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Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Exemption Renewal for Greyhound Lines, Inc.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Buses Topics:  Greyhound

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Exemption Renewal for Greyhound Lines, Inc.

T. F. Scott Darling, III
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
April 2, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 63 (Thursday, April 2, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17818-17819]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-07636]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2008-0224]


Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Exemption 
Renewal for Greyhound Lines, Inc.

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

ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemption; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA renews Greyhound Lines, Inc.'s (Greyhound) exemption 
which allows the placement of video event recorders at the top of the 
windshields on its buses, and within the swept area of the windshield 
wipers. Greyhound may continue to use the video event recorders to 
increase safety through identification and remediation of risky driving 
behaviors such as distracted driving and drowsiness; enhanced 
monitoring of passenger behavior; and enhanced collision review and 
analysis. The Agency has concluded that granting this exemption renewal 
will maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than 
the level of safety achieved without the exemption. However, the Agency 
requests comments and information on the exemption, especially from 
anyone who believes this standard will not be maintained.

DATES: This decision is effective April 2, 2015. Comments must be 
received on or before May 4, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) number FMCSA-2008-0224 by any of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, 
DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: Ground Floor, Room W12-140, DOT 
Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. 
and 5 p.m. e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Instructions: Each submission must include the Agency name and 
docket number for this notice. For detailed instructions on submitting 
comments and additional information on the exemption process, see the 
``Public Participation'' heading below. Note that all comments received 
will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including 
any personal information provided. Please see the ``Privacy Act'' 
heading for further information.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or to Room W12-140, 
DOT Building, New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 
5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Federal 
Docket Management System (FDMS) is available 24 hours each day, 365 
days each year. If you want acknowledgement that we received your 
comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard 
or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting 
comments on-line.
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits 
comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT 
posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information 
the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the 
system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
www.dot.gov/privacy.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Luke Loy, Vehicle and Roadside 
Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, 
MC-PSV, (202) 366-4325; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

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. 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).

[[Page 17819]]

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)).

Basis for Renewing Exemption

    On March 19, 2008, Greyhound applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 
393.60(e)(1) to allow it to install video event recorders on some or 
all of its bus fleet. On March 19, 2009, FMCSA published a notice of 
final disposition granting the exemption (74 FR 11807). On March 22, 
2011, FMCSA published a notice of final disposition renewing this 
exemption until March 20, 2013 (76 FR 16034). On March 22, 2013, FMCSA 
published a notice of final disposition renewing this exemption until 
March 20, 2015 (78 FR 17749). The renewal outlined in this Notice 
extends the exemption through March 20, 2017.
    FMCSA is not aware of any evidence showing that the installation of 
video event recorders on Greyhound's buses, in accordance with the 
conditions of the original and subsequent exemptions, has resulted in 
any degradation in safety. FMCSA continues to believe that the 
potential safety gains from the use of video event recorders to improve 
driver behavior will enhance the overall level of safety to the 
motoring public.
    The exemption is renewed subject to the requirements that video 
event recorders installed in Greyhound's buses be mounted not more than 
50 mm (2 inches) below the upper edge of the area swept by the 
windshield wipers, and located 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) Greyhound fails 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.
    The Agency believes that extending the exemption for another two 
years will likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or 
greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption 
because (1) the video event recorders will not obstruct drivers' views 
of the roadway, highway signs and surrounding traffic due to the fact 
that the panoramic windshields installed on Greyhound's buses encompass 
a large percentage of the front of buses and extend well above the 
driver's sight lines; (2) larger windshield wipers installed on 
Greyhound's buses increase the swept area well beyond that which is 
recommended by SAE International's guidelines for commercial vehicles; 
and (3) placement of video event recorders just below the larger swept 
area of the wipers will be well outside of the driver's useable sight 
lines. In addition, the Agency believes that the use of video event 
recorders by fleets to deter unsafe driving behavior is likely to 
improve the overall level of safety to the motoring public.

Preemption

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

Request for Comments

    FMCSA requests comments from parties with data concerning the 
safety record of buses operated by Greyhound and equipped with video 
event recorders by May 4, 2015.
    The Agency will evaluate any adverse evidence submitted and, if 
safety is being compromised or if continuation of the exemption would 
not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) 
and 31315, FMCSA will take immediate steps to revoke the Greyhound 
exemption.

    Issued on: March 26, 2015.
 T. F. Scott Darling, III,
 Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2015-07636 Filed 4-1-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE CODE 4910-EX-P

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