Public Meeting To Discuss the Implementation of the North American Standard for Cargo Securement
FMCSA announces the second in a series of public meetings concerning the implementation of the North American Standard for Protection Against Shifting or Falling Cargo. On September 27, 2002, FMCSA published a final rule revising its regulations concerning protection against shifting and falling cargo for commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) engaged in interstate commerce. Motor carriers operating in the United States were given until January 1, 2004, to comply with the new regulations. On September 23, 2004, Canada's Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety approved a new National Safety Code Standard for cargo securement. Full implementation of the new cargo securement requirements in Canada began in the summer of 2005. The purpose of this meeting is second in a series of meetings to discuss the process for ensuring the consistent interpretation of the harmonized cargo securement standards by FMCSA and the Canadian Provinces, and of the issues raised by enforcement agencies and motor carriers in the U.S., and to address potential implementation issues for the Canadian Provinces, and motor carriers operating in Canada.
Physical Qualification of Drivers; Vision Standard
FMCSA (formerly the Federal Highway Administration's Office of Motor Carriers) withdraws its 1992 advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on the vision standard for commercial motor vehicle drivers in interstate commerce. The agency sought comment on whether it should revise its driver qualification requirements relating to the vision standard, including visual acuity, field of vision and color perception. After reviewing the public comments received in response to the ANPRM, the agency believes there is insufficient data to support moving forward with a proposal to change the vision standard at this time. FMCSA has long term plans to reevaluate all of its commercial driver health standards and guidelines and will review the current vision standard at that time.
Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Certification of Compliance With Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Withdrawal
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) withdraws its March 19, 2002, notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed requiring each commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operating in interstate commerce to display a label applied by the vehicle manufacturer or a registered importer to document the vehicle's compliance with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs) in effect as of the date of manufacture. We issued the NPRM in coordination with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which published on the same day three companion notices related to the FMVSS certification requirement. Although the NPRM would have applied to all CMVs operated in the United States, its greatest impact would have been on motor carriers domiciled in Canada and Mexico. In withdrawing the NPRM, we conclude the proposed FMVSS certification label requirement is not necessary to ensure the safe operation of CMVs on our nation's highways. Vehicles operated by Canada-domiciled motor carriers meet Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSSs), which are consistent with the FMVSSs in all significant respects. Furthermore, since the FMVSSs critical to the operational safety of CMVs are cross-referenced in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), FMCSA, in consultation with NHTSA, has determined it can most effectively achieve the compliance of CMVs with the FMVSS through enforcement measures and existing regulations ensuring compliance with the FMCSRs, making additional FMVSS certification-labeling regulation unnecessary.
Hours of Service of Drivers
FMCSA is publishing today its final rule governing hours of service for commercial motor vehicle drivers, following its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published January 24, 2005. The rule addresses requirements for driving, duty, and off-duty time; a recovery period, sleeper berth, and new requirements for short-haul drivers. The hours- of-service regulations published on April 28, 2003, were vacated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on July 16, 2004. Congress subsequently provided, through the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2004, that the 2003 regulations will remain in effect until the effective date of a new final rule addressing the issues raised by the court or September 30, 2005, whichever occurs first. Today's rule meets that requirement.
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision
This notice publishes the FMCSA's receipt of applications from 40 individuals for an exemption from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. If granted, the exemptions will enable these individuals to qualify as drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce without meeting the vision standard prescribed in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10).
Request for Information on New Commercial Vehicle Safety Inspection Concepts
FMCSA invites comments, suggestions and creative ideas on new operational concepts that will improve commercial vehicle safety inspections through more thorough performance-based inspections. Commercial vehicle roadside safety inspections represent one of the most effective tools for monitoring and regulating the condition of the in-use commercial vehicle fleet, as well as for auditing and enforcing driver and operational-related safety practices, including hours of service, proper driver credentialing, and other safety aspects of commercial vehicle equipment and operations. New technologies such as advanced sensor and on-board diagnostics as well as wireless communications offer the potential for dramatically improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the roadside commercial vehicle safety inspection process. This Request for Information directly supports the Agency's top priority initiativeComprehensive Safety Analysis 2010, or CSA-2010which is a top-to-bottom review of how FMCSA can best develop and manage programs that are most effective in improving motor carrier safety.
Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; General Amendments
FMCSA amends part 393 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation. The amendments are intended to remove obsolete and redundant regulations; respond to several petitions for rulemaking; provide improved definitions of vehicle types, systems, and components; resolve inconsistencies between part 393 and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (49 CFR part 571); and codify certain FMCSA regulatory guidance concerning the requirements of part 393. Generally, the amendments do not involve the establishment of new or more stringent requirements, but a clarification of existing requirements. This action is intended to make many sections more concise, easier to understand and more performance oriented.
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision
The FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 24 individuals from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The exemptions will enable these individuals to qualify as drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce without meeting the vision standard prescribed in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10).