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FMCSA announces final rule requiring annual inspections of rear underride guards

From Transport Topics.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a final rule amending safety regulations to specifically add rear underride impact guards as a required item on the list of annual inspections for motor carriers and roadside inspectors.

This final rule, due to be posted in the Federal Register on Nov. 9, responds to rulemaking petitions from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, as well as a recommendation from the Government Accountability Office and comments from members of Congress.

The rule also adds a definition of road construction controlled horizontal discharge trailers and makes it clear that RCC trailers are not required to have a rear impact guard installed.

The final rule requirements largely mirror the proposed rule that was announced Dec. 29, and noted that the rule should have little significant effect on most motor carriers that since 1952 have been required to install rear guards on their trucks.

“The impacts of this final rule are de minimis, and therefore, the final rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities,” FMCSA said.

American Trucking Associations Vice President of Safety Policy Dan Horvath commented, “ATA is pleased that FMCSA has moved forward with improving the inspection standards for rear impact guards. Requiring these guards to be inspected on an annual basis is a step forward for safety.”

Rear impact guards and rear-end protection on most commercial vehicles reduce the incidence of passenger compartment intrusion during crashes in which a passenger vehicle strikes the rear of the CMV, FMCSA said.

Industry trade groups largely have been supportive of the new annual inspection requirement, but have opposed attempts to require side guards.

See the complete article online at Transport Topics.