FMCSA also proposed that this requirement be applicable only if there is a seat belt assembly installed in the propertycarrying CMV. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES V. Discussion of Comments and Responses FMCSA received 17 unique comments to this rulemaking. Nine were from individuals and one was from a motor carrier, Werner Enterprises Inc. (Werner). The rest came from industry and safety organizations, including the American Trucking Associations (ATA), Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), NAFA Fleet Management Association (NAFA), National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), National Safety Council (NSC), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and CVSA. Twelve of the 17 commenters, including all 7 industry and safety organizations and the motor carrier, supported requiring passengers in property-carrying CMVs to use a seat belt, though 2 of the 12 objected to holding the motor carrier responsible for compliance. One commenter asked a question, but did not state whether he supported the rulemaking. Four of the nine individuals who submitted comments did not believe a rulemaking was necessary or did not support the VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:20 Jun 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 rulemaking because they did not believe drivers should be responsible for a passenger’s seat belt use. The other four individuals supported the rulemaking. Three commenters believed the rulemaking should be more extensive. A. Compliance Responsibilities Comments: Three commenters opposed imposing a new responsibility on drivers to ensure passenger compliance with a seat belt regulation. An individual stated that neither the motor carrier nor the driver should be responsible for requiring passengers to use the seat belts, and mentioned that drivers deal with many other regulations already. Both ATA and Werner stated that a motor carrier could not and should not be responsible for the use of safety belts in CMVs, as they have no practicable way to monitor it. Two commenters stated that requiring a driver to ensure that passengers were wearing their seat belts would be a distraction while driving. Another commenter stated that the driver would be required to police passengers. An individual thought that the Agency should enforce existing regulations and rules rather than develop new ones, and questioned whether this rule would actually save lives. One commenter believed the rulemaking would be applicable to drivers of passengercarrying vehicles, which it is not. ATA requested explicit clarification that the driver, not the motor carrier, would be responsible for passenger compliance with this regulation, stating that the NPRM correctly placed this burden on the driver. ATA said it would be impossible for a carrier to monitor actions of passengers and drivers in all of its vehicles. While acknowledging that a carrier may have some leverage with its drivers, ATA claimed it would have none over other occupants of a CMV. Werner echoed that position because a motor carrier would not have the ability to control a driver’s or a passenger’s use of seat belts. Werner stated, ‘‘Motor carriers should not be held liable for actions of an occupant of a CMV.’’ ATA also argued that the ‘‘proposed rule does not establish how carriers would be deemed to have ‘permitted’ drivers to violate the seat belt use requirement.’’ ATA suggested that FMCSA seek a pattern of this type of violation or an investigation into a carrier’s policies before taking action against a motor carrier over passengers not wearing seat belts. NAFA and NRECA stated that many of their members have policies that require their passengers to use seat belt restraints. NRECA wrote that the PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 36475 rulemaking is consistent with its culture of safety. Werner stated that it has a policy requiring seat belt use as well. FMCSA Response: Many States already hold automobile drivers responsible for their passengers’ seatbelt use. This rule extends that principle to all property-carrying CMVs. Commercial drivers are already required to satisfy themselves that the vehicle is in good working order (49 CFR 392.7); requiring them to ensure that occupants have fastened their seat belts is a minor additional requirement. FMCSA disagrees with ATA’s argument that motor carriers should not be held responsible for the activities of their employees and any authorized passengers (including employees and non-employees). Under 49 CFR 390.11, carriers have for decades been held responsible for their drivers’ regulatory compliance—for example with the hours-of-service regulations and associated logbook requirements—even though the carrier is not able to physically supervise the driver’s performance of these tasks. This rule adds a small burden (with significant potential safety benefits) to the obligations of the carrier and driver. Furthermore, the contention that a carrier would have no control over nondrivers riding in a truck contradicts the requirements of 49 CFR 392.60, which prohibits the transportation of anyone without specific written authorization from the carrier. The motor carrier, therefore, has knowledge of each occupant of the property-carrying vehicle and can easily require that authorized passengers buckle up. With regard to driver distraction, the rule does not require that drivers continuously monitor the passenger(s) while the vehicle is in operation. However, it is expected that the driver could observe whether the seat belts were in use before the vehicle is operated on a public road and remind the occupants seat belt usage is required if he or she notices that the passenger has unfastened the seat belt. B. Enforcement Comments: Both NSC and ATA stated that this rule would cause the States to adopt similar regulations shortly after a final rule, and supported this outcome. NSC believed it is time to establish a new, uniform national standard. It commented that such a standard for property-carrying CMV occupants may further help improve seat belt use, particularly among long-haul trucks that often travel through more than one State. ATA wrote that CMV enforcement officers would have the authority to cite E:\FR\FM\07JNR1.SGM 07JNR1 36476 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 109 / Tuesday, June 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations large truck occupants for failing to wear a seat belt in all 50 States and attributed increased seat belt usage to widespread enforcement of existing seat belt laws. ATA stated their support for the adoption of primary seat belt laws for all motor vehicles by all States and the implementation of a variety of strategies to enhance the use of seat belts. FMCSA Response: FMCSA agrees that enforcement has encouraged the growing use of seat belts, but existing State laws are not uniform with respect to seat belt use in trucks, especially where truck passengers are concerned. This rule creates that uniformity and removes any uncertainty about regulatory requirements that may exist among motor carriers or different States. FMCSA believes that this rulemaking will address those gaps in existing laws and inconsistent enforcement; and, as a result, compliance and safety will increase even further. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES C. Sleeper Berth Restraints Comments: One individual mentioned that it would be difficult to require restraints for the second driver of a team operation who is resting in the sleeper berth. A different commenter believed that sleeper berth belt use would be a good idea for a new rulemaking. The NTSB stated that all the reasons occupants should wear seat belts in the front of the CMV could be applied to the sleeper berth, and that restraints should be required there as well. Advocates, on the other hand, stated ‘‘Other than codrivers using a sleeper berth, all CMV occupants and passengers seated in designated seating positions should be properly belted.’’ [Emphasis supplied.] Werner stated that it has a policy requiring sleeper berth restraints to be utilized. FMCSA Response: The robust sleeper berth restraints required by 49 CFR 393.76(h) are designed to keep occupants from being ejected from the CMV during a violent crash. That provision does not focus on the essential function of sleeper berths, i.e., to allow drivers to sleep, even while the CMV is in motion, and thus to avoid the fatigue that contributes significantly to crash risk. Because FMCSA has no information on the effectiveness of current sleeper berth restraints in reconciling crash protection with fatigue prevention, and because standard seat belts are not required to perform that dual function, the Agency chose not to delay the benefits of the NPRM while attempting to analyze the implications of requiring the use of sleeper berth restraints. Commenters provided no information that would enable the VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:20 Jun 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 Agency to address that topic in this rulemaking. D. Buses Comments: A commenter believed the proposal would include passengercarrying vehicles, and stated that safety would be compromised if a driver were held responsible for passengers’ seatbelt use. This commenter thought that law enforcement should take the lead on compliance for passengers in a passenger-carrying CMV. The NTSB stated that the logic for requiring non-passenger-carrying CMVs to use seat belts is consistent with the logic for requiring seat belt use in passenger-carrying CMVs, and requested additional action for buses. The NTSB submitted several reports of crashes to illustrate the need for an additional rulemaking focusing on passengercarrying CMVs. The NTSB suggested that the FMSCA address seat belt use for all occupants of passenger-carrying CMVs that are equipped with seat belts and stated, ‘‘A rule to address all CMV passengers who have a restraint available would improve the use of the protective equipment already in place and save lives.’’ FMCSA Response: The NPRM did not propose, nor does this final rule require, the use of seat belts in passengercarrying CMVs. The Agency believes that, in the best interest of safety, this rulemaking should be completed as proposed without further delay. For these reasons, this final rule does not address seat belt use in passenger vehicles. The Agency, however, is committed to passenger safety. FMCSA has developed and distributed extensive pre-trip safety briefing materials, available through its Web site.1 NHTSA published a final rule requiring lap/ shoulder belts for each passenger seat on newly manufactured over-the-road buses and other larger buses, with certain exclusions, effective November 28, 2016 (78 FR 70416, November 25, 2013). As a result of this rule, FMCSA is currently updating its outreach materials to encourage seat belt use when seat belts are available. E. Horses and Articulated Trailers Comments: One individual asked if people caring for horses in trailers would be subject to this rulemaking. FMCSA Response: Attendants who ride in horse trailers are not protected by all of the safety requirements applicable to passengers in the cab of a truck or truck tractor, or a bus. As such, 1 https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/passengersafety/pre-trip-safety-information-bus-passengers. PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 they are not subject to this final rule. Nonetheless, if there are designated seating positions for attendants in horse trailers, and seat belts are available, they should be used when the attendant is not moving about the trailer to care for the horses. F. Seat Belt Assembly Removed Comments: Advocates stated ‘‘Owners and drivers of CMVs who have removed a seat belt assembly from the vehicle should not be able to evade this regulation.’’ Advocates voiced concern about seat belts being removed in order to avoid compliance. FMCSA Response: The likelihood that an operator of a vehicle equipped with seat belts for all occupants would remove the belts provided for nondrivers in order to avoid compliance with this rule is very remote. The quantifiable burden of compliance is essentially nil, and there is no obvious reason why anyone would remove the seat belts—it would take more work to remove the seat belts than to instruct drivers and authorized passengers to wear them. G. Data Comments: NSC believed the cost of the rule would be minimal, but stated that benefits could be much higher than FMCSA states in the proposal, and supported this conclusion with 2014 FARS data documenting that: . . . of the 337 large truck non-driver occupants involved in fatal crashes who were wearing a lap and/or shoulder belt, 6 percent were killed. Of the 186 non-driver occupants who were not wearing a lap and/or shoulder belt, 20 percent were killed. About 32 percent of these fatally injured unrestrained occupants were ejected from the truck. The FARS data cited by NSC are consistent with the 2013 FARS data upon which FMCSA relied in its consideration of the potential safety benefits of this rule. NSC commented that ‘‘seat belt use is the most effective countermeasure to prevent ejection. In one study of passenger vehicles, complete ejection was reduced by a factor of about 600, effectively eliminating complete ejections in those vehicles.’’ 2 NSC also referred to the FMCSA Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Survey, noting that while 83.7 percent of CMV drivers 2 Funk JR, Cormier JM, Bain CE, Wirth JL, Bonugli EB, Watson RA. Factors Affecting Ejection Risk in Rollover Crashes. Ann Adv Automot Med. 2012 Oct; 56: 203–211. E:\FR\FM\07JNR1.SGM 07JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 109 / Tuesday, June 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations utilize seat belts, only 72.9 percent of CMV passengers do.3 CVSA referred back to the data referenced in its original petition that 34 percent of truck occupants killed in fatal crashes were not wearing a seat belt (based on 2011 LTCCS data) and restated the importance of this rulemaking. ATA supported the use of seat belts and pointed to data from the 2013 Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Survey 4 that show the use of seat belts is increasing Advocates re-stated the 2013 NHTSA FARS data presented by FMCSA, both in this final rule and the NPRM, to emphasize the ‘‘grim’’ nature of the statistics involving fatal crashes, particularly with respect to the ejection risk of unrestrained passengers. FMCSA Response: Although commenters reference various sources concerning seat belt use among truck occupants, FMCSA continues to rely upon 2013 NHTSA FARS data that document the increased risk of fatality and ejection involving unrestrained passengers to support the basis for issuing a final rule, and those numbers fall within the range presented by commenters. The data provided by commenters reinforces the societal and safety benefits of this rulemaking as a measure that will ensure increased seat belt use. Though the projected numbers of lives saved vary in the data, all of the calculations involve no cost and a very small amount of time spent complying with this rule. VI. Today’s Final Rule This final rule makes no substantive changes to the 2015 NPRM. Under this final rule, 49 CFR 392.16 is revised to include requirements for seat belt usage by passengers in property-carrying CMVs. VII. Regulatory Analyses A. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures Under E.O. 12866 (58 FR 51735, Oct. 4, 1993) and DOT policies and procedures, FMCSA must determine whether a regulatory action is ‘‘significant,’’ and therefore subject to OMB review and the requirements of the E.O. The Order defines ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ as one 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 government 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, 36477 or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof. (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in the E.O. FMCSA has determined that this action is not a significant regulatory action within the meaning of E.O. 12866, as supplemented by E.O. 13563, or significant within the meaning of Department of Transportation regulatory policies and procedures. This regulation will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, lead to a major increase in costs or prices, or have significant adverse effects on the United States economy. According to data from NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, available in the docket for this rulemaking,5 in 2013, 348 non-driver occupants were in the truck at the time the vehicle was involved in a fatal crash and were wearing a lap or shoulder belt. Seventeen of those non-driver occupants were killed. Also in 2013, 122 non-driver occupants of large trucks were involved in fatal crashes and were not wearing a lap and/or shoulder belt; of these, 30 were killed. Sixteen of the 30 were totally or partially ejected from the truck. The fatality rate was five times lower for passengers who wore seat belts versus those who did not. Table 1 below presents the data described above. TABLE 1—OUTCOMES OF NON-DRIVER TRUCK OCCUPANTS IN FATAL CRASHES [Source: 2013 NHTSA FARS] N jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Non-Driver Occupants ................................................................................................................. Wearing Seat Belts ...................................................................................................................... Not Wearing Seat Belts ............................................................................................................... Fatality rate (percent) Fatalities 470 348 122 47 17 30 10.0 4.9 24.6 FMCSA believes that some of these fatalities involving occupants not wearing seat belts could have been prevented if this regulation had been in place. This conclusion is indirectly supported by a recent study,6 published by the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC), which analyzed crash data from years 2000 to 2010. The study finds that ‘‘in a moving semi-truck collision, the odds for an injury were increased by 2.25 times for both semi-truck drivers and sleeper berth passengers who did not use occupant safety restraints’’ compared to those who did, with a 95 percent confidence interval ranging from an increased injury risk of 1.15 to 4.41 times to unrestrained occupants. This study provides empirical support to the safety benefits resulting from the use of occupant restraints by drivers and sleeper berth passengers—to whom the rule does not apply. FMCSA assumes that the safety benefits to passengers in property-carrying CMVs would be of similar magnitude to those noted in the KIPRC study. While all States but one have seat belt laws, failure to use a belt may be either a primary or secondary offense and may not apply to a truck passenger. Furthermore, there may be differences in the vehicle weight threshold at which the law applies. Therefore, adopting a Federal rule applicable to non-driver 3 Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers, 2013 Survey; Executive Summary p. V. (Available in docket for this rule) 4 2013 Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Belt Facts, Figures 1 and 2, available at https:// www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/ Safety_Belt%20Factsheet_508.pdf 5 See ‘‘Restraint Use and Ejection for Large Truck Passenger Fatalities in 2013,’’ Docket # FMCSA– 2015–0396–0002. 6 Bunn, Slavova, Robertson. ‘‘Motor Vehicle Injuries Among Semi Truck Drivers and Sleeper Berth Passengers,’’ Journal of Safety Research 44 (2013) 51–55; available at: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1016/j.jsr.2012.09.003. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:20 Jun 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\07JNR1.SGM 07JNR1 36478 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 109 / Tuesday, June 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES occupants of property-carrying CMVs, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, will provide a uniform national standard. To maintain eligibility for Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program grants, States would be required to adopt compatible seat belt rules for non-driver occupants of property-carrying CMVs within 3 years of the effective date of today’s final rule. FMCSA does not know how many trucks carry passengers or precisely how many of those passengers fail to use existing seat belts, though the Seat Belt Usage by CMV Drivers Survey indicates that, as of 2013, 73 percent of passengers in CMVs subject to this rule utilize existing seat belts, leaving a 27 percent share that do not.7 However, given that the only quantifiable cost of the proposal is the negligible amount of time needed for occupants to buckle their seat belts,8 the rule would benefit motor carrier employees and passengers. Seat belts have been proven to save lives. While an estimate of the number of CMV-related fatalities and injuries that could be avoided cannot be provided based on the available data, FMCSA believes motor carriers’ and drivers’ compliance with today’s final rule requiring the use of seat belts by non-driver occupants will save lives. In addition to the data provided in the docket during the NPRM stage of this rulemaking