U.S. Truck Safety Regulators Abandon Earlier Proposals

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has withdrawn a notice of proposed rulemaking that would have required a commercial motor vehicle to display a label attesting that it was compliant with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) when it was manufactured.

The proposal, issued just six months ago, would have required that the decal by applied by the vehicle manufacturer or a U.S. DOT-registered importer.

The agency said it walked back the proposal because the comments it received made it apparent the rule would result in a redundant requirement.

FMCSA said it ended the rulemaking process because commenters “raised substantive issues which have led the agency to conclude that it would be inappropriate to move forward with a final rule based on the proposal.”

The agency noted that the FMVSSs that the decals would have attested to are cross-referenced in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) and that “FMCSA has determined that it can most effectively ensure that motor carriers maintain the safety equipment and features provided by the FMVSSs through enforcement of the FMCSRs, making an additional FMVSS certification labeling regulation unnecessary.”

In the meantime, due to the new U.S. highway funding law that recently took effect, the Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has withdrawn a plan that would have amended haz-mat regulations on the transportation of “flammable liquid material in unprotected external product piping,” known commonly as wetlines, on tanker trucks.

The proposal, which dates back to 2011, would have limited the amount of flammable liquid that could be carried in the unprotected loading/unloading wetlines of tankers.

PHMSA had contended there was a risk that fuel held in wetlines could spill and ignite in an accident.

However, tank carriers argued that the expense of installing pumps to empty the wetlines would far outweigh the benefits, especially given the added risk of explosion from welding retrofit pumps onto tank trailers.

“Although PHMSA is withdrawing its rulemaking proposal, the agency will continue to consider methods to improve the safety of transporting flammable liquid by cargo tank motor vehicle,” stated the notice.

PHMSA added that it will “continue to analyze current incident data and improve the collection of future incident data to assist in making an informed decision on methods to address this issue further, if warranted.”

–with files from Truckinginfo.com


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