[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 141 (Friday, July 22, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 47722-47732]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-17364]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Parts 393 and 396 and Appendix G to Subchapter B of Chapter 
III

[Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0176]
RIN 2126-AB81


Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Inspection, 
Repair, and Maintenance; General Amendments

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA amends the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 
(FMCSRs) in response to several petitions for rulemaking from the 
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and the American Trucking 
Associations (ATA), and two safety recommendations from the National 
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Specifically, the Agency adds a 
definition of ``major tread groove'' and an illustration to indicate 
the location of tread wear indicators or wear bars on a tire signifying 
a major tread groove; revises the rear license plate lamp requirement 
to eliminate the requirement for an operable rear license plate lamp on 
vehicles when there is no rear license plate present; amends the 
regulations regarding tires to prohibit the operation of a vehicle with 
speed-restricted tires at speeds that exceed the rated limit of the 
tire; provides specific requirements regarding when violations or 
defects noted on an inspection report must be corrected; amends two 
appendixes to the FMCSRs to include provisions for the inspection of 
antilock braking systems (ABS) and automatic brake adjusters, speed-
restricted tires, and motorcoach passenger seat mounting anchorages; 
amends the periodic inspection rules to eliminate the option for a 
motor carrier to satisfy the annual inspection requirement through a 
violation-free roadside inspection; and amends the inspector 
qualification requirements as a result of the amendments to the 
periodic inspection rules. In addition, the Agency eliminates 
introductory regulatory text from an appendix to the FMCSRs because the 
discussion of the differences between the North American Standard 
Inspection out-of-service criteria and FMCSA's periodic inspection 
criteria is unnecessary.

DATES: The rule is effective July 22, 2016.
    Petitions for Reconsideration of this final rule must be submitted 
to the FMCSA Administrator no later than August 22, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Mike Huntley, Vehicle and Roadside 
Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, 
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, telephone: 202-366-5370; 
[email protected].
    If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the 
docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Rulemaking Documents

A. Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    For access to docket FMCSA-2015-0176 to read background documents 
and comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time, or 
to Docket Services at U.S. Department of Transportation, Room W12-140, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

B. Privacy Act

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT accepts comments from the 
public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these 
comments, without edit, including any personal information the 
commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system 
of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
www.dot.gov/privacy.

II. Executive Summary

    FMCSA is responsible for regulations to ensure that all commercial 
motor vehicles (CMVs) are systematically inspected, repaired, and 
maintained and that all parts and accessories necessary for the safe 
operation of CMVs are in safe and proper operating condition at all 
times. In response to several petitions for rulemaking from CVSA and 
ATA and two safety recommendations from the NTSB, FMCSA amends various 
provisions in parts 393 and 396 of the FMCSRs. The amendments generally 
do not involve the establishment of new or more stringent requirements, 
but instead clarify existing requirements to increase consistency of 
enforcement activities, and therefore the economic impact of these 
changes is negligible.
    Specifically, the Agency (1) adds a definition of ``major tread 
groove'' in Sec.  393.5 and an illustration in Sec.  393.75 to

[[Page 47723]]

indicate the location of tread wear indicators or wear bars on a tire 
signifying a major tread groove; (2) revises the rear license plate 
lamp requirement to eliminate the requirement in Table 1 of Sec.  
393.11 for vehicles to have an operable rear license plate lamp when 
there is no rear license plate present; (3) amends the regulations 
regarding tires to prohibit the operation of a vehicle with speed-
restricted tires at speeds that exceed the rated limit of the tire; (4) 
clarifies Sec.  396.9 regarding when violations or defects noted on a 
roadside inspection report need to be corrected; (5) amends Appendix G 
to the FMCSRs, ``Minimum Periodic Inspection Standards,'' to include 
provisions for the inspection of ABS and automatic brake adjusters, 
speed-restricted tires, and motorcoach passenger seat mounting 
anchorages; (6) amends Sec.  396.17(f) and removes Sec.  396.23(a) to 
eliminate the option for a motor carrier to meet the periodic 
inspection requirements through roadside inspections; and (7) amends 
Sec.  396.19(b) regarding inspector qualifications as a result of the 
amendments to Sec.  396.17(f) described above. In addition, the Agency 
eliminates as unnecessary a portion of Appendix G to the FMCSRs that 
describes the differences between the out-of-service criteria and 
FMCSA's annual inspection requirement. Elsewhere in today's issue of 
the Federal Register, FMCSA amends certain regulatory guidance to 
ensure consistency between the FMCSRs, as amended by this final rule, 
and the published guidance.

