Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Lighting Devices, Reflectors, and Electrical Equipment
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); request for comments.
The FHWA is proposing to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to require that motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce install retroreflective tape or reflex reflectors on the sides and rear of trailers that were manufactured prior to December 1, 1993, have an overall width of 2,032 mm (80 inches) or more, and a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more. The FHWA is proposing that motor carriers be required to install retroreflective tape or reflex reflectors within two years of the effective date of the final rule. Motor carriers would be allowed a certain amount of flexibility in terms of the colors or color combinations during a 10-year period beginning on the effective date of the final rule, but would be required to have all older trailers equipped with conspicuity treatments identical to those mandated for new trailers at the end of the 10-year period. The locations at which the retroreflective material would have to be applied to trailers during the phase-in period would be specified. This rulemaking is intended to help motorists detect trailers at night and under other conditions of reduced visibility, thereby reducing the incidence of passenger vehicles colliding with the sides or rear of trailers.