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FMCSA pushes out rule proposal to require automatic emergency braking systems on big rigs

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a joint notice about a planned rule to require automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems on heavy-duty trucks.

The June 22 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) would require AEB systems on heavy vehicles, i.e., vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds. Officials say that the proposed standard would require the technology to work at speeds ranging between low-speed (6 miles per hour) and high-speed (roughly 50 miles per hour) situations.

The rule would also require that nearly all heavy vehicles have an electronic stability control system.

Officials define the AEB system as “multiple sensor technologies and sub-systems that work together to sense when the vehicle is in a crash imminent situation and automatically applies the vehicle brakes if the driver has not done so or automatically applies more braking force to supplement the driver’s applied braking.”

Suggested compliance dates would begin as early as three years following the publication of a Final Rule in the Federal Register, with full compliance required five years after publication.

The NHTSA estimates that the proposed rule will prevent 19,118 crashes, save 155 lives, and prevent 8,814 injuries annually.

“Establishing AEB standards is a key component of the Department’s National Roadway Safety Strategy,” said FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson. “This technology can enhance the effectiveness of commercial motor vehicle crash reduction strategies and reduce roadway fatalities.”

The FMCSA and NHTSA are accepting public comment on the AEB rule for 60 days following the official publication of the NPRM. At that time, you can visit www.regulations.gov to submit your public comment.

In late May, federal authorities issued a similar Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requiring AEB for passenger vehicles.

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