The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will soon require that rear impact guards installed on commercial vehicles be included in the list of components that must be inspected at least annually. In a final rule published in the federal register on November 9th, the agency is amending Appendix G to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to “include rear impact guards on the list of items that must be examined as part of the required annual inspection for each commercial motor vehicle.”
As the agency explains in the final rule, the regulations have long required CMVs to be equipped with rear impact guards to help prevent underride accidents. However, those guards have not been included on the list of components that must be inspected at least annually. This has meant that “a vehicle can pass an annual inspection with a missing or damaged rear impact guard.”
The FMCSA originally proposed to fill this gap back in December of 2020. After considering the comments received in response to its rulemaking, the agency is now pushing ahead with the requirement, which will take effect December 9, 2021. Once the rule is in effect, carriers will need to ensure that all CMV periodic inspections (and resulting reports) include rear impact guards.