Regulatory Update – July 8, 2024

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

FMCSA Extends Comment Period on Fees for Towing and Recovery Services
On July 1, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)  the period to submit comments on current industry practices regarding the disclosure of towing costs and fees to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) owners. Comments are due by Aug. 1.

PHMSA Requests Comments on De Minimis Quantities of Explosives
On June 28, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)  comments from hazardous materials shippers pertaining to what small quantities or low concentrations of explosives they offer for transport appear to present a low risk to life, property and the environment. Comments are due by Sept. 26.

NHTSA Denies Motor Vehicle Defect Petition
On June 26, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)  a petition requesting the agency commence an investigation of collisions of passenger vehicles and vulnerable road users with van-type semi-trailers that result in significant injuries or death due to a lack of effective rear impact guards. After consideration of the petition and other information, NHTSA found that the issues raised are best addressed through its recent rulemaking and the ongoing actions under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

U.S. DOT Announces Upcoming Meetings for the Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking
On June 26, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)  two virtual meetings of its Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking. The meetings will be held on Aug. 14 and Sept. 6, and advanced registration is required.

Update on Exemptions

NHTSA Requests Comments on Exemptions from Shoulder Belt Requirement in Side-Facing Seats on Motorcoaches
On July 2, NHTSA  comments on petitions seeking renewal of temporary exemptions from a shoulder belt requirement of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, “Occupant crash protection,” for side-facing seats on motorcoaches. The petitioners seek to renew their exemptions that allow them to install Type 1 seat belts (lap belt only) at side-facing seating positions, instead of Type 2 seat belts (lap and shoulder belts) required by FMVSS No. 208. Comments are due by Sept. 3.

FMCSA Denies Clym HOS Exemption
On July 1, FMCSA  the exemption application from Clym Environmental Services LLC (Clym) requesting an exemption from the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations to allow its drivers up to 14 hours of drive time within the work shift or, alternatively, up to 12 hours. FMCSA analyzed the application and determined that the exemption would not likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption.

FMCSA Provisionally Renews Groendyke Exemption
On June 28, FMCSA  its decision to provisionally renew Groendyke Transport Inc.’s (Groendyke) exemption to allow the use of an amber brake-activated pulsating lamp on the rear of its trailers in addition to the steady-burning brake lamps required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. This renewed exemption is effective April 26 through Oct. 26 unless revoked earlier. Comments are due by July 29.

FMCSA Grants Four Exemptions Allowing the Use of the Intellistop Module
On June 28, FMCSA announced its decision to grant four motor carriers’ individual applications for exemption allowing them to operate CMVs equipped with a module manufactured by Intellistop Inc. (Intellistop), which is designed to pulse the required rear clearance, identification and brake lamps from a lower-level lighting intensity to a higher-level lighting intensity four times in two seconds when the brakes are applied and then return the lights to a steady-burning state while the brakes remain engaged. Each exemption is effective June 28, 2024, through June 28, 2029.

CVSA Active Exemption Tracker
CVSA maintains a  issued by FMCSA. The exemption tracker can be found at under the “Inspections” tab at the top of the page.

Other Items of Interest

PHMSA Publishes Quarterly Hazardous Matters Newsletter
 is PHMSA’s quarterly newsletter for hazardous materials safety. Every quarter, this publication consolidates timely information on the latest rulemaking activities, upcoming workshops and webinars, newest publications, and other highlights from PHMSA’s current safety initiatives. The current version was published on July 1.

Vinn White Announced as FMCSA Deputy Administrator
On June 25, Vinn White was  as deputy administrator and acting administrator of FMCSA. White currently serves as the U.S. DOT’s acting chief artificial intelligence officer.