NHTSA to hold public hearing on proposed stability control rule

NHTSA to hold public hearing on proposed stability control rule

NHTSA will hold a public hearing on July 24 regarding the agency’s notice of proposed rulemaking to establish a new standard that would require truck tractors with a gross vehicle weight rating of greater than 26,000 lbs. to be equipped with an electronic stability control (ESC) systems.

Heavy vehicle ESC systems use engine torque control and computer-controlled braking of individual wheels to assist the driver in maintaining control of the vehicle in situations in which the vehicle is becoming roll unstable (such as excessive speed in a curve) or is experiencing a loss of control (the vehicle deviates from the driver's intended path due to oversteer or understeer).

The five major topics that are discussed in the NPRM include:

  • The size of the safety problem related to truck tractor and large bus ESC systems show.
  • How electronic stability control systems work to prevent rollover and loss of control.
  • The research and testing that were separately conducted by NHTSA and the industry to evaluate the potential safety benefits of ESC and to develop dynamic vehicle test maneuvers to evaluate ESC performance.
  • The specifics of the agency's proposal, including ESC equipment and performance criteria, vehicle compliance testing requirements, and the implementation schedule.
  • The benefits and costs of the proposal, as described in the NPRM and in the agency's Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis that is included in the docket.

The hearing will be held at DOT headquarters, West Building Ground Floor, Media Center — Room W11-130, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. The hearing will start at 10 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m. EST. If necessary to accommodate a large number of presenters, the hearing may continue beyond 2 p.m. as determined by the presiding official at the hearing, the agency said.

The public hearing provides a forum for the public to present oral testimony regarding the agency's proposal for heavy vehicle ESC. For planning purposes, each speaker should anticipate speaking for approximately 10 minutes, although NHTSA may need to shorten that time if there is a large number of people wishing to make presentations.

Those who wish to present at the hearing should bring three copies of their statement or other material to the hearing for the NHTSA panel. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, NHTSA said it prefers that speakers who are using audio-visual aids or computer slideshows either provide those materials in advance of the meeting or make other arrangements to facilitate set-up.

NHTSA will conduct the hearing informally. Thus, technical rules of evidence will not apply. The agency will arrange for a written transcript of the hearing, and interested parties may make arrangements to receive a copy of the transcript directly from the court reporter at the hearing.

Presenters wishing to provide supplementary information should submit by the Aug. 21, 2012 deadline for those comments. There will be a panel of agency officials who may ask clarifying questions during the oral presentations, but the panel will not respond to the presentations at that time. Written statements and supporting information submitted during the comment period will be considered with the same weight as oral comments and supporting information presented at the public hearing.

For security purposes, government-issued photo identification is required to enter the Dept. of Transportation building. Non-U.S. citizens will be required to show passports. To allow sufficient time to clear security and enter the building, NHTSA recommends that hearing participants arrive 30 to 60 minutes prior to the start of the event.

To be assured of consideration written comments on the proposal must be received by August 21, 2012. You may submit comments on the agency's proposal to Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0065, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations M-30, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations M-30, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
  • Fax: 202-493-2251.

Note that all comments will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov. Please ensure that your comments include the docket number in the subject line or heading.

If you would like to present oral testimony at the public hearing, please contact Christopher Morris, Office of Rulemaking, by email at [email protected], telephone at (202) 493-2218, or fax at (202) 366-5930 at least 10 days before the hearing date of July 24. Provide: Name, affiliation, address, email address and telephone number; indicate whether you are a U.S. citizen; and indicate if you require accommodations such as a sign language interpreter or translator. Those interested attending the public hearing as an observer, please contact the Morris at least 10 days before the hearing. Depending on the available space, registration for persons attending the public hearing as observers may be accepted after that date.

For technical issues regarding the agency's NPRM, you may contact Jeffrey Woods, Office of Crash Avoidance Standards, by telephone at (202) 366-6206, or fax at (202) 366-7002. For legal issues, you may contact David Jasinski, Office of the Chief Counsel, by telephone at (202) 366-2992, or fax at (202) 366-3820. You may send mail to both of these officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

Further information regarding the proposed rulemaking is available by searching the public docket (NHTSA-2012-0065) at www.regulations.gov.

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