III. Legal Basis for the Rulemaking

    This rulemaking is based on the authority of the Motor Carrier Act 
of 1935 [1935 Act] and the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 [1984 Act].
    The 1935 Act, as amended, provides that ``[t]he Secretary of 
Transportation may prescribe requirements for--(1) qualifications and 
maximum hours of service of employees of, and safety of operation and 
equipment of, a motor carrier; and (2) qualifications and maximum hours 
of service of employees of, and standards of equipment of, a private 
motor carrier, when needed to promote safety of operation'' (49 U.S.C. 
31502(b)).
    This final rule amends the FMCSRs in response to several petitions 
for rulemaking. The adoption and enforcement of such rules is 
specifically authorized by the 1935 Act. This rulemaking rests squarely 
on that authority.
    The 1984 Act provides concurrent authority to regulate drivers, 
motor carriers, and vehicle equipment. It requires the Secretary to 
``prescribe regulations on commercial motor vehicle safety.'' The 
regulations shall prescribe minimum safety standards for CMVs. At a 
minimum, the regulations shall ensure that: (1) CMVs are maintained, 
equipped, loaded, and operated safely; (2) the responsibilities imposed 
on operators of CMVs do not impair their ability to operate the 
vehicles safely; (3) the physical condition of operators of CMVs is 
adequate to enable them to operate vehicles safely; (4) the operation 
of CMVs does not have a deleterious effect on the physical condition of 
the operators; and (5) drivers are not coerced by motor carriers, 
shippers, receivers, or transportation intermediaries to operate a 
vehicle in violation of a regulation promulgated under 49 U.S.C. 31136 
or 49 U.S.C. chapters 51 or 313 (49 U.S.C. 31136(a)).
    This final rule concerns (1) parts and accessories necessary for 
the safe operation of CMVs, and (2) the inspection, repair, and 
maintenance of CMVs. It is based primarily on section 31136(a)(1) and 
(2), and secondarily on section 31136(a)(4). This rulemaking ensures 
that CMVs are maintained, equipped, loaded, and operated safely by 
requiring certain vehicle components, systems, and equipment to meet 
minimum standards such that the mechanical condition of the vehicle is 
not likely to cause a crash or breakdown. Section 31136(a)(3) is not 
applicable because this rulemaking does not deal with driver 
qualification standards. Because the amendments are primarily technical 
changes that clarify existing requirements and improve enforcement 
consistency, FMCSA believes they will be welcomed by motor carriers and 
drivers alike and that coercion to violate them will not be an issue.
    Before prescribing any such regulations, FMCSA must consider the 
``costs and benefits'' of any proposal (49 U.S.C. 31136(c)(2)(A) and 
31502(d)). As discussed in greater detail in the ``Regulatory 
Analyses'' section, FMCSA determined that this final rule is not a 
significant regulatory action. The economic impact is negligible 
because the amendments generally do not involve the adoption of new or 
more stringent requirements, but rather the clarification of existing 
requirements. As such, the costs of the final rule do not approach the 
$100 million annual threshold for economic significance.

IV. Background

    On October 7, 2015, FMCSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPRM) in the Federal Register titled Parts and Accessories Necessary 
for Safe Operation; Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance; General 
Amendments (80 FR 60592). FMCSA received 16 comments on the NPRM.

V. Summary of the NPRM

    FMCSA proposed to amend Sec.  393.5 to define ``major tread 
groove'' as ``The space between two adjacent tread ribs or lugs on a 
tire that contains a tread wear indicator or wear bar. (In most cases, 
the locations of tread wear indicators are designated on the upper 
sidewall/shoulder of the tire on original tread tires.)'' In addition, 
FMCSA proposed adding an illustration to Sec.  393.75 to indicate the 
location of tread wear indicators or wear bars signifying a major tread 
groove. FMCSA agreed that uniformity and consistency in enforcement and 
maintenance is critical. By including a definition of ``major tread 
groove'' in Sec.  393.5--a term that is currently included in the 
regulatory text of Sec.  393.75(b) and (c), but not specifically 
defined--and a corresponding illustration in Sec.  393.75, the Agency 
expects increased consistency in the application and citation of Sec.  
393.75 during roadside inspections.
    FMCSA proposed to amend Footnote 11 to Table 1 of Sec.  393.11 to 
indicate that ``No rear license plate lamp is required on truck 
tractors registered in States that do not require tractors to display a 
rear license plate.'' As noted in both the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
(FMVSS) No. 108 and the FMCSRs, the only function of the rear license 
plate lamp is to illuminate the rear license plate. FMCSA agreed with 
ATA that if a truck tractor is not required to display a rear license 
plate, then there is no corresponding safety need for a functioning 
rear license plate light.
    FMCSA proposed to amend Appendix G to include a review of ABS and 
automatic brake adjusters and brake adjustment indicators to maintain 
consistency between part 393 and Appendix G. FMCSA agreed that the 
failure of a motor carrier to properly maintain an important safety 
technology such as ABS should result in the vehicle failing the 
periodic inspection. Although CVSA did not mention automatic brake 
adjusters and brake adjustment indicators in its petition to amend 
Appendix G, FMCSA proposed changes in Appendix G relating to these 
brake components to ensure that vehicles may not pass the periodic 
inspection without this important safety equipment.

