Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.
FMCSA requests public comment on an application for exemption from Laydon Composites Ltd. (Laydon) to allow motor carriers to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) that are equipped with Laydon's OptiTail\TM\ aerodynamic device with rear identification lamps and rear clearance lamps that are mounted lower than currently permitted by the Agency's regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) require rear identification lamps and rear clearance lamps to be located ``as close as practicable to the top of the vehicle.'' While the OptiTail\TM\ aerodynamic device is currently mounted slightly below the roof of the vehicle, Laydon states that this offset prevents the device from delivering the maximum available fuel economy benefit as opposed to mounting it flush with the top of the vehicle which may block the visibility of the rear identification lamps and rear clearance lamps. Laydon believes that locating the rear identification lamps and rear clearance lamps lower on the vehicle, on a horizontal plane with other required lamps (stop, turn, and tail lamps) as is done on a flatbed trailer or an intermodal chassis, will maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption.