[Federal Register: June 11, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 111)]
[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 393
[Docket No. FMCSA-1997-2364]
RIN 2126 AB07
Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Lamps and Reflective Devices
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: FMCSA amends its regulations concerning parts and accessories
necessary for safe operation in response to a petition for
reconsideration filed by the Truck Manufacturers Association. As
requested by a petitioner, this amendment resolves an inconsistency
between FMCSA's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Federal Motor Vehicle
DATES: This rule is effective July 11, 2007.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Jeffrey J. Van Ness, phone (202)
366-8802, Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division, Office of Bus and
Truck Standards and Operations, Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590.
Legal Basis for the Rulemaking
The legal basis for the August 15, 2005, final rule entitled
"Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; General
Amendments," was set forth in detail there [70 FR 48008-48009]. That legal basis statement also applies here and will not be
One purpose of the 2005 rule, as described in the legal basis
section, was to "resolve inconsistencies between [49 CFR] part 393 and
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Federal Motor
Vehicle Safety Standards (49 CFR part 571) * * *" [70 FR 48008]. This
rule responds to a petition for reconsideration of the 2005 rule.
Petitioner has brought to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration's (FMCSA) attention another inconsistency, this one
between a provision on auxiliary lamps adopted in the 2005 rule [49 CFR
383.11(d)] and a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
interpretation of its standard for "Lamps, reflective devices, and
associated equipment" [49 CFR 571.108, S5.1.3], which was issued
almost simultaneously. In resolving the new inconsistency, this rule
simply completes the process begun in 2005.
On August 15, 2005, FMCSA published a final rule that amended 49
CFR part 393, Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation (70 FR
48008). The amendments removed obsolete and redundant regulations;
responded to several petitions for rulemaking; provided improved
definitions of vehicle types, systems, and components; resolved
inconsistencies between 49 CFR part 393 and NHTSA's Federal Motor
Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs) (49 CFR part 571); and codified
certain FMCSA regulatory guidance concerning the requirements of 49 CFR
part 393. Generally, the amendments did not establish new or more
stringent requirements, but merely clarified existing requirements. The
final rule was intended to make many sections more concise, easier to
understand, and more performance-oriented.
The final rule was based on a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM)
published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on April 14,
1997 (62 FR 18170). FHWA had received numerous petitions for rulemaking
and requests for interpretation of the requirements of 49 CFR part 393,
which suggested the need for amendments to clarify several provisions
of the safety regulations. In addition, NHTSA, the Federal agency
responsible for establishing safety standards for the manufacture of
motor vehicles and certain motor vehicle equipment, had made several
amendments to its FMVSSs that necessitated amendments to the Federal
Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) in order to eliminate
inconsistencies between 49 CFR parts 393 and 571.
Petition for Reconsideration of Sec. 393.11
On September 6, 2005, the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA)
submitted a petition for reconsideration of FMCSA's August 15, 2005,
final rule. The TMA is an association of medium and heavy-duty truck
manufacturers located in Washington, DC. Member companies include Ford
Motor Company; Freightliner LLC; General Motors Corporation;
International Truck and Engine Corporation; Isuzu Motors America, Inc.;
Mack Trucks, Inc.; PACCAR, Inc.; and Volvo Trucks North America, Inc.
The TMA identified what it believes is "an unintended inconsistency"
between one of the requirements of FMCSA's August 15, 2005, final rule
and a recent interpretation it had received from NHTSA. Specifically,
the final rule amended Sec. 393.11(d), "Prohibition on the use of
auxiliary lamps that supplement the identification lamps," to state:
No commercial motor vehicle may be equipped with lamps that are
in a horizontal line with the required identification lamps unless
those lamps are required by this regulation.
However, TMA notes that the language above contradicts guidance on
the same issue provided by NHTSA in a letter of interpretation, dated
July 28, 2005. Where the above language prohibits all auxiliary lamps
that are in a horizontal line with the required identification lamps,
the NHTSA regulation [S5.1.3 of FMVSS No. 108, Lamps, Reflective
Devices, and Associated Equipment] only "prohibits installation of
lamps that would impair the effectiveness of the required lighting."
The NHTSA's interpretation letter clarifies that additional lamps
may be installed on commercial motor vehicles provided that the
auxiliary lamps are positioned at a distance that is at least twice the
distance that separates each lamp in the required three-lamp cluster.
Representatives from FMCSA met with NHTSA to discuss the rationale
used in developing the position set forth in the interpretation letter
and how it relates to the TMA petition. The FMCSA agreed that NHTSA's
spacing guidelines for auxiliary lamps, outlined in the July 2005
interpretation letter, ensure that the effectiveness of the three-lamp
cluster is not impaired by auxiliary lighting devices. Therefore, FMCSA
granted TMA's petition. Today's final rule amends the August 2005 final
rule by deleting Sec. 393.11(d).
