Automatic emergency braking proposal slated for early 2023

October 19, 2022

Land Line Staff

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A speed limiter mandate isn’t the only rulemaking Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has planned for 2023. While FMCSA plans to issue a proposal next June to require speed limiters on most commercial motor vehicles, a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding automatic emergency braking systems is expected even sooner.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent Significant Rulemaking Report, FMCSA plans to publish a joint rulemaking with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on automatic emergency braking systems in late January.

The agencies will seek comments on a proposal to require and/or standardize equipment performance for automatic emergency braking systems on heavy trucks.

The rulemaking is expected to propose performance standards and motor carrier maintenance requirements for automatic emergency brakes on heavy trucks and accompanying test procedures for measuring performance.

FMCSA and NHTSA are issuing the rulemaking as required by the 2021 infrastructure law.

Pertaining to automatic emergency braking systems, the law:

  • Requires an update to the minimum periodic inspection standards under 49 CFR 396, subchapter B, appendix G and other regulations in 49 CFR part 396 following NHTSA’s requirements under this section.
  • Requires the secretary, not later than two years after enactment, to prescribe a motor vehicle safety standard and accompanying performance requirements for automatic emergency braking systems for heavy-duty commercial motor vehicles, and to require that systems installed in such vehicles be in use during operation.
  • Directs the secretary to study equipping other commercial motor vehicles with an automated emergency braking system and, if warranted, develop performance standards for such systems.
  • Requires the secretary to conduct a review of automatic emergency braking systems used in commercial vehicles and address any identified deficiencies in the rulemaking.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association continues to oppose any attempts to require automatic braking systems on heavy-duty trucks.

OOIDA says the technology should be perfected before any sort of mandate is put in place.

“They need to do the work to ensure that the technology is reliable and that it works effectively before they put the cart before the horse,” Collin Long, OOIDA’s director of government affairs, told Land Line Now last year. LL

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