Home Page About Us Contribute




Escort, Inc.



Tweets by @CrittendenAuto






By accessing/using The Crittenden Automotive Library/CarsAndRacingStuff.com, you signify your agreement with the Terms of Use on our Legal Information page. Our Privacy Policy is also available there.

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Grant of Temporary Exemption for Volvo/Prevost LLC

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Buses Topics:  Volvo, Prevost

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Grant of Temporary Exemption for Volvo/Prevost LLC

T. F. Scott Darling, III
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
March 13, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 49 (Friday, March 13, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13460-13461]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-05634]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0386]


Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Grant of 
Temporary Exemption for Volvo/Prevost LLC

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 
announces its decision to grant Volvo/Prevost, LLC's (Volvo/Prevost) 
application for a limited two-year exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1) 
on behalf of motor carriers that will be operating commercial motor 
vehicles (CMV) manufactured by the company to use lane departure 
warning (LDW) systems mounted in the windshield area at a height lower 
than what is currently allowed by the regulation. The LDW system alerts 
drivers who unintentionally drift out of their lane of travel, thus 
promoting improved safety performance. The Agency has determined that 
the placement of the LDW system camera in the windshield area would not 
have an adverse impact on safety and that the terms and conditions of 
the exemption would achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater 
than the level of safety provided by the regulation.

DATES: This exemption is effective from March 13, 2015 through March 
13, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Mike Huntley, Vehicle and Roadside 
Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC-
PSV, (202) 366-4325, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments submitted to the notice requesting public comments on the 
exemption application, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit 
Room W12-140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays. The on-line Federal document 
management system is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. 
The docket number is listed at the beginning of this notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from certain parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations (FMCSR). FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption 
request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must 
provide the public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant 
to the application, including any safety analyses that have been 
conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public 
comment on the request.
    The Agency reviews safety analyses and public comments submitted, 
and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a 
level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be 
achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of 
the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 
381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application 
and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving 
the exemption, and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is 
granted. The notice must also specify the effective period and explain 
the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed 
(49 CFR 381.300(b)).

Volvo/Prevost's Application for Exemption

    Volvo/Prevost applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1) to 
allow the installation of an LDW system on motorcoaches purchased by 
its customers. A copy of the application is included in the docket 
referenced at the beginning of this notice.
    Section 393.60(e)(1) of the FMCSRs prohibits the obstruction of the 
driver's field of view by devices mounted at the top of the windshield. 
Antennas, transponders and similar devices must not be mounted more 
than 152 mm (6 inches) below the upper edge of the windshield. These 
devices must be located outside the area swept by the windshield wipers 
and outside the driver's sight lines to the road and highway signs and 
signals.
    The application stated:

    Volvo/Prevost is making this request so it is possible to 
introduce a Lane Departure Warning system in line with [the] NHTSA 
Bus Safety plan as it already did for several other safety features. 
The camera must be installed in the wiper swept area of [the] 
windshield for the system to perform correctly because it must have 
a clear forward facing view of the road. On a today's typical coach 
the lower part of the windshield is outside the driver's sight lines 
to the road and highway signs and signals which is different from a 
truck. Therefore, we request the installation of the camera on the 
lower part of the windshield within the bottom 7 inches of the wiper 
swept area.

    In addition, Volvo/Prevost noted that without the proposed 
temporary exemption, it would not be able to deploy the LDW system in 
motorcoaches because (1) its customers would be fined for violating the 
current regulation, (2) the LDW system would not perform adequately and 
would not bring the safety benefits expected, and (3) the camera would 
be more in the field of view of the driver. Volvo/

[[Page 13461]]

Prevost states that if the exemption is granted, it ``will be able to 
install the LDW camera system in a location which will offer the best 
opportunity to optimize the data and evaluate the benefits of such a 
system.''

Comments

    FMCSA published a notice of the application in the Federal Register 
on December 18, 2013, and asked for public comment (78 FR 76702).
    The Agency received one comment, from Greyhound Lines, Inc. 
(Greyhound). Greyhound stated that it ``has a substantial number of 
motorcoaches manufactured by Prevost in its fleet and has been an 
industry leader in adding innovative safety equipment to its 
motorcoaches.'' Greyhound strongly supports the granting of the 
exemption, stating that it ``believes that the lane departure warning 
(LDW) system that Prevost plans to install on its motorcoaches can be a 
useful tool for enhancing motorcoach safety if properly installed,'' 
and agreed with Volvo/Prevost's assertion that ``the camera must be 
installed in the wiper swept area of [the] windshield for the system to 
perform correctly because it must have a clear forward facing view of 
the road.'' Greyhound agreed that installation of the LDW camera within 
the bottom 7 inches of the wiper swept area ``will maximize its 
effectiveness as a safety tool while not impeding the driver's sight 
lines.''

