Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
Notice of renewal of exemption; request for comments.
FMCSA renews Greyhound Lines, Inc.'s (Greyhound) exemption which allows the placement of video event recorders at the top of the windshields on its buses, and within the swept area of the windshield wipers. Greyhound may continue to use the video event recorders to increase safety through identification and remediation of risky driving behaviors such as distracted driving and drowsiness; enhanced monitoring of passenger behavior; and enhanced collision review and analysis. The Agency has concluded that granting this exemption renewal will maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level of safety achieved without the exemption. However, the Agency requests comments and information on the exemption, especially from anyone who believes this standard will not be maintained.
This decision is effective April 2, 2015. Comments must be received on or before May 4, 2015.
You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) number FMCSA-2008-0224 by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Hand Delivery or Courier: 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: Each submission 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. The Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want acknowledgement that we received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments on-line.
Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.
Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mr. Luke Loy, Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, MC-PSV, (202) 366-4325; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
End Further Info
Start Supplemental Information
FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from certain parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public 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 safety analyses and public comments submitted, 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). Start Printed Page 17819The decision of the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is granted. The notice must also specify the effective period and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).
Basis for Renewing 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 of its bus fleet. On March 19, 2009, FMCSA published a notice of final disposition granting the exemption (74 FR 11807). On March 22, 2011, FMCSA published a notice of final disposition renewing this exemption until March 20, 2013 (76 FR 16034). On March 22, 2013, FMCSA published a notice of final disposition renewing this exemption until March 20, 2015 (78 FR 17749). The renewal outlined in this Notice extends the exemption through March 20, 2017.
FMCSA is not aware of any evidence showing that the installation of video event recorders on Greyhound's buses, in accordance with the conditions of the original and subsequent exemptions, has resulted in any degradation in safety. FMCSA continues to believe that the potential safety gains from the use of video event recorders to improve driver behavior will enhance the overall level of safety to the motoring public.
The exemption is renewed subject to the requirements that video event recorders installed in Greyhound's buses be mounted not more than 50 mm (2 inches) below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers, and located outside the driver's sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals. The exemption will be valid for two years unless rescinded earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be rescinded if: (1) Greyhound fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained before it was granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315.
The Agency believes that extending the exemption for another two years will likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption because (1) the video event recorders will not obstruct drivers' views of the roadway, highway signs and surrounding traffic due to the fact that the panoramic windshields installed on Greyhound's buses encompass a large percentage of the front of buses and extend well above the driver's sight lines; (2) larger windshield wipers installed on Greyhound's buses increase the swept area well beyond that which is recommended by SAE International's guidelines for commercial vehicles; and (3) placement of video event recorders just below the larger swept area of the wipers will be well outside of the driver's useable sight lines. In addition, the Agency believes that the use of video event recorders by fleets to deter unsafe driving behavior is likely to improve the overall level of safety to the motoring public.
During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with this exemption with respect to a person operating under the exemption.
Request for Comments
FMCSA requests comments from parties with data concerning the safety record of buses operated by Greyhound and equipped with video event recorders by May 4, 2015.
The Agency will evaluate any adverse evidence submitted and, if safety is being compromised or if continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA will take immediate steps to revoke the Greyhound exemption.
End Supplemental Information
Issued on: March 26, 2015.
T. F. Scott Darling, III,
[FR Doc. 2015-07636 Filed 4-1-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE CODE 4910-EX-P