In a Final Rule expected to be published to the Federal Register on March 7, 2022, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is amending certain provisions of its Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to increase the area on the interior of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) windshields where certain "vehicle safety technology" devices may be mounted. In addition, the agency has added items to the list of qualifying vehicle safety technologies.
Under existing rules (49 CFR 396.60), motor carriers and drivers are prohibited from placing anything on a CMV windshield that would obstruct the driver's view. This prohibition does not, however, apply to certain "vehicle safety technologies," which, according to the rule, may be placed (1) not more than 4 inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers, (2) not more than 7 inches above the lower edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers, and (3) outside the driver’s sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals.
As CMV technology has advanced, particularly with the proliferation of in-cab event recorders, cameras, and electronic logging devices (ELDs), carriers and device manufacturers have begun to petition the FMCSA for exemptions from these device placement restrictions to allow more flexibility for their installation. In many cases, the agency has granted these exemptions.
In light of this fact, the FMCSA is now modifying § 393.60(e)(1)(ii) to increase from 4 inches to 8.5 inches the distance below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers within which vehicle safety technologies may be mounted. It is also revising the definition of "vehicle safety technology," which will now read as follows:
Vehicle safety technology includes systems and items of equipment to promote driver, occupant, and roadway safety. Examples of vehicle safety technology systems and devices include a fleet-related incident management system, performance or behavior management system, speed management system, lane departure warning system, forward collision warning or mitigation system, active cruise control system, transponder, braking warning system, braking assist system, driver camera system, attention assist warning, Global Positioning Systems, and traffic sign recognition. Vehicle safety technology includes systems and devices that contain cameras, lidar, radar, sensors, and/or video.
49 CFR 390.5.
The Final Rule is set to take effect in approximately 60 days (early May). If you have any questions about this rule change or how it will impact your fleet, please feel free to contact us.