[Federal Register: June 18, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 117)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance; Periodic Inspection of
Commercial Motor Vehicles
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Acceptance of State of Ohio bus inspection programs and
republication of accepted State programs.
SUMMARY: The FMCSA announces it accepts the State of Ohio's periodic
inspection program for buses. The FMCSA previously accepted Ohio's
inspection program for church buses and added it to the list of
programs that are comparable to, or as effective as, the Federal
periodic inspection requirements contained in the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The state has since expanded its program
and now requires that all buses undergo an annual inspection by the
Ohio State Patrol. This notice also publishes the list of all
inspection programs that meet the FMCSR requirement.
DATES: This action is effective on June 18, 2001.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Larry W. Minor, Office of Bus and
Truck Standards and Operations, MC-PSV, (202) 366-4009; Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC
20590. Office hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday
through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Section 210 of the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 (49 U.S.C.
31142) (the Act) requires the Secretary of Transportation (the
Secretary) to prescribe standards for annual, or more frequent,
inspection of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) unless the Secretary
finds another inspection system is as effective as an annual or more
frequent inspection. In 1988, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
published a final rule amending 49 CFR part 396 (53 FR 49402, December
7, 1988) to require CMVs operated in interstate commerce to be
inspected at least once a year. Under section 396.17 the inspection is
to be based on Federal inspection standards, or a State inspection
program determined by the FMCSA to be comparable to, or as effective
as, the Federal standards. Accordingly, if the agency determines a
State's periodic inspection program is comparable to, or as effective
as, the requirements of part 396, then a motor carrier must ensure that
all of its commercial motor vehicles which are required by that State
to be inspected through the State's inspection program are inspected.
If a State does not have such a program, the motor carrier is
responsible for ensuring its vehicles are inspected using one of the
alternatives included in section 396.17.
In 1989, the FHWA (the DOT agency with responsibility for motor
vehicle safety until the establishment of the FMCSA in 2000), published
a notice in the Federal Register that requested States and other
interested parties to identify and provide information on the
commercial motor vehicle inspection programs in their respective
jurisdictions as contemplated by section 396.17 (54 FR 11020, March 16,
1989). Upon review of the information submitted, the FHWA published a
list of State inspection programs that were determined to be comparable
to the Federal requirements (54 FR 50726, December 8, 1989). This
initial list included 15 States and the District of Columbia. In 1991
the list was revised to include the inspection programs of the Alabama
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Board, California, Hawaii, Louisiana,
Minnesota, all of the Canadian Provinces, and the Yukon Territory (56
FR 47982, September 23, 1991). In 1992, the list was revised to include
the Wisconsin bus inspection program (57 FR 56400, November 27, 1992).
In 1994, the list was revised to include the Texas CMV inspection
program (59 FR 17829, April 14, 1994). In 1995, the list was revised to
include the Connecticut bus inspection program (60 FR 56183, November
7, 1995). In 1998 the most recent revision was made to include the Ohio
inspection program for church buses (63 FR 8516, February 19, 1998).
Including Ohio, there are 23 States, the Alabama Liquefied
Petroleum Gas Board, the District of Columbia, 10 Canadian Provinces,
and one Canadian Territory that have periodic inspection programs which
have been determined to be comparable to, or as effective as, the
Determination: State of Ohio Bus Inspection Program
The State of Ohio (the State) has implemented mandatory annual
inspection requirements for all buses as part of its program to improve
the safety of operation of motor carriers of passengers. Beginning July
1, 2001, the State prohibits any person from operating buses that are
originally designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the
driver, or that have a gross vehicle weight rating of 4,536 kilograms
(10,001 pounds) or more, unless the vehicle displays a valid safety
inspection decal issued by the State Highway Patrol (Sec. 4513.51 of
the Ohio Revised Code). The state continues to require that a church
using a bus registered as a ``hurch bus'' (in accordance with
Sec. 4503.7 of the Ohio Revised Code), and that transports members to
and from church services or functions, submit an application for the
registration of the bus to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. As part of the
annual registration application, the church must include a certificate
from the State Highway Patrol as proof the bus has been inspected and
is safe for operation in accordance with the standards prescribed by
the Superintendent of the State Highway Patrol. The requirement for the
safety certificate is applicable to church buses that are originally
designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or
that have a gross vehicle weight rating of 4,536 kilograms (10,001
pounds) or more. The bus inspections required by Secs. 4503.7 and
4513.51 of the Ohio Revised Code are performed by the State Highway
Patrol at State facilities or the bus owner's garage.
The FMCSA has determined that both the Ohio church bus inspection
program in effect as of March 31, 1997, and the inspection program for
buses (other than church buses) effective July 1, 2001, are comparable
to, or as effective as, the Federal periodic inspection requirements.
Therefore, motor carriers of passengers operating buses which are
subject to the State's programs and which are subject to the FMCSRs
must use the State's programs to satisfy the Federal requirements under
49 CFR 396.17.
In accepting the State's periodic inspection programs, the FMCSA
also approves the recordkeeping requirements associated with the
inspection program. The inspection report used to record the church bus
inspection is a two-part form. If the vehicle passes the inspection,
the bottom portion of the form is given to the bus operator to submit
to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles as part of the application for vehicle
registration (e.g., purchasing the annual church bus license plate).
The top portion of the inspection report is maintained by the State
Highway Patrol. The State church bus license plate (with a current
validation sticker) is considered by the FMCSA as satisfying the
Federal requirement for proof of inspection on the commercial motor
For buses other than church buses inspection decals are issued and
must be displayed on the commercial motor vehicle.
States with Equivalent Periodic Inspection Programs
The following is a complete list of States, and one Board, which
performs the periodic inspection function of a State, with inspection
programs which the FMCSA has determined are comparable to, or as
effective as, the Federal requirements.
Alabama (LPG Board)
District of Columbia
In addition to the States listed above, the FMCSA has determined
the inspection programs of the 10 Canadian Provinces (Alberta, British
Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario,
Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan) and the Yukon Territory
are comparable to, or as effective as, the Federal periodic inspection
All other States either have no periodic inspection programs for
CMVs or their programs have not been determined by the FMCSA to be
comparable to, or as effective as, the Federal requirements. If any of
these States wish to establish a program or modify their programs in
order to make them comparable to the Federal requirements, the State
should contact the appropriate FMCSA division office.
Issued on: June 11, 2001.
Stephen E. Barber
Acting Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 01-15331 Filed 6-15-01; 8:45 am]
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