Define your terms

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposes to amend the regulations for “Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation,” and “Inspection, Repair and Maintenance,” of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) in response to several petitions for rulemaking from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and the American Trucking Associations (ATA), and two safety recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Specifically, the Agency proposes to add a definition of  ”major tread groove” which we think is a great idea.   As writers of instructional material we always endeavor to give accurate definitions of terms. The agency also proposes to:

  • revise the rear license plate lamp requirement to provide an exception for truck tractors registered in States that do not require tractors to have a rear license plate;
  • provide specific requirements regarding when violations or defects noted on a roadside inspection report need to be corrected;
  • amend Appendix G to the FMCSRs, “Minimum Periodic Inspection Standards,” to include provisions for the inspection of antilock braking systems (ABS), automatic brake adjusters, and brake adjustment indicators, speed-restricted tires, and motorcoach passenger seat mounting anchorages;
  • and amend the periodic inspection rules to eliminate the option for motor carriers to use a violation–free roadside inspection report as proof of completing a comprehensive inspection at least once every 12 months.

In addition, the Agency proposes to eliminate introductory text from Appendix G to the FMCSRs because the discussion of the differences between the North American Standard Inspection out-of-service criteria and FMCSA’s periodic inspection criteria is unnecessary.

The FMCSA invites you to comment on or before December 7, 2015. You may submit comments identified by docket number FMCSA-2015-0176 using any one of the following methods:

  1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  2. Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  3. Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.
  4. Fax: 202-493-2251.

To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” heading under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions about this proposed rule, call or email Mr. Mike Huntley, Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, telephone: 202-366-5370; If you have questions about viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Ms. Barbara Hairston, Program Manager, Docket Services, telephone 202-366-9826.

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