action, FMCSA received data from several commenters, with more extensive claims about lives saved by the use of seat belts. FMCSA also became aware of another Federal survey on this topic, conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).9 The NIOSH survey found that 86 percent of long-haul truck drivers self-reported regular use of seat belts, a result comparable to the FMCSA Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Survey that estimated this value to be 83.7 percent. While the NIOSH study does not speak to the frequency of passenger seat belt use, the similarity in the estimated rate of seat belt use among drivers between these surveys reinforces the Agency’s confidence in the FMCSA survey’s estimates of passenger seat belt use. Additionally, this did not alter the Agency’s initial conclusions about data, as the final rule’s findings are consistent with the proposed rule’s conclusions. The Agency believes the potential economic impact of this action is positive, because it is likely that some lives will be saved at a cost that would not begin to approach the $100 million annual threshold for economic significance. Moreover, the Agency does not expect the rule to generate substantial congressional or public interest, as there were relatively few comments to the proposed rule, and most were generally positive. This proposed rule therefore has not been formally reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 7 Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers, 2013 Survey; Executive Summary p. V. (Available in docket for this rule) 8 FMCSA acknowledges that there is a potential cost for the lost freedom of choice to not wear a seat belt, for CMV passengers in the states where no law currently requires them to use the installed seat belts. FMCSA is unable to quantify this cost, but believes that the safety benefits described herein weigh overwhelmingly in favor of requiring the use of seat belts in this case. 9 NIOSH National Survey of Long-Haul Truck Drivers; Injury and Safety. Available at http:// www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4631642/ pdf/nihms726279.pdf. Accessed March 31, 2016. C. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 This rule will not impose an unfunded Federal mandate, as defined by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1532 et seq.), that will result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $155 million (which is the value of $100 million in 1995 after adjusting for inflation to 2014) or more in any 1 year. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:20 Jun 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 B. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires Federal agencies to consider the effects of the regulatory action on small business and other small entities and to minimize any significant economic impact. The term ‘‘small entities’’ comprises small businesses and not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. Accordingly, DOT policy requires an analysis of the impact of all regulations on small entities and mandates that agencies strive to lessen any adverse effects on these businesses. Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Title II, Pub. L. 104–121, 110 Stat. 857, March 29, 1996), FMCSA does not expect the rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. FMCSA believes the cost is minimal and poses no disproportionate burden to small entities. Consequently, I certify that the proposed action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 D. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform) This rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. E. Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children) FMCSA analyzed this action under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. The Agency determined that this rule will not create an environmental risk to health or safety that may disproportionately affect children. F. Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property) FMCSA reviewed rulemaking in accordance with Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights, and has determined it will not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications. G. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) A rule has Federalism implications if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on the States. FMCSA has analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13132 and determined that it does not have Federalism implications. H. Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review) The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do not apply to this program. I. Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments) This rule does not have tribal implications under E.O. 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. J. Paperwork Reduction Act Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), Federal agencies must obtain approval from OMB for each collection of information they conduct, sponsor, or E:\FR\FM\07JNR1.SGM 07JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 109 / Tuesday, June 7, 2016 / Rules and Regulations require through regulations. No new information collection requirements are associated with this final rule. K. National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Air Act FMCSA analyzed this rule in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and determined under our environmental procedures Order 5610.1 (69 FR 9680, March 1, 2004) that this action does not have any effect on the quality of the environment. Therefore, this final rule is categorically excluded (CE) from further analysis and documentation in an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under FMCSA Order 5610.1, paragraph 6(bb) of Appendix 2. The CE under paragraph 6(bb) addresses regulations concerning vehicle operation safety standards. A Categorical Exclusion Determination is available for inspection or copying in the Regulations.gov. FMCSA also analyzed this rule under the Clean Air Act, as amended (CAA), section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), and implementing regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Approval of this action is exempt from the CAA’s general conformity requirement since it does not affect direct or indirect emissions of criteria pollutants. L. Executive Order 12898 (Environmental Justice) jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Under E.O. 12898, each Federal agency must identify and address, as appropriate, ‘‘disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations’’ in the United States, its possessions, and territories. FMCSA evaluated the environmental justice effects of this rule in accordance with the E.O., and has determined that no environmental justice issue is associated with this rule, nor is there any collective environmental impact that would result from its promulgation. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:20 Jun 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 M. Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects) FMCSA has analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. FMCSA has determined that it is not a ‘‘significant energy action’’ under that executive order because it is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Therefore, the rule does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211. N. E-Government Act of 2002 The E-Government Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107–347, sec. 208, 116 Stat. 2899, 2921 (Dec. 17, 2002), requires Federal agencies to conduct a privacy impact assessment for new or substantially changed technology that collects, maintains, or disseminates information in an identifiable form. FMCSA has not completed an assessment of the handling of PII in connection with today’s proposal because the final rule does not involve PII. O. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (15 U.S.C. 272 note) requires Federal agencies proposing to adopt technical standards to consider whether voluntary consensus standards are available. If the Agency chooses to adopt its own standards in place of existing voluntary consensus standards, it must explain its decision in a separate statement to OMB. Because FMCSA does not adopt its own technical standards, there is no need to submit a statement to OMB on this matter. P. Privacy Impact Assessment Section 522 of title I of division H of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, enacted December 8, 2004 (Pub. L. 108–447, 118 Stat. 2809, 3268, 5 U.S.C. 552a note), requires the Agency to conduct a privacy impact assessment of a regulation that will affect the privacy of individuals. This rule will not require PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 36479 the collection of any personally identifiable information. The Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) applies only to Federal agencies and any non-Federal agency that receives records contained in a system of records from a Federal agency for use in a matching program. This final rule will not result in a new or revised Privacy Act System of Records for FMCSA. List of Subjects for 49 CFR Part 392 Alcohol abuse, Drug abuse, Highway safety, Motor carriers. For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration amends 49 CFR part 392 as follows: PART 392—DRIVING OF COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES 1. The authority citation for part 392 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 504, 13902, 31136, 31151, 31502; Section 112 of Pub. L. 103– 311, 108 Stat. 1673, 1676 (1994), as amended by sec. 32509 of Pub. L. 112–141, 126 Stat. 405, 805 (2012); and 49 CFR 1.87. ■ 2. Revise § 392.16 to read as follows: § 392.16 Use of seat belts. (a) Drivers. No driver shall operate a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, that has a seat belt assembly installed at the driver’s seat unless the driver is properly restrained by the seat belt assembly. (b) Passengers. No driver shall operate a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, that has seat belt assemblies installed at the seats for other occupants of the vehicle unless all other occupants are properly restrained by such seat belt assemblies. Issued under the authority of delegation in 49 CFR 1.87. T.F. Scott Darling, III, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. 2016–13099 Filed 6–6–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P E:\FR\FM\07JNR1.SGM 07JNR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 109 (Tuesday, June 7, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 36474-36479]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-13099]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 392

[Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0396]
RIN 2126-AB87


Driving of Commercial Motor Vehicles: Use of Seat Belts

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA revises the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 
(FMCSRs) by requiring passengers in property-carrying commercial motor 
vehicles (CMVs) to use the seat belt assembly whenever the vehicles are 
operated on public roads in interstate commerce. This rule holds motor 
carriers and drivers responsible for ensuring that passengers riding in 
the property-carrying CMV are using the seat belts required by the 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs).

DATES: This rule is effective August 8, 2016.
    Petitions for Reconsideration of this final rule must be submitted 
to the FMCSA Administrator no later than July 7, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles A. Horan, Director; Carrier, 
Driver, and Vehicle Safety Standards, Office of Policy, Federal Motor 
Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, 
DC 20590-0001 or by telephone at (202) 366-5370. If you have questions 
on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket 
Services, telephone (202) 366-9896.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Executive Summary

A. Purpose and Summary of the Major Provisions

    Section 393.93(b)(2)-(3) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations (FMCSRs) (49 CFR 393.93) requires every truck and truck 
tractor manufactured on or after July 1, 1971, to comply with the 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208 (49 CFR 571.208), relating to 
the installation of seat belt assemblies. They must also comply with 
FMVSS No. 210 (49 CFR 571.210), dealing with the installation of seat 
belt assembly anchorages, and FMVSS No. 207 (49 CFR 571.207), 
addressing seating systems more generally. Under FMVSS No. 208, trucks 
and multipurpose passenger vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 
(GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds manufactured on or after September 1, 
1990, are allowed by S4.3.2.1 an option to comply by providing a 
``complete passenger protection system,'' but nearly all CMV 
manufacturers choose the second compliance option (S4.3.2.2) and 
install a ``belt system.'' This second option requires a seat belt 
assembly ``at each designated seating position.'' In short, the FMVSS 
and FMCSRs require seat belts at every seating position in a property-
carrying CMV.
    In addition, 49 CFR 392.16 requires that a CMV that has a seat belt 
assembly installed at the driver's seat shall not be driven unless the 
driver has properly restrained himself or herself with the seat belt 
assembly. In this final rule, FMCSA requires that motor carriers and 
drivers ensure that passengers riding in property-carrying CMVs use 
their seat belts when the vehicles are operated on public roads.

B. Benefits and Costs

    As indicated above, NHTSA requires vehicle manufacturers to install 
driver and passenger seat belts in large trucks. FMCSA already requires 
drivers to use their seat belts. However, the FMCSRs were previously 
silent on the use of seat belts by passengers in trucks. This final 
rule requires that every passenger in a property-carrying CMV use a 
seat belt, if one is installed. The only quantifiable cost of the final 
rule is the value of the person's time necessary to buckle the seat 
belt, which is negligible. The benefits of this rule are any fatalities 
or injuries avoided or reduced in severity as a result of seat belt 
use; these benefits are discussed later.

II. Rulemaking Documents

A. Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    For access to docket FMCSA-2015-0396 to read background documents 
and comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time, or 
to Docket Services at U.S. Department of Transportation, Room W12-140, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

B. 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.

III. Legal Basis for the Rulemaking

    This final rule is based on the Motor Carrier Act of 1935 (1935 
Act) and the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 (1984 Act). The 1935 Act 
(49 U.S.C. 31502) authorizes FMCSA to prescribe requirements for the 
safety of operation and equipment standards of for-hire and private 
motor carriers. This final rule is directly related to safe motor 
carrier operations. The 1984 Act (49 U.S.C. 31136) requires FMCSA to 
adopt regulations to ensure, among other things, that ``commercial 
motor vehicles are maintained, equipped, loaded, and operated safely'' 
(sec. 31136(a)(1)). This rule will increase the safety, not only of 
passengers, but also of CMV drivers whose control of the vehicle could 
otherwise be affected by unsecured passengers potentially thrown about 
the cab as a result of emergency steering or braking maneuvers.
    A 2012 amendment to the 1984 Act requires FMCSA to ensure that CMV 
drivers are not coerced to violate certain provisions of the FMCSRs 
(sec. 31136(a)(5)). Coercion is now prohibited by 49 CFR 390.6. Given 
the obvious value of this final rule and the ease of compliance, the 
Agency believes that no one will be coerced not to wear a seat belt. It 
should be noted that the 1984 Act also authorizes FMCSA to ``perform 
other acts [the Agency] considers appropriate'' (49 U.S.C. 
31133(a)(10)).