For vehicles of 80 or more inches in overall width, Table II of
FMVSS No. 108 requires that three amber identification lamps (three-
lamp cluster) be located as close as practicable to the top center of
the vehicle or the cab with lamps placed 6 to 12 inches apart. The
function of this three-lamp cluster is to indicate the presence of a
large vehicle on the roadway. Table II of FMVSS No. 108 also requires
that two amber clearance lamps be installed "to indicate the overall
width of the vehicle * * * and as near the top thereof as
practicable." In addition, S5.1.3 of FMVSS No. 108 prohibits the
installation of lamps that would impair the effectiveness of the
required lighting, including the identification lamp cluster.
The NHTSA has long maintained that highway traffic safety is
enhanced by the familiarity of drivers with established lighting
schemes, which facilitates their ability to instantly recognize the
meaning the lamps convey and to respond accordingly. The NHTSA
previously explained in opinion letters that auxiliary lamps must be
located so that they would not interfere or be confused with the lamps
required by FMVSS No. 108. FMCSA concluded that Sec. 393.11(d) was
appropriate and consistent with NHTSA's previous enforcement guidance.
However, several weeks before the 49 CFR part 393 final rule was
published on August 15, 2005, TMA had written to NHTSA requesting an
interpretation regarding the installation of certain auxiliary lighting
on heavy-duty trucks and truck tractors. In part, TMA asked about
installing auxiliary lamps in the vicinity of the front identification
and clearance lamps--the issue specifically addressed in Sec.
393.11(d). The NHTSA responded to TMA on July 28, 2005--less than two
weeks before FMCSA's final rule was issued--and provided the following
* * * [A]uxiliary lamps located immediately adjacent to the
three-lamp cluster would not be permitted by FMVSS No. 108 because
they would impair the effectiveness of identification lamps. The
purpose of the three-lamp cluster requirement is to signal the
presence of a large vehicle to other drivers. The number of lamps,
three, is a part of the signal, and additional lamps could make the
signal less recognizable.
However, NHTSA recognized "the need for guidance with respect to the
permissible positioning of auxiliary [[Page 32013]] lamps located between the clearance lamps and the three-lamp cluster."
And NHTSA concluded that "positioning auxiliary lamps at a distance
that is at least twice the distance that separates each lamp in the
required three-lamp cluster provides sufficient separation not to
impair the effectiveness of the three-lamp cluster."
Clearly, the guidance provided in NHTSA's July 2005 interpretation
letter contradicts the regulatory language in Sec. 393.11(d), which
prohibits any lamps that are in a horizontal line with the required
identification lamps unless those lamps are required by regulation. The
TMA notified FMCSA of this discrepancy via telephone on August 15,
2005--the day the amendments to 49 CFR part 393 were published--and
faxed a copy of the NHTSA interpretation letter to FMCSA. The TMA
submitted its petition for reconsideration of the 49 CFR part 393
amendments on September 6, 2005.
It is important to note that neither FMCSA nor NHTSA ever expressly
prohibited the installation of auxiliary lamps. In instances where
manufacturers have chosen to install lamps in addition to those which
are required by regulation [S5.1.3 of FMVSS No. 108], NHTSA
interpretations have required only that the auxiliary lamps not impair
the effectiveness of the required lighting. In general, both FMCSA and
NHTSA believe that additional lamps will improve the conspicuity of
trucks and trailers and, thus, increase highway safety, provided that
the additional lamps do not interfere with and are not confused with
the lamps required by FMVSS No. 108.
However, the July 2005 interpretation letter to TMA represents the
first time objective, measurable limits regarding the location and
spacing of auxiliary lamps have been specified. The NHTSA determined
that this was necessary to provide detailed guidance to TMA and others
regarding the permissible positioning of auxiliary lamps located
between the clearance lamps and the three-lamp cluster.
The FMCSA believes that increased safety can be realized through
improved conspicuity of vehicles. It is FMCSA's position that the
installation of auxiliary lamps will not detract from the effectiveness
of the required lighting provided that the spacing between the three-
lamp cluster and any auxiliary lamps is maintained as outlined in the
NHTSA interpretation letter to TMA.
FMCSA finds that positioning auxiliary lamps at a distance that is
at least twice the distance that separates each lamp in the required
three-lamp cluster provides sufficient separation to prevent the
auxiliary lighting devices from decreasing the effectiveness of the
Further, FMCSA believes that it is important to maintain
consistency, to the maximum extent practicable, between FMCSA and NHTSA
regulations. Trucks and trailers that are configured with auxiliary
lamps meeting the conditions outlined in NHTSA's July 2005
interpretation letter are considered by FMCSA as fully compliant with
the Federal safety regulations. FMCSA does not believe that it is
appropriate to retain the current language in Sec. 393.11 which
prohibits the installation of auxiliary lamps that are permitted by the
Consistent with the above, FMCSA is rescinding Sec. 393.11(d) in
this final rule.
