[Federal Register: October 4, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 193)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
49 CFR Part 397
[Docket No. FMCSA-02-13376; Docket No. RSPA-02-12773 (HM-232B)]
RIN 2126--AA74; RIN 2137-AD69
Revision to Periodic Tire Check Requirement for Motor Carriers
Transporting Hazardous Materials
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is eliminating
an outdated requirement for certain motor vehicle operators to stop
periodically to check their tires. Eliminating this requirement
enhances the security of hazardous materials shipments.
DATES: The effective date of this final rule is November 4, 2002.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William Quade, (202) 366-6121, Office
of Enforcement and Compliance (MC-ECH), Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Office
hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday,
except Federal holidays.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Federal
Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Research and
Special Programs Administration (RSPA) reviewed government and industry
hazardous materials transportation safety and security programs with a
view towards identifying areas where security should be enhanced. Over
800,000 shipments of hazardous materials occur each day in the United
States. The overwhelming majority of these shipments--approximately 95
percent--are made by highway. Many of the hazardous materials
transported by motor carriers potentially may be used as weapons of
mass destruction or in the manufacture of such weapons. Since September
11, 2001, on several occasions, Federal law enforcement officials
provided information indicating that terrorist organizations may be
planning to use motor vehicles transporting certain hazardous materials
for additional terrorist attacks on facilities in the United States.
Prior to 1975, the Secretary of Transportation regulated the
transportation of hazardous materials by highway under the authority of
the Motor Carrier Safety Act (MCSA). The authority to issue regulations
under the MCSA is currently delegated to FMCSA. 49 CFR 1.73(g). In
1974, Congress passed the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act
(HMTA). The HMTA gave the Secretary the authority to issue
``regulations for the safe transportation in commerce of hazardous
materials'' applicable to ``any person who transports, or causes to be
transported or shipped, a hazardous material * * * .'' Public Law 93-
633; 88 Stat. 2156 (Jan. 3, 1975). The Secretary delegated this
rulemaking authority to RSPA. 49 CFR 1.53(b).
Motor carriers that transport hazardous materials in interstate
commerce must comply with both the Hazardous Materials Regulations
(HMR; 49 CFR parts 171-180), administered by RSPA, and the Federal
Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR; 49 CFR parts 390-397),
administered by FMCSA. Motor carriers that transport hazardous
materials in intrastate commerce must comply with the HMR, and the
FMCSR to the extent that they apply (See 62 FR 1208, 1213 (January 8,
1997) and 49 CFR 177.804). As a result of a 1984 amendment to the MCSA
and a 1990 amendment to the HMTA, RSPA is authorized to eliminate or
amend regulations (other than highway routing regulations) that appear
in part 397 of the FMCSR and that apply solely to the maintenance,
equipment, loading, or operation of motor vehicles carrying hazardous
materials. Therefore, we are issuing this final rule as a joint RSPA-
Section 397.17 of the FMCSR requires periodic tire inspections for
certain vehicles transporting hazardous materials. Drivers of vehicles
with dual tires must stop every two hours or 100 miles to inspect the
originally promulgated, this requirement was intended to prevent
possible fires caused by overheated tube-type tires. With advancements
in tire technology, fires caused by tire overheating occur much less
To require a vehicle transporting a hazardous material to stop at
frequent regular intervals increases the security risk associated with
such transportation. Any stop provides an opportunity for potential
highjacking or theft of the vehicle and its cargo. Eliminating the tire
check stop reduces this potential security risk. On July 16, 2002, we
published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) (67 FR 46624)
proposing to eliminate this outdated requirement for certain motor
vehicle operators to stop periodically to check their tires.
Discussion of Comments
We received eight comments on the NPRM. Most commenters support the
proposal to eliminate the requirement that certain motor vehicle
operators periodically stop to check their tires. They agree with us
that advancements in tire technology, specifically the elimination of
inner-tubes, have largely eliminated the risk of fire caused by tire
overheating. Hence, stopping every two hours or 100 miles to check the
tires is no longer necessary. The commenters also support our position
that frequent stops compromise the security of hazardous materials
shipments and increase the vulnerability to theft and hijackings.
