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Notice

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From Volvo/Prevost LLC

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 Volvo/Prevost LLC (Volvo/Prevost) to allow the placement of a lane departure warning (LDW) system at the bottom of the windshield on its motorcoaches within the swept area of the windshield wipers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) currently require antennas, transponders, and similar devices to be located not more than 6 inches below the upper edge of the windshield, outside the area swept by the windshield wipers, and outside the driver's sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals. Volvo/Prevost intends to install these devices as original equipment on its motorcoaches. Volvo/Prevost believes this mounting position will maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level of safety achieved without the exemption.

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DATES:

Comments must be received on or before January 17, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket Management System Number FMCSA-2013-XXX by any of the following methods:

  • Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the Federal electronic docket site. Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • 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 to be notified 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Brian J. Routhier, Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC-PSV, (202) 366-1225, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Section 4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) [Pub. L. 105-178, June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 107, 401] amended 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e) to provide authority to grant exemptions from the FMCSRs. On August 20, 2004, FMCSA published a final rule implementing section 4007 (69 FR 51589). 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 381.300(b)].

Volvo/Prevost's Application for Exemption

Volvo/Prevost applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1) to allow the installation of a LDW system on motorcoaches purchased by its customers. 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 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.

In its application, Volvo/Prevost stated:

Volvo/Prevost is making this request so it is possible to introduce a Lane Departure Warning system in line with [the] NHTSA Bus Safety plan as it already did for several other safety features. The camera must be installed in the wiper swept area of [the] windshield for the system to perform correctly because it must have a clear forward facing view of the road. On a today's typical coach the lower part of the windshield is outside the driver's sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals which is different from a truck. Therefore, we request the installation of the camera on the lower part of the windshield within the bottom 7 inches of the wiper swept area.

In addition, Volvo/Prevost noted that without the proposed temporary exemption, it will not be able to deploy the lane departure warning system in motorcoaches because (1) its customers will be fined for violating the current regulation, (2) the lane departure warning system will not perform adequately and will not bring the safety benefits expected, and (3) the camera would be more in the field of view of the driver. Volvo/Prevost states that if the exemption is granted, it “will be able to install the LDW camera system in a location which will offer the best opportunity to optimize the data and evaluate the benefits of such a system.”

Request for Comments

In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests public comment from all interested persons on Volvo/Prevost's application for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1). 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.

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Issued on: December 11, 2013.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2013-30078 Filed 12-17-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P