Regulatory Analyses and Notices
Good Cause Exception to Notice and Comment
FMCSA has determined that prior notice and opportunity for comment
on this final rule are unnecessary. One of the stated purposes of the
August 15, 2005, rule (Summary, 70 FR 48008) was to "resolve
inconsistencies between part 393 and the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration's Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (49 CFR
part 571)." That point was driven home throughout the rule by repeated
comparison of the two agencies' regulations and the adoption of
amendments to make 49 CFR part 393 consistent with 49 CFR part 571. The
section dealing with Sec. 393.11 (70 FR 48012-48013) was little more
than a discussion of NHTSA actions that required changes to the FMCSA
As it happened, the August 15, 2005, rule created an inconsistency
with NHTSA's recently-issued interpretation of FMVSS No. 108. This
final rule simply corrects one more anomaly. It imposes no additional
costs or requirements on motor carriers and does not adversely affect
safety. Therefore, FMCSA finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)
to adopt the rule without notice and comment.
Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and DOT
Regulatory Policies and Procedures
FMCSA has determined that this action is not a significant
regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 12866 or
Department of Transportation regulatory policies and procedures. This
document is not required to be reviewed by the Office of Management and
Budget. Because this rulemaking merely makes a minor change that will
not result in additional costs, a regulatory evaluation has not been
prepared by the Agency.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-
612), FMCSA has considered the effects of this regulatory action on
small entities and determined that this rule will not have a
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. Because
this rulemaking merely makes a minor change that will not result in
additional costs, a regulatory flexibility analysis has not been
prepared by the Agency.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
This rulemaking 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 $120.7 million
or more in any one year.
Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)
This action will meet 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.
Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)
FMCSA has analyzed this action under Executive Order 13045,
Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety
Risks. This rulemaking does not concern an environmental risk to health
or safety that may disproportionately affect children.
Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)
This rulemaking will not effect a taking of private property or
otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630,
Governmental Actions and Interference with Civil Constitutionally
Protected Property Rights.
Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)
This action has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and
criteria contained in Executive Order 13132. It has been determined
that this rulemaking will not have a substantial direct effect on
States nor will it limit the policy-making discretion of the [[Page 32014]]
States. Nothing in this document will preempt any State law or regulation.
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.
Paperwork Reduction Act
This final rule does not contain a collection of information
requirement for the purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).
National Environmental Policy Act
FMCSA analyzed this final rule for the purpose of the National
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and
determined under FMCSA Order 5610.1 (69 FR 9680, March 1, 2004) that
this action is categorically excluded (CE) under Appendix 2, paragraph
6.b. from further environmental documentation. This CE relates to
establishing regulations and actions taken pursuant to these
regulations that are editorial in nature. In addition, FMCSA believes
that the action includes no extraordinary circumstances that would have
any effect on the quality of the environment. Thus, the action does not
require an environmental assessment or an environmental impact
FMCSA also analyzed this final rule under the Clean Air Act (CAA),
as amended 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 involves rulemaking activity which would not
result in any emissions increase nor would it have any potential to
result in emissions that are above the general conformity rule's de
minimis emission threshold levels (40 CFR 93.153(c)(2)). Moreover, it
is reasonably foreseeable that the rule would not increase total CMV
mileage, change the routing of CMVs, change how CMVs operate, or change
the CMV fleet-mix of motor carriers. This action merely rescinds a
regulatory provision that conflicts with an NHTSA interpretation.
Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)
FMCSA has analyzed this action under Executive Order 13211, Actions
Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply,
Distribution, or Use. It has been determined that this action will not
be a significant energy action under that order because it will not be
economically significant and will not be likely to have a significant
adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.
List of Subjects for 49 CFR Part 393
Highways and roads, incorporation by reference, motor carriers,
motor vehicle equipment, motor vehicle safety.
In consideration of the foregoing, FMCSA amends 49 CFR part 393 as
PART 393--PARTS AND ACCESSORIES NECESSARY FOR SAFE OPERATION
1. The authority citation for part 393 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 31136, and 31502; section 1041(b) of
Pub. L. 102-240, 105 Stat. 1914, 1993 (1991); and 49 CFR 1.73.
Sec. 393.11 [Amended]
2. Amend Sec. 393.11 by removing paragraph (d) and by revising the
heading of Table 1 to read "Table 1 of Sec. 393.11--Required Lamps
and Deflectors on Commercial Motor Vehicles".
Issued on: May 30, 2007.
John H. Hill,
[FR Doc. E7-11112 Filed 6-8-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P