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Notice

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From Atwood Forest Products, Inc.

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AGENCY:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

FMCSA requests public comment on an application for exemption from Atwood Forest Products, Inc. (Atwood) to allow the use of a camera system installed at the sides and rear of up to 15 of its commercial motor vehicles (CMV) in lieu of rear-vision mirrors as specified in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). Section 393.80 of the FMCSRs currently requires every bus, truck, and truck tractor to be equipped with two rear-vision mirrors, one at each side, firmly attached to the outside of the motor vehicle, and so located as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway to the rear along both sides of the vehicle. All such mirrors must, at a minimum, meet the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 111 in effect at the time the vehicle was manufactured. The exemption would enable Atwood to install the camera system on its vehicles for use in an evaluation study, in a location that will offer the best opportunity to optimize data to evaluate the safety and economic benefits of eliminating outside mirrors.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before September 29, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by DOT DMS Docket Number FMCSA-2014-0326 by any of the following methods:

  • Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the Federal electronic docket site.Start Printed Page 51392
  • 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, 1200 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Mike Huntley, Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC-PSV, (202) 366-5370; 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. 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 381.300(b)).

Background

Atwood Application for Exemption

Atwood applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.80 to allow the use of a camera system installed at the sides and rear of CMVs in lieu of rear-vision mirrors as specified in the FMCSRs. A copy of the application is included in the docket referenced at the beginning of this notice.

Section 393.80 of the FMCSRs currently requires every bus, truck, and truck tractor to be equipped with two rear-vision mirrors, one at each side, firmly attached to the outside of the motor vehicle, and so located as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway to the rear along both sides of the vehicle. All such mirrors must, at a minimum, meet the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 111 in effect at the time the vehicle was manufactured. The purpose of FMVSS No. 111 is to reduce the number of deaths and injuries that occur when the driver of a motor vehicle does not have a clear and reasonably unobstructed view to the rear.

In its application, Atwood states:

Atwood Forest Products, Inc. is making this request because we are coordinating device development and installation of rear cameras in up to fifteen (15) commercial motor vehicles and trailers. The camera equipment to be installed is going to be located at rear of trailers and at sides of motor vehicles. A monitor is to be located in the cab . . . Regulations currently require that mirrors be installed on each side of [a] tractor. Our system will remove outside mirrors and install cameras at the rear of trailers and cabs and motor vehicles with monitors inside the cabs of tractors.

Atwood contends that without the proposed temporary exemption, it will not be able to deploy cameras and monitors in its vehicles because they will be fined for violating the current regulation, which requires rear-vision mirrors. With the exemption, Atwood states that it “will be able to install the camera systems in a location which will offer the best opportunity to optimize the data and evaluate the benefits of such a system” which would eliminate the need for the currently required outside mirrors.

Request for Comments

In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests public comment from all interested persons on Atwood's application for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.80. 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: August 21, 2014.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2014-20498 Filed 8-27-14; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P