[Federal Register: August 11, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 155)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[Docket No. FMCSA-2008-0224]
Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application
for an Exemption From Greyhound Lines, Inc.
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
requests public comment on an application for exemption from Greyhound
Lines, Inc. (Greyhound) regarding the placement of video event
recorders at the top of the windshields on its buses. Greyhound wants
to mount the recorders in an area of the windshield that is lower than
what is currently permitted by the Agency's regulations in order to
obtain the most effective view of the driver, passengers or outside
area to maximize the ability to improve driver safety and understand
the root causes of collisions. Greyhound would use the video event
recorders to increase safety through (1) Identification and remediation
of risky driving behaviors such as distracted driving and drowsiness;
(2) enhanced monitoring of passenger behavior; and (3) enhanced
collision review and analysis. Greyhound believes this mounting
position would maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or
greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption.
DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 10, 2008.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT DMS Docket Number
FMCSA-2008-0224 by any of the following methods:
- Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the
instructions for submitting comments on the Federal electronic docket
- Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
- Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of
Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington,
- Hand Delivery: Ground Floor, Room W12-140, DOT Building,
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and
docket number for this notice. For detailed instructions on submitting
comments and additional information on the exemption process, see the
"Public Participation" heading below. Note that all comments received
will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including
any personal information provided. Please see the "Privacy Act"
heading for further information.
Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or to Room W12-140, DOT Building, New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on
April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19476) or you may visit http://www.regulations.gov.
Public participation: The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is
generally available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You can get
electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the
``help'' section of the http://www.regulations.gov Web site and also at
the DOT's http://docketsinfo.dot.gov Web site. If you want us to notify
you that we received your comments, please include a self addressed,
stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that
appears after submitting comments online.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Luke W. Loy, Vehicle and Roadside
Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations,
MC-PSV, (202) 366-0676; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration,
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Section 4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
(TEA-21) [Pub. L. 105-178, June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 401] amended 49
U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e) to provide authority to grant exemptions from
the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). On August 20,
2004, FMCSA published a final rule (69 FR 51589) implementing section
4007. Under this rule, FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption
request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must
provide the public with an opportunity to inspect the information
relevant to the application, including any safety analyses that have
been conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public
comment on the request.
The Agency reviews the safety analyses and the public comments and
determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level
of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that would be
achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of
the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR
381.315(b)). If the Agency denies the request, it must state the reason
for doing so. If the decision is to grant the exemption, the notice
must specify the person or class of persons receiving the exemption and
the regulatory provision or provisions from which an exemption is
granted. The notice must also specify the effective period of the
exemption (up to 2 years) and explain the terms and conditions of the
exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.315(c) and 49 CFR
Greyhound's Application for Exemption
On March 19, 2008, Greyhound applied for an exemption from 49 CFR
393.60(e)(1) to allow it to install video event recorders on some or
all its bus fleet--which totals approximately 1,650 buses. A copy of
the application is included in the docket referenced at the beginning
of this notice.
Section 393.60(e)(1) of the FMCSRs prohibits the obstruction of the
driver's field of view by devices mounted at the top of the windshield.
Antennas, transponders and similar devices (devices) must not be
mounted more than 152 mm (6 inches) below the upper edge of the
windshield. These devices must be located outside the area swept by the
windshield wipers and outside the driver's sight lines to the road and
highway signs and signals.
Greyhound states that over the last several years, the structural
and aesthetic design of buses has changed considerably to include
larger windshields that encompass a larger percentage of the front area
of a motor coach and that extend well beyond the driver's useable sight
line. As a result, manufacturers have voluntarily installed larger
windshield wipers on these windshields that increase the swept area
beyond that which is minimally required by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety
Standard (FMVSS) No. 104, "Windshield Wiping and Washing Systems."
FMVSS No. 104 establishes the requirements applicable to vehicle
and equipment manufacturers for windshield wiper system coverage for
passenger cars, multi-purpose passenger vehicles, trucks and buses.
Greyhound states that video event recorders, for optimal
effectiveness, are mounted on the vehicle windshield on the interior of
the vehicle in a position that enables the video-capture of what is
happening in front of the vehicle as well as an internal video-capture
of the driver and passengers. The view of what is happening in front of
the vehicle requires that the forward lens of the recorder be in the
swept area of the windshield for a clear view in inclement weather.
"Section 393.60(e)(1) was designed to avoid placement of
devices on the windshield that would obstruct a driver's useful view
of the roadway. However, because of the increase of the size of
motorcoach windows and the corresponding increase in the area swept
by the windshield wipers, video event recorders now must be mounted
so high on the window as to limit the view of drivers, passengers,
and collision events. Thus, the level of safety that can be produced
by use of video event recorders is limited by the current
regulation. By comparison, the proposed alternative will enable
Greyhound to lower the placement of the video event recorders to a
level, which will maximize the external and internal views of the
recorders while still having them mounted high enough so as not to
limit the field of vision of the driver."
Greyhound notes in its exemption application that the Commercial
Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) submitted a petition for rulemaking to
FMCSA on October 18, 2007, to amend 49 CFR 393.60(e). The CVSA petition
requests that the FMCSRs be amended to permit video event recorders and
similar devices that require a clear forward facing visual field to be
mounted not more than 50 mm (2 inches) below the upper edge of the area
swept by the windshield wipers, provided that they are located outside
the driver's sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals. In
its exemption application, Greyhound proposes to comply with the
language proposed by the CVSA petition during the period of the
exemption, if granted. A copy of the CVSA petition has been placed in
the docket referenced at the beginning of this notice.
Request for Comments
In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests
public comment from all interested persons on Greyhound's application
for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.116(a)(3). All comments received
before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated at
the beginning of this notice will be considered and will be available
for examination in the docket at the location listed under the
ADDRESSES section of this notice. Comments received after the comment
closing date will be filed in the public docket and will be considered
to the extent practicable. In addition to late comments, FMCSA will
also continue to file, in the public docket, relevant information that
becomes available after the comment closing date. Interested persons
should continue to examine the public docket for new material.
Issued on: August 1, 2008.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development.
[FR Doc. E8-18495 Filed 8-8-08; 8:45 am]
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