FMCSA Decision

    The FMCSA has evaluated the Volvo/Prevost exemption application. 
The Agency believes that granting the temporary exemption to allow the 
placement of LDW systems lower in the windshield than is currently 
permitted by the Agency's regulations will provide a level of safety 
that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved 
without the exemption because (1) based on the technical information 
available, there is no indication that the LDW systems would obstruct 
drivers' views of the roadway, highway signs and surrounding traffic; 
(2) generally, buses have an elevated seating position that greatly 
improves the forward visual field of the driver, and any impairment of 
available sight lines would be minimal; and (3) the location within the 
bottom seven inches of the area swept by the windshield wiper and out 
of the driver's normal sightline will be reasonable and enforceable at 
roadside. In addition, the Agency believes that the use of LDW systems 
by fleets is likely to improve the overall level of safety to the 
motoring public.
    This action is consistent with previous Agency actions permitting 
the placement of LDW systems on CMVs within the swept area of the 
windshield wipers. In November 2011, FMCSA granted temporary exemptions 
to Con-way, Takata, and Iteris enabling the mounting of LDW system 
sensors not more than 2 inches below the upper edge of the area swept 
by the windshield wipers and outside the driver's sight lines to the 
road and highway signs and signals. The Agency recently renewed these 
exemptions for a second 2-year period, as FMCSA is not aware of any 
evidence showing that the installation of the devices has resulted in 
any degradation in safety. Further, while the original exemption 
granted relief to motor carriers using only the Takata and Iteris LDW 
systems, the Agency determined that it was appropriate to extend the 
scope of the exemption to motor carriers using any LDW system, given 
that FMCSA is unaware of any reduction in the level of safety 
associated with the use of those systems.
    However, the provisions of that exemption cannot apply to the 
Volvo/Prevost application, as the requested mounting location for the 
Volvo/Prevost LDW system is at the lower portion of the windshield, 
within the bottom 7 inches of the wiper swept area, as opposed to the 
mounting location permitted by the other exemption, which is not more 
than 2 inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield 
wipers. Notwithstanding the different mounting location, and for the 
reasons discussed above, FMCSA believes that allowing the placement of 
LDW systems in the lower portion of the windshield, within the swept 
area of the wipers, will provide a level of safety that is equivalent 
to, or greater than the level of safety achieved without the exemption. 
FMCSA continues to believe that the potential safety gains from the use 
of LDW systems to improve driver performance will improve the overall 
level of safety to the motoring public.

Terms and Conditions for the Exemption

    The Agency hereby grants the exemption for a two-year period, 
beginning March 13, 2015 and ending March 13, 2017. During the 
temporary exemption period, motor carriers operating motorcoaches 
manufactured by Volvo/Prevost must ensure that the LDW systems are 
mounted not more than 7 inches above the lower edge of the area swept 
by the windshield wipers, and outside the driver's sight lines to the 
road and highway signs and signals. The exemption will be valid for two 
years unless rescinded earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be 
rescinded if: (1) Motor carriers operating motorcoaches manufactured by 
Volvo/Prevost fail to comply with the terms and conditions of the 
exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety 
than was maintained before it was granted; or (3) continuation of the 
exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 
U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b).
    Interested parties possessing information that would demonstrate 
that motor carriers operating motorcoaches manufactured by Volvo/
Prevost are not achieving the requisite statutory level of safety 
should immediately notify FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any such 
information and, if safety is being compromised or if the continuation 
of the exemption is not consistent with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 
31315(b), will take immediate steps to revoke the exemption.

Preemption

    During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall 
enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with or is inconsistent 
with this exemption with respect to a person operating under the 
exemption.

    Issued on: March 2, 2015.
T. F. Scott Darling, III,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2015-05634 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library at Google+ The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Instagram The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Pinterest The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr
 


The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home Page    About Us    Contribute