[[Page 47724]]

    To clarify the intent of Sec.  396.9(d)(2), FMCSA proposed to amend 
that section by including a specific cross reference to Sec.  
396.11(a)(3). Section 396.11(a)(3) makes it clear that all defects and 
deficiencies discovered by or reported to a driver--including those 
identified during a roadside inspection conducted under the authority 
of Sec.  396.9--must be corrected (or a certification must be provided 
stating that repair is unnecessary) before a vehicle is operated each 
day. However, the Agency agreed that the language of Sec.  396.9(d)(2) 
is not as explicit as it could be, and could lead to uncertainty and/or 
inconsistency in both the enforcement community and the motor carrier 
industry regarding when violations and defects noted on roadside 
inspection reports need to be corrected.
    FMCSA proposed to amend Sec.  396.17(f) to remove the words 
``roadside or'' from the current regulatory text. The proposed 
amendment would eliminate any uncertainties and make clear that a 
roadside inspection is not equivalent to the periodic/annual inspection 
required under Sec.  396.17. FMCSA does not believe it is appropriate 
to continue to allow carriers relief from this responsibility by using 
a roadside inspection conducted by enforcement officials to meet the 
periodic inspection requirement. Motor carriers will now be responsible 
for ensuring the completion of a periodic inspection irrespective of 
whether a roadside inspection is performed, and amending the 
regulations will require them to do so at least once every 12 months, 
irrespective of whether a roadside inspection is performed during that 
period.
    In light of the proposed amendments to Sec.  396.17(f), and to 
further decrease the possibility of confusion regarding differing 
requirements of the roadside inspection program and the periodic/annual 
inspection program, FMCSA proposed to delete the section at the end of 
Appendix G titled ``Comparison of Appendix G, and the new North 
American Uniform Driver-Vehicle Inspection Procedure (North American 
Commercial Vehicle Critical Safety Inspection Items and Out-Of-Service 
Criteria). . .''
    Consistent with the proposed amendments to Sec.  396.17, FMCSA also 
proposed to amend Sec.  396.19(b) by deleting language regarding a 
``random roadside inspection program.''
    FMCSA proposed to add language to section 10 of Appendix G that 
would prohibit the use of speed-restricted tires on CMVs subject to the 
FMCSRs unless the use of such tires is specifically designated by the 
motor carrier. FMCSA agreed that speed-restricted tires should not be 
used on CMVs operating on highways in excess of 55 mph for extended 
periods of time.
    FMCSA proposed to add a new section to Appendix G that would 
require an examination of motorcoach seats during the conduct of a 
periodic inspection in accordance with Sec.  396.17 to ensure that they 
are securely attached to the vehicle structure. However, given the wide 
range of seat anchorage designs, coupled with the lack of testing 
requirements specifically for seat anchorage strength in the FMVSSs, it 
is not practicable for FMCSA to develop a detailed methodology for the 
inspection of motorcoach passenger seat mounting anchorages.

VI. Comment Response

    In response to the NPRM, the Agency received 16 comments from two 
motor carriers (Capitol Bus Lines and Southern Company), eight 
organizations (the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), 
the American Bus Association (ABA), ATA, CVSA, the National Automobile 
Dealers Association (NADA), the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers 
Association (OOIDA)), the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), and 
the Transportation Safety Equipment Institute (TSEI), and six 
individuals (Steve Bixler, Jim Bramm, Richard Crawford, Richard Pingel, 
Robert Spoon, and Miles Verhoef).