[[Page 36475]]

IV. Background

    This final rule responds to a petition submitted by the Commercial 
Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) on October 29, 2013 (available in the 
docket to this rulemaking). CVSA requested that FMCSA require all 
occupants in a property-carrying CMV to restrain themselves when the 
vehicle is being driven. The petition referred to data available from 
the Agency's Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) (available at 
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/research-and-analysis/research/large-truck-crash-causation-study). Specifically, the petition noted that the 2011 
LTCCS data indicate that 34 percent of truck occupants killed in fatal 
crashes were not wearing seat belts.
    Today's final rule follows a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) 
with the same title, published in the Federal Register on December 10, 
2015 (80 FR 76649). Although responding to CVSA's petition, the NPRM 
slightly modified some of the petitioner's requests. FMCSA used the 
word ``occupant'' in addition to ``passenger'' to make clear that the 
regulation would apply to any person in the property-carrying CMV. 
``Occupants'' would include instructors, evaluators, or any other 
personnel who might be seated in a property-carrying CMV, regardless of 
their status. FMCSA also proposed that this requirement be applicable 
only if there is a seat belt assembly installed in the property-
carrying CMV.

V. Discussion of Comments and Responses

    FMCSA received 17 unique comments to this rulemaking. Nine were 
from individuals and one was from a motor carrier, Werner Enterprises 
Inc. (Werner). The rest came from industry and safety organizations, 
including the American Trucking Associations (ATA), Advocates for 
Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), NAFA Fleet Management Association 
(NAFA), National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), 
National Safety Council (NSC), the National Transportation Safety Board 
(NTSB), and CVSA.
    Twelve of the 17 commenters, including all 7 industry and safety 
organizations and the motor carrier, supported requiring passengers in 
property-carrying CMVs to use a seat belt, though 2 of the 12 objected 
to holding the motor carrier responsible for compliance. One commenter 
asked a question, but did not state whether he supported the 
rulemaking. Four of the nine individuals who submitted comments did not 
believe a rulemaking was necessary or did not support the rulemaking 
because they did not believe drivers should be responsible for a 
passenger's seat belt use. The other four individuals supported the 
rulemaking. Three commenters believed the rulemaking should be more 
extensive.

A. Compliance Responsibilities

    Comments: Three commenters opposed imposing a new responsibility on 
drivers to ensure passenger compliance with a seat belt regulation. An 
individual stated that neither the motor carrier nor the driver should 
be responsible for requiring passengers to use the seat belts, and 
mentioned that drivers deal with many other regulations already. Both 
ATA and Werner stated that a motor carrier could not and should not be 
responsible for the use of safety belts in CMVs, as they have no 
practicable way to monitor it.
    Two commenters stated that requiring a driver to ensure that 
passengers were wearing their seat belts would be a distraction while 
driving. Another commenter stated that the driver would be required to 
police passengers. An individual thought that the Agency should enforce 
existing regulations and rules rather than develop new ones, and 
questioned whether this rule would actually save lives. One commenter 
believed the rulemaking would be applicable to drivers of passenger-
carrying vehicles, which it is not.
    ATA requested explicit clarification that the driver, not the motor 
carrier, would be responsible for passenger compliance with this 
regulation, stating that the NPRM correctly placed this burden on the 
driver. ATA said it would be impossible for a carrier to monitor 
actions of passengers and drivers in all of its vehicles. While 
acknowledging that a carrier may have some leverage with its drivers, 
ATA claimed it would have none over other occupants of a CMV. Werner 
echoed that position because a motor carrier would not have the ability 
to control a driver's or a passenger's use of seat belts. Werner 
stated, ``Motor carriers should not be held liable for actions of an 
occupant of a CMV.''
    ATA also argued that the ``proposed rule does not establish how 
carriers would be deemed to have `permitted' drivers to violate the 
seat belt use requirement.'' ATA suggested that FMCSA seek a pattern of 
this type of violation or an investigation into a carrier's policies 
before taking action against a motor carrier over passengers not 
wearing seat belts.
    NAFA and NRECA stated that many of their members have policies that 
require their passengers to use seat belt restraints. NRECA wrote that 
the rulemaking is consistent with its culture of safety. Werner stated 
that it has a policy requiring seat belt use as well.
    FMCSA Response: Many States already hold automobile drivers 
responsible for their passengers' seat-belt use. This rule extends that 
principle to all property-carrying CMVs. Commercial drivers are already 
required to satisfy themselves that the vehicle is in good working 
order (49 CFR 392.7); requiring them to ensure that occupants have 
fastened their seat belts is a minor additional requirement.
    FMCSA disagrees with ATA's argument that motor carriers should not 
be held responsible for the activities of their employees and any 
authorized passengers (including employees and non-employees). Under 49 
CFR 390.11, carriers have for decades been held responsible for their 
drivers' regulatory compliance--for example with the hours-of-service 
regulations and associated logbook requirements--even though the 
carrier is not able to physically supervise the driver's performance of 
these tasks. This rule adds a small burden (with significant potential 
safety benefits) to the obligations of the carrier and driver.
    Furthermore, the contention that a carrier would have no control 
over non-drivers riding in a truck contradicts the requirements of 49 
CFR 392.60, which prohibits the transportation of anyone without 
specific written authorization from the carrier. The motor carrier, 
therefore, has knowledge of each occupant of the property-carrying 
vehicle and can easily require that authorized passengers buckle up.
    With regard to driver distraction, the rule does not require that 
drivers continuously monitor the passenger(s) while the vehicle is in 
operation. However, it is expected that the driver could observe 
whether the seat belts were in use before the vehicle is operated on a 
public road and remind the occupants seat belt usage is required if he 
or she notices that the passenger has unfastened the seat belt.

