White House reviews stopping-distance rule

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The Obama administration apparently has picked up where the Bush administration left off on a major regulation that could affect the design of braking systems on heavy-duty trucks. On Wednesday, June 10, the U.S. Department of Transportation sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget a long-awaited final rule to reduce the mandated stopping distance for truck tractors equipped with air brake systems.

Last fall, USDOT submitted a final rule to OMB, but the White House agency was focused on completing more controversial measures before the end of the Bush administration. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed to change the existing requirements in December 2005, but by then the matter already had dragged on for years. In its monthly report on significant rulemakings, USDOT said this month that it expects a final rule to be published in September.

For a copy of NHTSA’s proposed rule and comments regarding it, go to www.regulations.gov and search NHTSA-2005-21462.