Discussion of Issues

Section 393.5, Definition of ``Major Tread Groove.''
    Comments: RMA supported adding a definition for ``major tread 
groove,'' but recommended that ``major tread groove'' be defined as 
``the full depth space between two adjacent tread ribs or lugs on a 
tire that repeats along the circumference and/or at an angle across the 
tread area and contains a tread wear indicator. (In most cases, the 
locations of tread wear indicators are designated on the upper sidewall 
or shoulder of the tire on original tread tires.)'' In addition, RMA 
noted that new tire tread designs feature tread grooves that are 
``hidden'' on a new tire, but that appear and deepen and/or widen as 
the tire tread wears. RMA states that in most cases, the locations of 
tread wear indicators are designated on the tire's upper sidewall/
shoulder, but that those markings are voluntary and not required by the 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).
    FMCSA Response: FMCSA believes that the definition proposed in the 
NPRM is sufficiently clear. The language provided by RMA added 
complexity without clarifying the language proposed by FMCSA. While the 
preamble to the NPRM stated that an illustration would be added to 
Sec.  393.75 to indicate the location of tread wear indicators or wear 
bars on a tire signifying a major tread groove, and FMCSA included a 
proposed illustration in the preamble, the illustration inadvertently 
was not included in the proposed regulatory changes. FMCSA did not 
receive any comments regarding the illustration, and adds it to Sec.  
393.75 as discussed in the NPRM. We anticipate that inclusion of the 
illustration will further enhance clarity of the regulatory language.
Table 1 to Sec.  393.11, License Plate Lights
    Comments: Jim Bramm, CVSA, and NADA recommended that the exception 
for vehicles not required to have a rear license plate light be 
extended to apply to all types of CMVs, and not be limited to truck 
tractors as proposed in the NPRM. Mr. Bramm stated ``Our company's 
corporate office is located in Wisconsin and the majority of our 
commercial motor vehicles are registered in this state. When 
registering a vehicle for an apportioned plate you have the ability in 
this state to not only register truck tractors but other types of 
commercial vehicles such as dump trucks and pickup trucks. Wisconsin 
law states only 1 plate will be issued for apportioned registered 
vehicles and that plate is to be affixed to the front. Therefore I 
believe the wording should remain as petitioned by the ATA so that the 
regulation would apply to any commercial vehicle not just truck 
tractors.''
    OOIDA stated ``. . . state inspectors do not have the authority to 
write up violations of rules that their state has not adopted. 
Therefore, inspectors from states that do not require rear license 
plates (or illumination) do not have the authority to find violations 
for failing to illuminate a license plate. Nor may such enforcement 
officials use their observation of lack of a license plate (or 
illumination) as probable cause to stop a truck for inspection. They 
only have the authority to use probable cause that there is a violation 
of their own state law.'' In addition, OOIDA noted that FMCSA ``should 
consider what role the requirement for a license plate light plays in 
highway safety. The requirements for conspicuity systems clearly 
address night time visibility in a manner which far exceeds a license 
plate light. The role of a license plate light in vehicle safety should 
be explained and justified by FMCSA or dropped from the requirements.''

[[Page 47725]]

