Final rule allows performance-based brake testers

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today announced a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) final rule establishing pass/fail criteria for use with performance-based brake testers (PBBTs), which measure the braking performance of commercial vehicles. The final rule allows motor carriers and federal, state and local enforcement officials to use the new technology to determine

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today announced a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) final rule establishing pass/fail criteria for use with performance-based brake testers (PBBTs), which measure the braking performance of commercial vehicles.

The final rule allows motor carriers and federal, state and local enforcement officials to use the new technology to determine whether a truck or bus complies with brake performance safety standards. The use of PBBTs, which assess vehicle-braking capability by measuring brake forces at each wheel or by measuring overall vehicle brake performance in a controlled test, is expected to save time and could increase the number of commercial vehicles that can be inspected in a given time, Mineta said.

"We need to take advantage of new technology to help reduce the number of fatalities related to truck and bus crashes," Mineta said. "This new safety technology can help prevent crashes by ensuring that trucks and buses have sufficient braking capacity."

The final rule means that certified roller dynamometers, breakaway torque testers, and flat-plate testers, all of which measure brake force, can be used to measure brake compliance and help determine whether a truck or bus's brakes comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

The new rule applies to all commercial vehicles with GVWs over 10,000 lbs., and will go into effect February 3, 2003.

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