FMCSA Extends Collision Warning System Exemption; Says ‘No’ to Cameras As Mirrors

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has renewed an exemption that allows carriers to mount lane departure warning systems and collision mitigation cameras lower on the windshield of a truck.

According to CCJ magazine, FMCSA granted the exemption for a two-year period, ending Nov. 17, 2017. During the exemption period, carriers using lane departure warning systems and collision mitigation systems with sensors measuring 2 inches by 3.5 inches or smaller can mount the sensors no more than two inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers and outside the driver’s sight lines.

The agency said it did reserve the right to rescind the exemption if “carriers or drivers fail to comply with the terms of the exemption, if the exemption results in a lower level of safety than before or if continuation of the exemption wouldn’t be consistent with the “goals and objectives of regulations,” FMCSA says.

To comment on the exemption, visit www.regulations.gov and search Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0166.

Meanwhile, FMCSA also denied an exemption request from to allow a company to use camera systems at the sides and rear of its 15 trucks in place of rear-view mirrors.

FMCSA cited federal regulations requiring all trucks and truck-tractors to be equipped with two rear-view mirrors, one on each side, attached to the outside of the truck.

Although the company wanted to install the camera system as part of a study to evaluate the safety and economic benefits of eliminating outside mirrors, “it did not provide evidence to enable the Agency to conclude that motor carriers operating vehicles without any rear-vision mirrors could achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained by complying with the regulation,” FMCSA said in its decision.

According to CCJ, Daimler Trucks made a similar request to the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earlier this year, asking the agency to allow it to use camera and monitor systems instead of rearview mirrors on some of its vehicles, citing aerodynamic benefits and better fields-of-view as reasons why. NHTSA will likely make a separate decision regarding Daimler’s petition.

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