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State Inspection Programs for Passenger-Carrier Vehicles; Withdrawal

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State Inspection Programs for Passenger-Carrier Vehicles; Withdrawal

Daphne Y. Jefferson
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
1 May 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 82 (Monday, May 1, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 20311-20312]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-08724]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Parts 350

[Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0470]
RIN 2126-AB84


State Inspection Programs for Passenger-Carrier Vehicles; 
Withdrawal

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

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; withdrawal.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA withdraws its April 27, 2016, advance notice of proposed 
rulemaking (ANPRM) concerning the establishment of requirements for 
States to implement annual inspection programs for commercial motor 
vehicles (CMVs) designed or used to transport passengers (passenger-
carrying CMVs). FMCSA sought information from all interested parties 
that would enable the Agency to assess the risks associated with 
improperly maintained or inspected passenger-carrying CMVs. The ANPRM 
also sought public comments concerning the effectiveness of the current 
FMCSA annual inspection standards, and data on the potential costs and 
benefits of a Federal requirement for each State to implement a 
mandatory inspection program. FMCSA inquired about how the Agency might 
incentivize States to adopt such programs. After reviewing all the 
public comments, and in consideration of the comments provided by 
individuals attending the three public listening sessions held in 2015, 
FMCSA has determined there is not enough data and information available 
to support moving forward with a rulemaking action.

DATES: The ANPRM ``State Inspection Programs for Passenger-Carrier 
Vehicles,'' published on April 27, 2016 (81 FR 24769), is withdrawn as 
of May 1, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Loretta Bitner, Chief, Commercial 
Passenger Carrier Safety Division at 202-385-2428, or via email at 
Loretta.Bitner@dot.gov, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington,

[[Page 20312]]

DC 20590-0001. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material 
to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background/Topics Addressed During the Comment Period

    In accordance with Sec.  32710 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in 
the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) (Pub. L. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405, 815), 
FMCSA published an ANPRM in the Federal Register on April 27, 2016 (81 
FR 24769). The Agency sought information from industry and other 
stakeholders on the maintenance and inspection of passenger-carrying 
CMVs that would help FMCSA decide whether to propose a rule that 
mandates States to impose an annual inspection process.
    FMCSA requested information from commercial passenger carriers and 
other stakeholders in order to consider proposing a rule that would 
require the States to establish annual inspection programs for 
passenger-carrying CMVs. The requested information was necessary to 
assist FMCSA in quantifying the economic benefits and costs of 
potentially moving forward with establishing an inspection program and 
in assessing risks associated with improperly maintained or inspected 
passenger-carrying CMVs. The ANPRM also was intended to provide 
information on the effectiveness of existing Federal inspection 
requirements in mitigating risks and ensuring safe and proper 
operations.\1\ In the effort to gather relevant data, FMCSA posed a 
series of questions addressing the following matters:
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    \1\ Subsequent to publication of the ANPRM, FMCSA issued a rule 
that eliminated the option of relying on roadside inspections as 
satisfying the periodic inspection requirement. See 81 FR 47722 
(July 22, 2016).
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     Existing State Mandatory Vehicle Inspection Programs for 
Passenger-Carrying CMVs.
     Measuring Effectiveness of Inspection Programs.
     Inspection Facilities and Locations.
     Costs.
     Uniformity of Mandatory Vehicle Inspections Programs.
     Current Federal Standards.
     Federal Authority.

Discussion of Comments

    The Agency received 22 public comments, with 10 commenters 
expressing general opposition to the mandatory State inspection 
requirement discussed in the ANPRM. Seven commenters supported the 
establishment of such a requirement; four commenters neither supported 
nor opposed a possible requirement, and one commenter's issue was out-
of-scope. Many commenters indicated that the existing standards for 
annual inspections prescribed in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations (FMCSRs) or their own programs were sufficient. Commenters 
also indicated that current standards are effective at mitigating risk 
when properly enforced. Several commenters made their support 
contingent on factors such as uniformity in inspection standards, 
standardization of inspector training, a self-inspection option, and 
required reciprocity, whereby States would be required to recognize 
inspections conducted outside their States.
    Several commenters, including State agencies in Michigan, 
Pennsylvania, and Texas, addressed questions aimed at measuring the 
effectiveness of inspection programs. However, none of these commenters 
was able to determine whether the establishment of an inspection 
program reduced the number of safety violations detected. Michigan's 
Department of Motor Vehicles indicated it improved its inspection 
process by educating carriers on the required State inspection criteria 
in 2013; it has since observed a 10% increase in vehicles passing their 
initial safety inspection.
    Few commenters addressed how FMCSA might incentivize the States to 
establish mandatory inspection programs. The South Carolina Transport 
Police noted that a mandate would be a strain on its resources. The 
Michigan Department of Transportation noted that a program should be 
subsidized with Federal funding. A representative from Pennsylvania 
suggested providing additional Federal highway funding to those States 
with well-defined programs.

FMCSA Decision

    FMCSA withdraws the April 2016 ANPRM because the Agency is not 
aware of data or information that supports the development of a notice 
of proposed rulemaking to require the States to establish mandatory 
annual inspection programs for passenger-carrying vehicles.
    The Agency held a series public listening sessions \2\ concerning 
this subject prior to publication of the ANPRM. Those sessions provided 
interested parties with the opportunity to share their views on the 
merits of requiring State inspections of passenger CMVs. Transcripts of 
the sessions are available in the public docket noted above. 
Stakeholders' remarks and comments proved valuable in developing the 
questions posed in the ANPRM, but the information they provided was not 
sufficient to support moving beyond the ANPRM. The Agency received a 
broad range of comments identifying issues FMCSA would need to consider 
in a rulemaking, such as the costs of mandatory inspection programs, 
the value of a nation-wide uniform inspection standard, and the need 
for national training of inspectors to eliminate inconsistencies in how 
inspection standards are applied. Both industry and the enforcement 
community expressed concerns about the cost of an inspection program. 
Stakeholders' estimates of costs for program administration and 
individual inspections varied significantly.
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    \2\ The listening sessions were conducted at the American Bus 
Association Marketplace in St. Louis, Missouri on January 13, 2015, 
a United Motor Coach Association meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana 
on January 18, 2015, and a Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance 
workshop in Jacksonville, Florida on April 14, 2015.
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    The Agency does not foresee the availability of Federal funding to 
incentivize the States to adopt such programs under its existing grant 
programs.

    Issued under the authority of delegation in 49 CFR 1.87 on: 
April 25, 2017.
Daphne Y. Jefferson,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2017-08724 Filed 4-28-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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