Regulatory Updates – Februrary 20, 2015

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

PHMSA to Host Research Forum

On February 20, 2015, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced that the agency will be hosting a Research and Development Forum on April 16, 2015, in Washington, DC. PHMSA will use the forum to present the results of recently completed research projects and to discuss current and future research projects. PHMSA will also be soliciting comments on new research projects which may be considered for inclusion in its strategic plan. PHMSA is asking that attendees register here.

FMCSA Extends Crash Weighting Study Comment Period

On February 19, 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that the agency will be extending the comment period for the Crash Weighting Analysis from February 23 to March 25, 2015.

FMCSA Seeks Comment on Windshield Display Exemption Request

On February 18, 2015, FMCSA issued a Notice and request for comment seeking input on an application for exemption from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to allow the placement of camera-based data acquisition systems (DAS) at the bottom of windshields on commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). 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. VTTI is coordinating device development and installation of the DASs for a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research program in up to 150 CMVs. The exemption would enable VTTI and NHTSA to conduct research on the reliability of collision avoidance systems for CMVs. VTTI believes that mounting the DASs at the bottom of the windshield would maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption. Comments are due March 20, 2015.

Update on Other Rulemakings of Interest

On February 13, 2015, the Department of Transportation (DOT) published its monthly Report on DOT Significant Rulemakings. The report included the following updates:

  • Safety Fitness Determination Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) – publication has been delayed one month, from June 2015 to July 2015.
  • CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Final Rule – publication has been delayed a month and a half, from October 30, 2015 to December 14, 2015.
  • ELD Final Rule – publication has been delayed just over a month, from September 30, 2015 to November 9, 2015.
  • Lease and Interchange of Vehicles for Passenger Motor Carriers Final Rule – publication is still scheduled for September 2015.
  • MAP-21 Enhancements to the Unified Registration System NPRM – publication is still scheduled for April of 2016.
  • FMCSA/NHTSA Joint Rule on Heavy Vehicle Speed Limiters – publication has been delayed one month, from May 2015 to June 2015.
  • Motorcoach Rollover Structural Integrity Final Rule – publication is still scheduled for December 2015.
  • Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles Final Rule – transmitted to OMB 2/4/15, publication scheduled for May 7, 2015.
  • Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium-and Heavy-Duty Vehicles and Work Trucks NPRM – publication is still scheduled for March 2015.
  • Wetlines Final Rule – publication is still scheduled for August 2015.

FMCSA Announces Entry Level Driver Training Advisory Committee and Meeting

On February 12, 2015, FMCSA announced the members of the Entry Level Driver Training Advisory Committee (ELDTAC), established to complete a negotiated rulemaking on Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) for individuals who want to operate CMVs. Bob Tershak, a Master Trooper with the Virginia State Police, will participate on behalf of CVSA. The group’s first meeting will be held February 26 and 27, 2015. The meeting is open to the public and there will be a public comment period at the end of each day. A full list of members and additional information on the ELDTAC can be found on the Committee’s website.

PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits

In February 2015, PHMSA published several updates on Special Permit Applications.