Rocky Mountain Trucking LLC

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will pursue a number of rulemaking proposals in 2023, including speed limiters, according to the Department of Transportation’s latest Significant Rulemaking Report.

The agency said it “intends to proceed with a motor carrier-based speed limiter rulemaking” with a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) that FMCSA projects will be published in the Federal Register by June 30, 2023.

Earlier this year, FMCSA revived a 2016 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that, at the time, was a joint rulemaking with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This time around, it is only FMCSA proposing speed limiters.

FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson said in a recent interview with CCJ that speed limiters are “definitely something we think is important for safety. The data shows us that speed is an indicator of whether or not someone dies or is seriously injured” in a crash.

Hutcheson said the agency is currently sifting through the more than 14,500 comments that were filed on the notice of intent earlier this year. “So if you would like to know if this is going to happen quickly, we need to be diligent about sifting through the comments, reading the comments, understanding the comments. That is what we’re doing now. We are working through the comments that we have received.”

As reported earlier this year, FMCSA is considering mandating speed limiters on trucks equipped with electronic control units (ECUs) capable of governing speed. The speed that these trucks would be limited to has yet to be determined.

Other regulations projected to see some action in 2023 include changes to broker and freight forwarder financial responsibilities, the safe integration of automated driving systems-equipped trucks, automatic emergency braking systems, and safety fitness procedures.

FMCSA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) in September 2018 on broker and freight forwarder financial responsibility that asked for comments about various aspects of the financial responsibilities of those entities. FMCSA said its NPRM, projected to publish by Jan. 25, “will propose changes to the broker/freight forwarder financial responsibility requirements as required by MAP-21.”

The agency also plans to publish an NPRM to amend certain regulations to ensure the safe introduction of automated driving systems (ADS)-equipped trucks onto the nation’s roadways. Among proposed changes would be to the operations, inspection, repair and maintenance regulations of ADS-equipped trucks to “prioritize safety and security, promote innovation, foster a consistent regulatory approach to ADS-equipped CMVs, and recognize the difference between human operators and ADS.” This NPRM is projected to publish by Jan. 18.

FMCSA and NHTSA plan to jointly issue an NPRM that will propose to require and/or standardize equipment performance for automatic emergency braking systems on heavy trucks. The proposal is expected to include performance standards and motor carrier maintenance requirements for AEB systems and accompanying test procedures for measuring the performance of the AEB systems. This proposal is projected to publish by Jan. 30.

Finally, FMCSA is planning to publish an ANPRM to gather information on how it can use data and resources more effectively to identify unfit motor carriers and to remove them from the nation’s roadways.

“FMCSA would seek public comment about the use of available safety data, including inspection data, in determining carrier fitness to operate,” FMCSA said. “The agency would also seek public input on possible changes to the current three-tier safety fitness rating structure. The action would also include a review of the list of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that the agency uses in its safety fitness rating methodology.”

The safety fitness procedures ANPRM is projected to publish by Jan. 30.