One commenter disagrees with the proposed changes, stating that a
reduction in potential security risks for motor carriers should not
come from the elimination of regulations that were established to
promote carrier and public safety. As stated in the NPRM, we are not
eliminating all tire checks. An operator of a motor vehicle
transporting hazardous materials must still check each tire at the
beginning of each trip and each time the vehicle is parked. Thus, we do
not agree that elimination of the periodic 2 hour/100 mile tire check
requirement reduces safety. This commenter also suggests that training
for drivers that includes increased security awareness concerning
hijackings and theft would be beneficial. In this regard, we note that
in an NPRM published under Docket HM-232 on May 2, 2002 (67 FR 22030),
we are proposing to add a provision to Sec. 172.704 to require the
training of hazmat employees to include a security component covering
how to recognize and respond to possible security threats.
A commenter who supports the proposal notes that 49 CFR 392.9, Safe
loading, requires drivers of trucks and truck tractors to stop
periodically to examine the vehicle's cargo and its load-securing
devices. The commenter suggests that we also analyze the risk and
benefits related to periodic inspection of load-securing devices. The
requirement for safe loading of cargo applies to all types of cargo and
not just hazardous materials shipments, and therefore is outside the
scope of this rulemaking.
Rulemaking Analyses and Notices
Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and DOT
Regulatory Policies and Procedures
The FMCSA has determined that this is not a significant regulatory
action within the meaning of Executive Order 12866, or significant
within the meaning of DOT regulatory policies and procedures (44 FR
Eliminating the periodic tire check requirement for motor vehicles
transporting hazardous materials will not result in increased
compliance costs on the industry. Instead, eliminating periodic stops
to check tires will decrease costs for the industry by reducing en
route shipment delays and, thus, improving overall delivery times.
Because this final rule eliminates a requirement, preparation of a
cost-benefit analysis is not warranted.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et
seq.), the FMCSA evaluated the effects of this action on small
entities. Accordingly, we certify that this action does not have a
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)
This action was analyzed in accordance with the principles and
criteria contained in Executive Order 13132. It has been determined
that this final action does not have a substantial direct effect on
States, nor would it limit the policy-making discretion of the States.
Nothing in this document preempts any State law or regulation.
Executive Order 13175
This final rule has been analyzed under Executive Order 13175
(Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments). Because
this final rule does not significantly or uniquely affect the
communities of the Indian tribal governments and does not impose
substantial direct compliance costs, the funding and consultation
requirements of Executive Order 13175 do not apply.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
This final rule does not impose an unfunded 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 $100 million or more in
any one year.
Paperwork Reduction Act
This action does not contain an information collection requirement
for the purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C.
There are no significant environmental impacts associated with this
List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 397
Administrative practice and procedure, Highway safety,
Intergovernmental relations, Motor carriers, Parking, Radioactive
materials, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Tires.
In consideration of the foregoing, FMCSA is amending chapter III,
subchapter B, Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:
PART 397--TRANSPORTATION OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS; DRIVING AND
1. The authority citation for part 397 is revised to read as
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322; 49 CFR 1.73. Subpart A also issued
under 49 U.S.C. 5103, 31136, 31502, and 49 CFR 1.53. Subparts C, D,
and E also issued under 49 U.S.C. 5112, 5125.
2. In Sec. 397.17, paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:
Sec. 397.17 Tires.
(a) A driver must examine each tire on a motor vehicle at the
beginning of each trip and each time the vehicle is parked.
* * * * *
Issued on September 30, 2002.
Joseph M. Clapp,
Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Ellen G. Engleman,
Administrator, Research and Special Programs Administration.
[FR Doc. 02-25226 Filed 10-3-02; 8:45 am]
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