The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) says it needs more time to collaborate with industry stakeholders and submit meaningful comments on an ongoing rulemaking to mandate automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems on heavy trucks.
In an August 3 letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation, on behalf of the Commercial Vehicle Brake Manufacturers Council (CVBMC), CVSA asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) for another 30 days to provide stakeholder comments.
The current comment deadline is Sept. 5.
The agencies had on July 6 issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would require newly manufactured vehicles with gross vehicle weight ratings above 10,000 lb. to be equipped with AEB systems to reduce the frequency and severity of rear-end crashes into other vehicles. The systems would not have to be retrofitted to existing vehicles.
An AEB system uses multiple sensor technologies that work together to detect an imminent crash. It automatically applies the brakes if the driver has not done so, or if needed, applies more braking force to supplement the driver’s braking, according to the Department of Transportation.
60 days not enough time
In the letter to the Department of Transportation, CVSA executive director Collin Mooney said 60 days wasn’t enough time to prepare and approve comments on such a “complicated and important issue”.
He said CVSA and CVBMC would like to collaborate with other entities that will be commenting, to “ensure all issues and concerns are addressed and our organization can provide NHTSA and FMCSA with comments that will contribute to a comprehensive, well informed, science and data-based NPRM.”
Stakeholders and subject matter experts like manufacturers and carriers will be invited to a meeting in late August to share thoughts and have an open dialogue about the proposed requirements, he said, referring to efforts by CVSA, CVBMC and other stakeholders. Representatives of NHTSA and FMCSA will also be invited.
Mooney added that agencies themselves should consider holding a “DOT-led stakeholder listening session” to provide another avenue for direct feedback, likening it to the sessions FMCSA held on electronic logging devices, and the industry forum NHTSA held while developing antilock brake system requirements.
Waiting to hear from DOT
CVSA deputy executive director Adrienne Gildea told Today’s Trucking that, as of Aug. 14, the group has not yet heard back from DOT on its request for an extended AEB comment period.
Gildea added that CVSA “would certainly encourage FMCSA to consider the value of a listening session, even after the comment period has closed, if they believe such a forum would bring value to their deliberations.”
Lane Kidd, executive director of the Trucking Alliance, told Today’s Trucking that he’s confident his group would support an extended comment period.
The alliance is concerned that mid-sized trucks are included in the proposal with the same deadline as Class 7 and 8 trucks.
“Our understanding is that adding those trucks is technically not feasible right now; and we are not sure Congress intended the legislation to include these smaller trucks anyway,” he said.
CVSA includes local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal commercial motor vehicle safety officials and industry representatives. The Trucking Alliance is a U.S.-based coalition of freight and logistics companies dedicated to improving the safety and security of commercial trucks and motorists.
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