At the annual meeting of the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) held in Fort Lauderdale last month, Bill Gouse, ATA vp-engineering, reviewed the most significant developments for trucking on the regulatory front.
Items ATA is tracking include:
- Event data recorders
Petition for rulemaking and a request for comments have been filed. To view the petition, or make a response, go to http://dms.dot.gov/. Docket number is 13546.
- Outside rearview mirrors
Comments were due March 24.
- GAO emissions probe
Agency is investigating the economic, operational and environmental effects of the “implementation of the pull ahead” of the '04 diesel emissions limits for those manufacturers party to consent decrees. He said ATA is providing data.
- 2007 emissions rules
Gouse noted that ATA engineering is collaborating in a study of the urea infrastructure that may be required by low-emission diesels using selective catalytic reduction technology.
- Performance-based brake testers (PBBTs)
Gouse said CVSA will hold a technology demo at their next meeting to help establish a modification to the existing roadside brake inspection procedure to accommodate PBBTs. Go to http://dms.dot.gov/. Docket number is 6266. Or visit www.cvsa.org.
- Increased braking performance
NHTSA is conducting performance testing and evaluations of disc brakes and electronically controlled braking systems (EBS). Revisions to FMVSS 121 “will likely occur,” predicted Gouse, “and will include a reduction in the stopping distance and possibly a new brake in a curve test criteria.”
- California reefer units
State is considering tighter emissions levels for transport refrigeration units sold or used instate. http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/dieselrrp.htm.
- TREAD Act
Some changes are being proposed. A House bill (HR 1137) would exempt small trailer makers from the enhanced early warning reporting regs of the act.
- Cellphone use
Senate bill S 174, the Mobile Telephone Driving Safety Act, would prohibit use of cellphones without hands-free devices while driving. Gouse noted a study by the California Highway patrol identifies “multiple distractions as precursors to vehicle crashes.” (www.chp.ca.gov).
In other news, TMC announced that this June's meeting in Phoenix would be its last summer meeting. Starting next year, the group will hold only winter and fall meetings.
The march meeting hosted the first appearance of a new study group (S.15) to cover “Specialty Trucks.” Rick Fitzpatrick, Waste Management, is chairman. The group is charged with the improvement of vocational trucks.
Taking over as chairman of TMC for 2003-04 was Tom Newby, director of field maintenance for Old Dominion Freight Lines.