    FMCSA Response: FMVSS No. 108, ``Lamps, reflective devices, and 
associated equipment'' (incorporated by reference in section 393.11 of 
the FMCSRs), specifies comprehensive requirements to enhance the 
conspicuity of all motor vehicles, including CMVs, on the public roads 
so that their presence is perceived and their signals understood, both 
in daylight and in darkness or other conditions of reduced visibility. 
While NHTSA has required license plate lamps on all vehicles since 
1968, license plate lamps are not intended to enhance safety in a 
manner similar to the other required lamps and conspicuity treatments, 
and eliminating the requirement for a rear license plate lamp when no 
license plate is required will not reduce safety to the motoring 
public.
    FMCSA agrees with the commenters that any regulatory changes to the 
requirements for license plate lamps should apply to all CMVs, and not 
just truck tractors as proposed in the NPRM. However, if adopted, the 
proposed regulatory changes would have required roadside enforcement 
officials in each State to know the license plate display requirements 
of every other State. FMCSA believes that enforcement of the license 
plate lamp requirement can be simplified--without compromising safety--
by requiring an operable rear license plate lamp only when there is a 
license plate present at the time of inspection. FMCSA believes that 
this approach will simplify enforcement and avoid enforcement confusion 
and inconsistency that would likely result from the State-by-State 
approach outlined in the NPRM. FMCSA does not expect drivers and/or 
motor carriers to remove license plates to avoid citations in the event 
that a rear license plate lamp is missing or inoperative, and if they 
do, they will be subject to the more severe penalties associated with 
not displaying a license plate when required by law.
    In response to OOIDA's concerns about the authority of an inspector 
to enforce regulations adopted by another State that the inspector's 
state has not similarly adopted, FMCSA notes that under the Motor 
Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP), each State is required to 
adopt regulations that are compatible with the FMCSRs within 3 years as 
a condition of receiving Federal grant funding. As such, each State 
will be required to adopt a regulation consistent with today's final 
rule requiring an operable rear license plate lamp only when there is a 
rear license plate present, eliminating the possibility of inconsistent 
State regulations.
Appendix G to the FMCSRs--ABS
    Comments: CVSA supports the proposed language adding ABS to 
Appendix G but recommended a number of additions, corrections, and 
clarifications. First, CVSA states that the effective date for ABS 
regarding hydraulic-braked vehicles should be September 1, 1999, and 
not March 1, 1999, as stated in the NPRM. CVSA notes that while NHTSA 
originally proposed a March 1, 1999, compliance date, NHTSA later 
granted a petition extending the deadline to September 1, 1999. Second, 
CVSA recommends the addition of a second footnote to clarify that 
certain power units have two ABS malfunction indicators--one for the 
power unit and one for the towed unit(s)--and that both need to be 
fully functional. Third, CVSA notes that ABS powered by a backup power 
source (i.e., the backup power from the brake lamp circuit) is not 
compliant with FMVSS No. 121. As such, CVSA recommends that 
subparagraph (2) of the proposed Appendix G requirements for ABS be 
amended to specifically state ``ABS malfunction indicator that does not 
illuminate when power is first applied to the ABS controller (ECU) 
during initial power up.'' Fourth, CVSA recommends adding two 
subparagraphs under the proposed ABS requirements in Appendix G to 
