FMCSA allows exemption for Groendyke’s extra tanker lights
April 29, 2019
•Land Line Staff
Groendyke Transport has gotten the green light for its pulsating lights on the backs of its tanker trailers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted a limited five-year exemption allowing Groendyke to use an amber, brake-activated pulsating lamp in addition to the steady-burning brake lamps required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The exemption remains in effect until April 26, 2024. It only applies to Groendyke trailers.
Enid, Okla.-based Groendyke hauls liquid hazmat, including flammable fuel. It wants the lights to get the attention of drivers behind a stopped or slowing trailer. The company in July petitioned the FMCSA to allow the addition of a pulsating brake lamp to the back of its trailers.
FMCSA decided the amber brake-activated pulsating lamps on the back of the Groendyke trailers “could likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety provided by the regulation,” according to the notice published in the April 26 Federal Register.
FMCSA published a notice requesting comments on the petition in July. According to the notice, Groendyke began installing pulsating brake lamps on some of its fleet without authorization from FMCSA starting in early 2015. The company’s plan was to compare the number of rear-end collisions with trailers that only had steady burning tail lights to those of trailers with the added pulsating brake lamp.
“As of July 31, 2017, Groendyke had outfitted 632 of its 1,440 trailers with pulsating brake lamps. Data gathered by Groendyke between January 2015 and July 2017 show that the pulsating brake lamps decreased the frequency of rear-end collisions by 33.7 percent,” the notice stated.
“Groendyke also analyzed its data to determine whether the pulsating brake lamps improved outcomes when drivers were slowing or stopping at railroad crossings. Groendyke found that trailers equipped with the pulsating brake lamps were not involved in a rear-end crash at a railroad crossing during the same time period.”
Groendyke has about 900 trucks and 1,440 trailers, according to FMCSA documents. The company has 1,200 employees and 900 drivers.