Trucker 402 Dot Label

FMCSA equipment-label rulemaking doesn't stick

Dec. 29, 2015
FMCSA has dropped plans to require interstate carriers to display a label to document a vehicle’s compliance with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs) in effect as of the date of manufacture.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has dropped plans to require interstate carriers to display a label to document a vehicle’s compliance with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs) in effect as of the date of manufacture.

In a notice to be published Wednesday in the Federal RegisterFMCSA says it has withdrawn the June 17 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) because subsequently filed comments “raised substantive issues” that led the agency to conclude “it would be inappropriate to move forward” with a final rule based on the proposal.

“Because the FMVSSs critical to the operational safety of CMVs are cross referenced in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), FMCSA has determined that it can most effectively ensure that motor carriers maintain the safety equipment and features provided by the FMVSSs through enforcement of the FMCSRs, making an additional FMVSS certification labeling regulation unnecessary,” the notice reads.

Among the objections, commenters (including the American Trucking Assns., the Truckload Carriers Assn., the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn., the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Assn., and several carriers) noted that:

  • The rule would provide no safety benefits
  • FMVSS markings, particularly on trailers, are subject to damage, over-painting, and loss over the life of the vehicle. No certification marking is permanent
  • Many of the manufacturers have gone out of business, been purchased, or are overseas; obtaining a replacement certification or letter may not be possible
  • The proposal does not recognize the issues raised by interlining and other operational patterns; and
  • The rule would impose significant costs on carriers, which FMCSA has failed to estimate.

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