FMCSA looks to expand definition, mounting position of vehicle safety tech

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Updated Jul 8, 2021

Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, July 6, 2021:

FMCSA looks to expand definition, mounting position of vehicle safety tech

        The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing to expand the area on windshields in which safety technology devices can be mounted. The agency is also proposing to add more items to its definition of “vehicle safety technology.”

        Current regulations require devices with vehicle safety technologies to be mounted no more than 4 inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers, or not more than 7 inches above the lower edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers, and outside the driver’s sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals.

        In a notice of proposed rulemaking set to be published in the Federal Register Tuesday, July 7, the agency proposes to increase from 4 inches to 8.5 inches the distance below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers within which vehicle safety technologies may be mounted. The other parameters would remain unchanged.

        Additionally, FMCSA is proposing to add more items to the definition of “vehicle safety technology.” Current regulations define them as, “a fleet-related incident management system, performance or behavior management system, speed management system, forward collision warning or mitigation system, active cruise control system, and transponder.”

        FMCSA is proposing to modify the definition of vehicle safety technology to add technologies that are intended to promote driver, occupant, and roadway safety, including braking warning systems, braking assist systems, automatic emergency braking, driver camera system, attention assist warning, and traffic sign recognition.

        The agency is requesting public comment on its proposal, which will open July 6 for 30 days. Comments can be made at www.regulations.gov by searching docket number FMCSA-2021-0037. To assist in development of the proposed regulatory revisions, FMCSA specifically requests responses to the following questions:

        1. Does the definition of vehicle safety technology need to be expanded further to address other potential technologies and/or multifunction devices such as electronic logging devices that incorporate technologies such as GPS that either require placement in the approximate middle of the CMV windshield or would benefit driver safety by not diverting the driver’s eyes from the road and would be subject to the positioning requirements of the regulation?
        2. Would the proposed position of allowable vehicle safety technologies (not more than 8.5 inches below the upper and 7 inches above the lower edge of the swept area of the windshield) be sufficient for current and developing devices?

        WEL raises driver pay again

        WEL Companies (CCJ Top 250, No. 178) is increasing driver pay for the second time this year with a 4 cents per mile increase, for a total of 7 cents per mile since the beginning of the year.

         “We are thrilled to announce that for the second time this year, WEL has completed the final stages of another compensation increase for company drivers,” said Bruce Tielens, WEL Companies owner. “During these unprecedented times in the transportation industry, we feel our drivers are the best-in-the-industry and our pay offerings should reflect that.”

        WEL has also increased both holiday and vacation pay and is adding upwards of 75 new trucks to the fleet in 2021.

        Yokohama increasing tire prices

        Yokohama Tire Corporation will implement a price increase on its commercial truck tires and consumer replacement tires, effective Aug. 1.

        The company cites an “unprecedented increase in the cost of raw materials and the ongoing rise of operational costs” for the increase.