address FMVSS No. 121 requirements that (1) a power unit manufactured 
with ABS supply continuous power to the trailer, and (2) the stoplight 
switch power the trailer ABS system if the continuous power from the 
towing vehicle is interrupted.
    CVSA agrees with FMCSA's proposal to add requirements for automatic 
brake adjusters to Appendix G, but noted that FMCSA failed to include 
proposed regulatory text for automatic brake adjusters in the NPRM. In 
its comments, CVSA (1) provided suggested language for inclusion in 
Appendix G, and (2) recommended use of the term ``self-adjusting brake 
adjusters'' as opposed to ``automatic brake adjusters.''
    CVSA and Southern Company opposed the need to include requirements 
for brake adjustment indicators in Appendix G. CVSA states ``. . . the 
requirement is not necessary or practical. If all brakes are in proper 
adjustment during the inspection, the indicators (pushrod markings) 
will not be visible and checking for their presence would require 
disassembly of or a major adjustment/readjustment of the brakes, which 
is not advisable. To our knowledge, the likelihood of finding a vehicle 
without pushrod markings is extremely low.'' Southern Company states 
that ``Over the last 20 years the industry has adopted automatic slack 
adjusters, alleviating the concerns which lead to the brake adjustment 
indicators,'' and ``This technology [brake adjustment indicators] has 
proven to be ineffective. After a very short time frame, the tape or 
plastic wears off and is no longer visible,'' and ``Manufacturers no 
longer install the brake adjustment indicator.''
    FMCSA Response: CVSA is correct in noting that NHTSA had extended 
the compliance date for ABS on hydraulic-braked vehicles from March 1, 
1999, to September 1, 1999, but that action was limited to an extension 
of the malfunction indicator lamp requirement in S5.3.3(b) of FMVSS No. 
105 (64 FR 9446, February 26, 1999)--and not for the general 
requirement to equip hydraulic-braked vehicles with ABS. As such, all 
hydraulic-braked vehicles were still expected to be equipped with ABS 
effective March 1, 1999. As subparagraphs (1)--(3) under the ABS 
section in Appendix G refer specifically to the malfunction indicator, 
FMCSA amends footnote (1) to that section to reflect the September 1, 
1999, compliance date for hydraulic-braked vehicles. In addition, FMCSA 
clarifies that footnote (1) applies only to subparagraphs (1)--(3) of 
the ABS section, and not to subparagraph (4) which addresses ``other 
missing or inoperative ABS components.'' Further, FMCSA agrees with 
CVSA's other largely editorial recommended changes to the ABS section 
in Appendix G and adopts those changes as suggested.
    Automatic brake adjusters automatically maintain proper brake 
adjustment, thus eliminating the need for frequent inspection and 
manual adjustment of the brakes. CVSA correctly notes that while FMCSA 
discussed the intent to include requirements for automatic brake 
adjusters in Appendix G in the preamble to the NPRM, the Agency did not 
provide corresponding proposed regulatory text in the NPRM. The 
omission of proposed regulatory text in the NPRM was inadvertent. The 
language recommended by CVSA in its comments is accurate and complete, 
and properly complements the requirements for automatic brake adjusters 
in FMVSS Nos. 105 and 121 that need to be included in Appendix G. FMCSA 
amends Appendix G to include requirements for automatic brake adjusters 
as suggested. With respect to CVSA's recommendation to use the term 
``self-adjusting brake adjusters'' as opposed to ``automatic brake 
adjusters,'' FMCSA retains the terminology ``automatic brake 
adjusters'' to maintain consistency with existing regulatory