B. Enforcement

    Comments: Both NSC and ATA stated that this rule would cause the 
States to adopt similar regulations shortly after a final rule, and 
supported this outcome. NSC believed it is time to establish a new, 
uniform national standard. It commented that such a standard for 
property-carrying CMV occupants may further help improve seat belt use, 
particularly among long-haul trucks that often travel through more than 
one State.
    ATA wrote that CMV enforcement officers would have the authority to 
cite

[[Page 36476]]

large truck occupants for failing to wear a seat belt in all 50 States 
and attributed increased seat belt usage to widespread enforcement of 
existing seat belt laws. ATA stated their support for the adoption of 
primary seat belt laws for all motor vehicles by all States and the 
implementation of a variety of strategies to enhance the use of seat 
belts.
    FMCSA Response: FMCSA agrees that enforcement has encouraged the 
growing use of seat belts, but existing State laws are not uniform with 
respect to seat belt use in trucks, especially where truck passengers 
are concerned. This rule creates that uniformity and removes any 
uncertainty about regulatory requirements that may exist among motor 
carriers or different States. FMCSA believes that this rulemaking will 
address those gaps in existing laws and inconsistent enforcement; and, 
as a result, compliance and safety will increase even further.

C. Sleeper Berth Restraints

    Comments: One individual mentioned that it would be difficult to 
require restraints for the second driver of a team operation who is 
resting in the sleeper berth. A different commenter believed that 
sleeper berth belt use would be a good idea for a new rulemaking.
    The NTSB stated that all the reasons occupants should wear seat 
belts in the front of the CMV could be applied to the sleeper berth, 
and that restraints should be required there as well. Advocates, on the 
other hand, stated ``Other than co-drivers using a sleeper berth, all 
CMV occupants and passengers seated in designated seating positions 
should be properly belted.'' [Emphasis supplied.]
    Werner stated that it has a policy requiring sleeper berth 
restraints to be utilized.
    FMCSA Response: The robust sleeper berth restraints required by 49 
CFR 393.76(h) are designed to keep occupants from being ejected from 
the CMV during a violent crash. That provision does not focus on the 
essential function of sleeper berths, i.e., to allow drivers to sleep, 
even while the CMV is in motion, and thus to avoid the fatigue that 
contributes significantly to crash risk. Because FMCSA has no 
information on the effectiveness of current sleeper berth restraints in 
reconciling crash protection with fatigue prevention, and because 
standard seat belts are not required to perform that dual function, the 
Agency chose not to delay the benefits of the NPRM while attempting to 
analyze the implications of requiring the use of sleeper berth 
restraints. Commenters provided no information that would enable the 
Agency to address that topic in this rulemaking.

D. Buses

    Comments: A commenter believed the proposal would include 
passenger-carrying vehicles, and stated that safety would be 
compromised if a driver were held responsible for passengers' seat-belt 
use. This commenter thought that law enforcement should take the lead 
on compliance for passengers in a passenger-carrying CMV.
    The NTSB stated that the logic for requiring non-passenger-carrying 
CMVs to use seat belts is consistent with the logic for requiring seat 
belt use in passenger-carrying CMVs, and requested additional action 
for buses. The NTSB submitted several reports of crashes to illustrate 
the need for an additional rulemaking focusing on passenger-carrying 
CMVs. The NTSB suggested that the FMSCA address seat belt use for all 
occupants of passenger-carrying CMVs that are equipped with seat belts 
and stated, ``A rule to address all CMV passengers who have a restraint 
available would improve the use of the protective equipment already in 
place and save lives.''
    FMCSA Response: The NPRM did not propose, nor does this final rule 
require, the use of seat belts in passenger-carrying CMVs. The Agency 
believes that, in the best interest of safety, this rulemaking should 
be completed as proposed without further delay. For these reasons, this 
final rule does not address seat belt use in passenger vehicles.
    The Agency, however, is committed to passenger safety. FMCSA has 
developed and distributed extensive pre-trip safety briefing materials, 
available through its Web site.\1\ NHTSA published a final rule 
requiring lap/shoulder belts for each passenger seat on newly 
manufactured over-the-road buses and other larger buses, with certain 
exclusions, effective November 28, 2016 (78 FR 70416, November 25, 
2013). As a result of this rule, FMCSA is currently updating its 
outreach materials to encourage seat belt use when seat belts are 
available.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/passenger-safety/pre-trip-safety-information-bus-passengers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

E. Horses and Articulated Trailers

    Comments: One individual asked if people caring for horses in 
trailers would be subject to this rulemaking.
    FMCSA Response: Attendants who ride in horse trailers are not 
protected by all of the safety requirements applicable to passengers in 
the cab of a truck or truck tractor, or a bus. As such, they are not 
subject to this final rule. Nonetheless, if there are designated 
seating positions for attendants in horse trailers, and seat belts are 
available, they should be used when the attendant is not moving about 
the trailer to care for the horses.

F. Seat Belt Assembly Removed

    Comments: Advocates stated ``Owners and drivers of CMVs who have 
removed a seat belt assembly from the vehicle should not be able to 
evade this regulation.'' Advocates voiced concern about seat belts 
being removed in order to avoid compliance.
    FMCSA Response: The likelihood that an operator of a vehicle 
equipped with seat belts for all occupants would remove the belts 
provided for non-drivers in order to avoid compliance with this rule is 
very remote. The quantifiable burden of compliance is essentially nil, 
and there is no obvious reason why anyone would remove the seat belts--
it would take more work to remove the seat belts than to instruct 
drivers and authorized passengers to wear them.

G. Data

    Comments: NSC believed the cost of the rule would be minimal, but 
stated that benefits could be much higher than FMCSA states in the 
proposal, and supported this conclusion with 2014 FARS data documenting 
that:

    . . . of the 337 large truck non-driver occupants involved in 
fatal crashes who were wearing a lap and/or shoulder belt, 6 percent 
were killed. Of the 186 non-driver occupants who were not wearing a 
lap and/or shoulder belt, 20 percent were killed. About 32 percent 
of these fatally injured unrestrained occupants were ejected from 
the truck.

The FARS data cited by NSC are consistent with the 2013 FARS data upon 
which FMCSA relied in its consideration of the potential safety 
benefits of this rule. NSC commented that ``seat belt use is the most 
effective countermeasure to prevent ejection. In one study of passenger 
vehicles, complete ejection was reduced by a factor of about 600, 
effectively eliminating complete ejections in those vehicles.'' \2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Funk JR, Cormier JM, Bain CE, Wirth JL, Bonugli EB, Watson 
RA. Factors Affecting Ejection Risk in Rollover Crashes. Ann Adv 
Automot Med. 2012 Oct; 56: 203-211.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NSC also referred to the FMCSA Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor 
Vehicle Drivers Survey, noting that while 83.7 percent of CMV drivers

