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FMCSA Proposes to Expand Windshield Parameters for Safety Devices

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing a change to the regulations that would increase the area in which certain safety devices may be mounted on the interior windshield of a commercial motor vehicle.

notice of proposed rulemaking is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, July 6. The proposal is in response to a petition from Daimler Trucks North America.

In recent years, the FMCSA has granted several exemptions to the regulation that allowed windshield-mounted technology outside of the existing parameters as long as it didn’t block a driver’s sightlines. Rather than continuing to address specific exemption requests, FMCSA would require that devices mounted within the area swept by the windshield wipers to be located no more than 8.5 inches below the upper edge and no more than 7 inches above the lower edge of the swept area. The devices also would have to be located outside of the driver’s sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals.

According to FMCSA, vehicle safety technology includes systems and items of equipment to promote driver, occupant and roadway safety. Examples of items in the proposed definition include lane departure warning systems, braking warning systems, driver camera systems, GPS devices, and traffic sign recognition.

Daimler petitioned the agency in March 2019 to initiate a rulemaking to amend the regulation to allow “safety-enhancing technologies” to be placed on the interior of the windshield within 8.5 inches below the upper edges of the area swept by the windshield wipers. FMCSA granted a limited exemption to Daimler in 2018, and this rulemaking would make that exemption permanent.

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