[[Page 47726]]

language in both the FMVSSs and the FMCSRs.
    FMCSA discussed its intent to add requirements in Appendix G for 
brake adjustment indicators in the preamble to the NPRM, but did not 
provide corresponding proposed regulatory text. Brake adjustment 
indicators can improve brake adjustment by increasing the convenience 
of checking brake adjusters and their proper functioning. A brake 
adjustment indicator can reduce the time needed to assess brake 
adjustment status by providing a visible indication of pushrod stroke 
as opposed to physically measuring the push rod length before and 
during brake application.
    While brake adjustment indicators can simplify brake inspection, 
CVSA is correct in noting that if brakes are in proper adjustment 
during an inspection, the indicators will not be visible. In this case, 
an inspector would have to either disassemble the brake (unhook the 
clevis from the slack adjuster and pull out the pushrod), or back the 
brakes off until they are out of adjustment to confirm that the 
indicators are present. Further, although both the FMVSSs and the 
FMCSRs require brake adjustment indicators, FMCSA understands that 
virtually all evaluations of brake adjustment--both during roadside 
inspections and periodic inspections--are made by physically measuring 
pushrod length before and during brake application, and that very few 
inspections rely solely on brake adjustment indicators. Based on the 
above, FMCSA has not included any specific requirements for brake 
adjustment indicators in Appendix G.
Section 396.9, Inspection of Motor Vehicles and Intermodal Equipment in 
Operation
    Comments: FMCSA did not receive any comments onSec.  396.9(d)(2) 
and amends as proposed.
    FMCSA also requested comments regarding whether the current 15-day 
requirement in Sec.  396.9(d)(3) for motor carriers to certify that all 
violations have been corrected by completing and returning the roadside 
inspection form to the issuing agency remains appropriate, or whether a 
different time period should be considered. CVSA, OOIDA, and Advocates 
stated that the 15-day requirement is appropriate. ABA and Capitol Bus 
Lines noted that, in limited circumstances, the 15-day requirement may 
not be sufficient when replacement parts are not readily available to 
conduct repairs, either because the parts need to be ordered from a 
different country or because the replacement parts are no longer 
available for older buses.
    FMCSA Response: FMCSA believes that, in most cases, repairs can be 
made and certification of those repairs can be sent within the current 
15-day time period specified in the FMCSRs. In instances where a motor 
carrier can demonstrate that extenuating circumstances (such as those 
described in the ABA and Capitol Bus Lines comments) preclude repairs 
from being completed and certified within the 15-day time period 
specified, FMCSA will address those circumstances on a case-by-case 
basis. However, FMCSA does not believe that the 15-day requirement in 
Sec.  396.9(d)(3) for motor carriers to certify that all violations 
have been corrected by completing and returning the roadside inspection 
form to the issuing agency needs to be amended at this time.
Section 396.17, Periodic Inspection
    CVSA agreed with the proposed changes, but also recommended 
additional changes to Sec.  396.17 to make it clear that inspections 
conducted by FMCSA inspectors, investigators, and safety auditors are 
not equivalent to required periodic inspections. Capitol Bus Lines and 
ABA commented that, while several States permit motor carriers to self-
certify the conduct and completion of the annual inspections required 
under Sec.  396.17, other States that have implemented mandatory annual 
inspection programs refuse to accept the ``self-certified'' annual 
inspections conducted by the motor carrier as ``legitimate annual 
inspections.'' ATA commented that ``The basis for . . . this rule 
change appears to be . . . a change in agency philosophy rather than . 
. . data or factual evidence. ATA has great difficulty supporting a 
national policy change of this magnitude without factual evidence 
showing an enhanced safety benefit from this change.''
    Four members of OOIDA--Steve Bixler, Richard Pingel, Robert Spoon, 
and Miles Verhoef--submitted nearly identical comments stating that (1) 
they ``have never seen a copy of how roadside truck inspections are 
supposed to be conducted;'' (2) they ``have never seen a copy of CVSA's 
out of service criteria;'' (3) ``If FMCSA were to publish roadside 
inspection and out-of-service criteria standards and procedures, it 
would help me know what parts of my equipment FMCSA and CVSA think I 
should focus on in between my periodic inspections;'' and (4) ``It is 
my right under the Constitution to be told the scope of any government 
search of me or my truck.''
    OOIDA stated that, ``Where the Notice begins to discuss roadside 
inspection standards and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's out-
of-service criteria however, the Notice is woefully deficient in 
informing the public what exactly these standards are. It appears that 
CVSA has proposed, and FMCSA consented, to proposals that remove all 
references to roadside inspections and the content of the out-of-
service criteria in the rules. Without making those standards public, 
FMCSA has not given the public an adequate opportunity to comment on 
its proposal. If there is any imperative upon FMCSA to deal with 
roadside inspections and the out-of-service criteria differently than 
it does now, that imperative is to give the regulated public notice of 
their contents and scope.'' OOIDA also asked numerous, more specific 
questions relating to the general concerns noted above.
    FMCSA Response: Today, the overwhelming majority of the 
approximately 3.5 million roadside inspections of CMVs performed 
annually in the United States are conducted by State personnel using 
funding provided under the MCSAP.
    The scope of a roadside inspection conducted under the North 
American Standard (NAS) Inspection is quite comprehensive, and covers 
both (1) critical vehicle inspection items (brake systems; cargo 
securement; coupling devices; driveline/driveshaft; exhaust systems; 
frames; fuel systems; lighting devices; steering mechanisms; 
suspensions; tires; van and open-top trailer bodies; wheels, rims and 
hubs; windshield wipers; and emergency exits, electrical cables and 
systems in engine and battery compartments; and seating on passenger-
carrying vehicles), and (2) other parts and accessories required under 
part 393.
    However, while a roadside inspection conducted under the NAS 
Inspection is far-reaching, there are certain limitations to roadside 
procedures that prevent inspectors from properly examining all of the 
items in Appendix G. These include, but are not necessarily limited to, 
the following:
     Brake linings and pads and brake drums or rotors: 
Inspectors cannot remove wheels or dust shields; only visible 
components can be examined at roadside.
     Hydraulic brakes: Inspectors cannot disassemble 
components; only visible components can be examined at roadside.
     Fifth wheels, pintle hooks: Combination vehicles are not 
typically decoupled to view upper and lower fifth wheel assemblies and 
other coupler

