FMCSA, NHTSA withdraw truck labeling proposals

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Two U.S. Department of Transportation agencies on Aug. 26 withdrew controversial proposals to require each commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operating in interstate commerce to display a manufacturer-applied label certifying compliance with all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards. Although the proposals would have applied to all CMVs operating in interstate commerce within the United States, it was aimed principally at ensuring the safety of equipment operated by motor carriers based in Canada and Mexico.

Critics of the proposals, which were issued in March 2002, argued that they would require a complex and difficult-to-implement process involving replacement of compliance labels and re-creation of manufacturers’ performance test documentation for vehicles long in use. At the same time, critics questioned the benefits of additional regulation since all CMVs operated in the United States must comply with the federal motor carrier safety regulations and pass roadside inspections.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration were generally persuaded by those arguments, saying they will rely on existing motor vehicle safety standards for the United States and Canada and on certifications of Mexican carriers applying for U.S. authority that their vehicles were manufactured or retrofitted in compliance with FMVSSs that applied at the time they were built. Those certifications will be confirmed during pre-authority safety audits and through ongoing enforcement in roadside inspections.

For a copy of the notices of withdrawal, visit http://dms.dot.gov/search and search Docket Nos. 10886 and 22197.