[[Page 36477]]

utilize seat belts, only 72.9 percent of CMV passengers do.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers, 2013 
Survey; Executive Summary p. V. (Available in docket for this rule)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CVSA referred back to the data referenced in its original petition 
that 34 percent of truck occupants killed in fatal crashes were not 
wearing a seat belt (based on 2011 LTCCS data) and re-stated the 
importance of this rulemaking.
    ATA supported the use of seat belts and pointed to data from the 
2013 Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Survey \4\ 
that show the use of seat belts is increasing
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ 2013 Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Belt Facts, Figures 1 
and 2, available at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/Safety_Belt%20Factsheet_508.pdf
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Advocates re-stated the 2013 NHTSA FARS data presented by FMCSA, 
both in this final rule and the NPRM, to emphasize the ``grim'' nature 
of the statistics involving fatal crashes, particularly with respect to 
the ejection risk of unrestrained passengers.
    FMCSA Response: Although commenters reference various sources 
concerning seat belt use among truck occupants, FMCSA continues to rely 
upon 2013 NHTSA FARS data that document the increased risk of fatality 
and ejection involving unrestrained passengers to support the basis for 
issuing a final rule, and those numbers fall within the range presented 
by commenters. The data provided by commenters reinforces the societal 
and safety benefits of this rulemaking as a measure that will ensure 
increased seat belt use. Though the projected numbers of lives saved 
vary in the data, all of the calculations involve no cost and a very 
small amount of time spent complying with this rule.

VI. Today's Final Rule

    This final rule makes no substantive changes to the 2015 NPRM. 
Under this final rule, 49 CFR 392.16 is revised to include requirements 
for seat belt usage by passengers in property-carrying CMVs.

VII. Regulatory Analyses

A. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), Executive 
Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), and DOT 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    Under E.O. 12866 (58 FR 51735, Oct. 4, 1993) and DOT policies and 
procedures, FMCSA must determine whether a regulatory action is 
``significant,'' and therefore subject to OMB review and the 
requirements of the E.O. The Order defines ``significant regulatory 
action'' as one 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 government 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.
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
the E.O.
    FMCSA has determined that this action is not a significant 
regulatory action within the meaning of E.O. 12866, as supplemented by 
E.O. 13563, or significant within the meaning of Department of 
Transportation regulatory policies and procedures. This regulation will 
not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, 
lead to a major increase in costs or prices, or have significant 
adverse effects on the United States economy.
    According to data from NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 
available in the docket for this rulemaking,\5\ in 2013, 348 non-driver 
occupants were in the truck at the time the vehicle was involved in a 
fatal crash and were wearing a lap or shoulder belt. Seventeen of those 
non-driver occupants were killed. Also in 2013, 122 non-driver 
occupants of large trucks were involved in fatal crashes and were not 
wearing a lap and/or shoulder belt; of these, 30 were killed. Sixteen 
of the 30 were totally or partially ejected from the truck. The 
fatality rate was five times lower for passengers who wore seat belts 
versus those who did not. Table 1 below presents the data described 
above.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ See ``Restraint Use and Ejection for Large Truck Passenger 
Fatalities in 2013,'' Docket # FMCSA-2015-0396-0002.

                        Table 1--Outcomes of Non-Driver Truck Occupants in Fatal Crashes
                                            [Source: 2013 NHTSA FARS]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                   Fatality rate
                                                                         N          Fatalities       (percent)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Non-Driver Occupants............................................             470              47            10.0
Wearing Seat Belts..............................................             348              17             4.9
Not Wearing Seat Belts..........................................             122              30            24.6
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FMCSA believes that some of these fatalities involving occupants 
not wearing seat belts could have been prevented if this regulation had 
been in place. This conclusion is indirectly supported by a recent 
study,\6\ published by the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research 
Center (KIPRC), which analyzed crash data from years 2000 to 2010. The 
study finds that ``in a moving semi-truck collision, the odds for an 
injury were increased by 2.25 times for both semi-truck drivers and 
sleeper berth passengers who did not use occupant safety restraints'' 
compared to those who did, with a 95 percent confidence interval 
ranging from an increased injury risk of 1.15 to 4.41 times to 
unrestrained occupants. This study provides empirical support to the 
safety benefits resulting from the use of occupant restraints by 
drivers and sleeper berth passengers--to whom the rule does not apply. 
FMCSA assumes that the safety benefits to passengers in property-
carrying CMVs would be of similar magnitude to those noted in the KIPRC 
study.
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    \6\ Bunn, Slavova, Robertson. ``Motor Vehicle Injuries Among 
Semi Truck Drivers and Sleeper Berth Passengers,'' Journal of Safety 
Research 44 (2013) 51-55; available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsr.2012.09.003.
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    While all States but one have seat belt laws, failure to use a belt 
may be either a primary or secondary offense and may not apply to a 
truck passenger. Furthermore, there may be differences in the vehicle 
weight threshold at which the law applies. Therefore, adopting a 
Federal rule applicable to non-driver

[[Page 36478]]

occupants of property-carrying CMVs, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, will 
provide a uniform national standard. To maintain eligibility for Motor 
Carrier Safety Assistance Program grants, States would be required to 
adopt compatible seat belt rules for non-driver occupants of property-
carrying CMVs within 3 years of the effective date of today's final 
rule.
    FMCSA does not know how many trucks carry passengers or precisely 
how many of those passengers fail to use existing seat belts, though 
the Seat Belt Usage by CMV Drivers Survey indicates that, as of 2013, 
73 percent of passengers in CMVs subject to this rule utilize existing 
seat belts, leaving a 27 percent share that do not.\7\ However, given 
that the only quantifiable cost of the proposal is the negligible 
amount of time needed for occupants to buckle their seat belts,\8\ the 
rule would benefit motor carrier employees and passengers. Seat belts 
have been proven to save lives. While an estimate of the number of CMV-
related fatalities and injuries that could be avoided cannot be 
provided based on the available data, FMCSA believes motor carriers' 
and drivers' compliance with today's final rule requiring the use of 
seat belts by non-driver occupants will save lives.
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    \7\ Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers, 2013 
Survey; Executive Summary p. V. (Available in docket for this rule)
    \8\ FMCSA acknowledges that there is a potential cost for the 
lost freedom of choice to not wear a seat belt, for CMV passengers 
in the states where no law currently requires them to use the 
installed seat belts. FMCSA is unable to quantify this cost, but 
believes that the safety benefits described herein weigh 
overwhelmingly in favor of requiring the use of seat belts in this 
case.
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    In addition to the data provided in the docket during the NPRM 
stage of this rulemaking action, FMCSA received data from several 
commenters, with more extensive claims about lives saved by the use of 
seat belts.
    FMCSA also became aware of another Federal survey on this topic, 
conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 
(NIOSH).\9\ The NIOSH survey found that 86 percent of long-haul truck 
drivers self-reported regular use of seat belts, a result comparable to 
the FMCSA Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Survey 
that estimated this value to be 83.7 percent. While the NIOSH study 
does not speak to the frequency of passenger seat belt use, the 
similarity in the estimated rate of seat belt use among drivers between 
these surveys reinforces the Agency's confidence in the FMCSA survey's 
estimates of passenger seat belt use. Additionally, this did not alter 
the Agency's initial conclusions about data, as the final rule's 
findings are consistent with the proposed rule's conclusions.
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    \9\ NIOSH National Survey of Long-Haul Truck Drivers; Injury and 
Safety. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4631642/pdf/nihms726279.pdf. Accessed March 31, 2016.
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    The Agency believes the potential economic impact of this action is 
positive, because it is likely that some lives will be saved at a cost 
that would not begin to approach the $100 million annual threshold for 
economic significance. Moreover, the Agency does not expect the rule to 
generate substantial congressional or public interest, as there were 
relatively few comments to the proposed rule, and most were generally 
positive. This proposed rule therefore has not been formally reviewed 
by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) 
requires Federal agencies to consider the effects of the regulatory 
action on small business and other small entities and to minimize any 
significant economic impact. The term ``small entities'' comprises 
small businesses and not-for-profit organizations that are 
independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields 
and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. 
Accordingly, DOT policy requires an analysis of the impact of all 
regulations on small entities and mandates that agencies strive to 
lessen any adverse effects on these businesses.
    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended by the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Title II, Pub. L. 
104-121, 110 Stat. 857, March 29, 1996), FMCSA does not expect the rule 
to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. FMCSA believes the cost is minimal and poses no 
disproportionate burden to small entities.
    Consequently, I certify that the proposed action will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

C. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rule will not impose an unfunded Federal mandate, as defined 
by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1532 et seq.), 
that will result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal 
governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $155 
million (which is the value of $100 million in 1995 after adjusting for 
inflation to 2014) or more in any 1 year.

D. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, 
eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

E. Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)

    FMCSA analyzed this action under Executive Order 13045, Protection 
of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. The 
Agency determined that this rule will not create an environmental risk 
to health or safety that may disproportionately affect children.

F. Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    FMCSA reviewed rulemaking in accordance with Executive Order 12630, 
Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected 
Property Rights, and has determined it will not effect a taking of 
private property or otherwise have taking implications.

G. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    A rule has Federalism implications if it has a substantial direct 
effect on State or local governments and would either preempt State law 
or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on the States. FMCSA 
has analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13132 and determined that 
it does not have Federalism implications.

H. Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding 
intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do 
not apply to this program.

I. Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments)

    This rule does not have tribal implications under E.O. 13175, 
Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because 
it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian 
tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian 
tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between 
the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

J. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et 
seq.), Federal agencies must obtain approval from OMB for each 
collection of information they conduct, sponsor, or

[[Page 36479]]

require through regulations. No new information collection requirements 
are associated with this final rule.

K. National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Air Act

    FMCSA analyzed this rule in accordance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and 
determined under our environmental procedures Order 5610.1 (69 FR 9680, 
March 1, 2004) that this action does not have any effect on the quality 
of the environment. Therefore, this final rule is categorically 
excluded (CE) from further analysis and documentation in an 
environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under FMCSA 
Order 5610.1, paragraph 6(bb) of Appendix 2. The CE under paragraph 
6(bb) addresses regulations concerning vehicle operation safety 
standards. A Categorical Exclusion Determination is available for 
inspection or copying in the Regulations.gov.
    FMCSA also analyzed this rule under the Clean Air Act, as amended 
(CAA), section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), and implementing 
regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency. 
Approval of this action is exempt from the CAA's general conformity 
requirement since it does not affect direct or indirect emissions of 
criteria pollutants.

L. Executive Order 12898 (Environmental Justice)

    Under E.O. 12898, each Federal agency must identify and address, as 
appropriate, ``disproportionately high and adverse human health or 
environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on 
minority populations and low-income populations'' in the United States, 
its possessions, and territories. FMCSA evaluated the environmental 
justice effects of this rule in accordance with the E.O., and has 
determined that no environmental justice issue is associated with this 
rule, nor is there any collective environmental impact that would 
result from its promulgation.

M. Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

    FMCSA has analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions 
Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use. FMCSA has determined that it is not a 
``significant energy action'' under that executive order because it is 
not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866 and 
is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution, or use of energy. Therefore, the rule does not require a 
Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211.

N. E-Government Act of 2002

    The E-Government Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-347, sec. 208, 116 Stat. 
2899, 2921 (Dec. 17, 2002), requires Federal agencies to conduct a 
privacy impact assessment for new or substantially changed technology 
that collects, maintains, or disseminates information in an 
identifiable form. FMCSA has not completed an assessment of the 
handling of PII in connection with today's proposal because the final 
rule does not involve PII.

O. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (15 U.S.C. 272 
note) requires Federal agencies proposing to adopt technical standards 
to consider whether voluntary consensus standards are available. If the 
Agency chooses to adopt its own standards in place of existing 
voluntary consensus standards, it must explain its decision in a 
separate statement to OMB. Because FMCSA does not adopt its own 
technical standards, there is no need to submit a statement to OMB on 
this matter.

P. Privacy Impact Assessment

    Section 522 of title I of division H of the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2005, enacted December 8, 2004 (Pub. L. 108-447, 
118 Stat. 2809, 3268, 5 U.S.C. 552a note), requires the Agency to 
conduct a privacy impact assessment of a regulation that will affect 
the privacy of individuals. This rule will not require the collection 
of any personally identifiable information.
    The Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) applies only to Federal agencies 
and any non-Federal agency that receives records contained in a system 
of records from a Federal agency for use in a matching program. This 
final rule will not result in a new or revised Privacy Act System of 
Records for FMCSA.

List of Subjects for 49 CFR Part 392

    Alcohol abuse, Drug abuse, Highway safety, Motor carriers.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Motor 
Carrier Safety Administration amends 49 CFR part 392 as follows:

PART 392--DRIVING OF COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES

0
1. The authority citation for part 392 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 504, 13902, 31136, 31151, 31502; Section 
112 of Pub. L. 103- 311, 108 Stat. 1673, 1676 (1994), as amended by 
sec. 32509 of Pub. L. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405, 805 (2012); and 49 CFR 
1.87.


0
2. Revise Sec.  392.16 to read as follows:


Sec.  392.16  Use of seat belts.

    (a) Drivers. No driver shall operate a property-carrying commercial 
motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver 
to operate a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, that has a 
seat belt assembly installed at the driver's seat unless the driver is 
properly restrained by the seat belt assembly.
    (b) Passengers. No driver shall operate a property-carrying 
commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or 
permit a driver to operate a property-carrying commercial motor 
vehicle, that has seat belt assemblies installed at the seats for other 
occupants of the vehicle unless all other occupants are properly 
restrained by such seat belt assemblies.

    Issued under the authority of delegation in 49 CFR 1.87.
T.F. Scott Darling, III,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2016-13099 Filed 6-6-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P