[[Page 47727]]

assemblies; only visible components can be examined at roadside.
     Tires: Low boy, car hauler, and other low profile or tight 
clearance vehicles, and dual tire sets have limited access to the 
entire tire circumference without wheel removal; only visible 
components can be examined at roadside.
     Wheels and rims: Dual wheel sets may have limited access 
to inside wheel visibility; only visible components can be examined at 
roadside.
    Because not every element of Appendix G is reviewed/inspected 
during a roadside inspection conducted under the NAS Inspection, most 
roadside inspections do not meet the periodic (annual) inspection 
requirements under Sec.  396.17. For this reason, FMCSA does not 
believe it is appropriate to continue to allow motor carriers to use 
roadside inspections conducted by enforcement officials to satisfy the 
annual inspection requirements in Sec.  396.17(f). Motor carriers or 
their agents will now be required to complete a periodic inspection of 
every CMV under its control in accordance with Appendix G at least once 
every 12 months, irrespective of whether a roadside inspection is 
performed, unless the vehicle is subject to a mandatory State 
inspection program in accordance with Sec.  396.23(b)(1) which has been 
determined to be as effective as the requirements of Sec.  396.17.
    Section 396.23, Equivalent to periodic inspection, currently 
outlines two options that are deemed to be equivalent to the periodic 
inspections required under Sec.  396.17--a roadside inspection program 
of a State or other jurisdiction, or a mandatory State inspection 
program which has been determined to be as effective as the Federal 
requirements. FMCSA did not propose any amendments to Sec.  396.23 in 
the NPRM. However, and given the amendments to Sec.  396.17(f) 
discussed above, it is also necessary to remove Sec.  396.23(a) to 
ensure that the FMCSRs are consistent regarding the determination that 
a roadside inspection will no longer be considered as meeting the 
periodic inspection requirements of Sec.  396.17.
    In response to the specific comments to the October 2015 NPRM:
    FMCSA agrees that inspections conducted by FMCSA inspectors, 
investigators, and safety auditors are not equivalent to required 
periodic inspections, and corresponding changes have been made to Sec.  
396.17, as suggested by CVSA.
    In response to the comments from Capitol Bus Lines and ABA, FMCSA 
notes that if a motor carrier is located in a State that permits motor 
carriers to self-certify the conduct and completion of the annual 
inspections required under Sec.  396.17, section 210 of the Motor 
Carrier Safety Act of 1984 (49 U.S.C. 31142) establishes the principle 
that State inspections meeting federally approved criteria must be 
recognized by every other State. If, as Capitol Bus Lines and ABA 
contend, States that have implemented mandatory annual inspection 
programs refuse to accept the ``self-certified'' annual inspections 
conducted by motor carriers in other States as legitimate annual 
inspections, aggrieved motor carriers are encouraged to contact the 
FMCSA Division Administrator in their State for assistance. FMCSA notes 
that States may require additional inspections as a condition of 
issuing some type of permit or license, but additional inspections 
cannot be required otherwise.
    While ATA argued that FMCSA failed to provide ``factual evidence'' 
to show an ``enhanced safety benefit'' of the proposed change, FMCSA 
has clearly shown that current roadside inspections conducted under the 
NAS Inspection do not examine every component listed in Appendix G. As 
such, roadside inspections conducted using the NAS Inspection 
procedures cannot be considered as meeting the annual inspection 
requirements of Sec.  396.17. While FMCSA does not track the number of 
motor carriers that use a violation-free roadside inspection to meet 
the periodic inspection requirement or the number of roadside 
inspections so used, the Agency has reason to believe these numbers are 
small. Roadside inspections are not ``scheduled'' inspections, and a 
motor carrier therefore cannot plan to defer its periodic inspections 
until roadside inspections are conducted. OOIDA also commented that it 
``is not aware of any truck owners who have used a roadside inspection 
to comply with the periodic inspection requirement.'' Given that the 
estimated number of roadside inspections used to meet the periodic 
inspection requirement is very small, today's rule will not 
significantly affect carriers who relied on such inspections in the 
past, nor will the number of motor carrier inspection personnel and 
facilities now needed to perform Appendix G periodic inspections be 
significantly increased. Eliminating the possibility that roadside 
inspections can be used as equivalent to periodic inspections in the 
future will only enhance safety.
    In response to the comments from OOIDA members Bixler, Pingel, 
Spoon, and Verhoef, FMCSA reiterates that all parts and accessories 
specified in part 393, as well as any additional parts and accessories 
as allowed by Sec.  393.3, are required to be in safe and proper 
operating condition at all times. As such, any and all components of a 
CMV are subject to examination during a roadside inspection, regardless 
of whether those components are included in any inspection procedure or 
the CVSA Out-of-Service Criteria (OOSC). Importantly, the amendments 
made in today's rule do not have anything to do with the OOSC, which 
are simply a set of enforcement tolerances used by inspectors in 
determining whether violations discovered during an inspection pose 
such serious safety risks that they must be corrected immediately 
before the vehicle is allowed to continue. OOIDA's tangential argument 
that the scope of a search--its characterization of roadside 
inspections--``must be widely published in advance so that the 
regulated parties have notice of it'' and that the CVSA OOSC do not 
meet that standard, is misguided. The Federal courts have long 
recognized that ``[t]he CVSA's OOSC are not themselves federal rules 
subject to our review . . . Rather, the OOSC merely interpret the 
standards set forth in existing federal and state laws and regulations. 
. . . [T]he federal regulations are the binding legal norms and the 
operation of a commercial vehicle that falls below the regulatory 
criteria is unlawful.'' National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc. v. Federal 
Highway Administration, 170 F.3d 203, 207-208 (D.C. Cir. 1999) 
(emphasis in original). The FMCSRs adopted through notice and comment 
rulemaking provide motor carriers and drivers the constitutionally 
required notice of their legal obligations.
    Similar to the discussion above, the questions posed by OOIDA 
regarding roadside inspections, specific inspection procedures, and the 
CVSA OOSC are outside the scope of this rulemaking. The amendments made 
by this rule eliminate the possibility that a roadside inspection can 
be considered equivalent to an annual inspection, for the simple reason 
that not every element required to be examined during an annual 
inspection as identified in Appendix G to the FMCSRs is examined during 
a roadside inspection conducted under the NAS Inspection.
Section 396.19, Inspector Qualifications
    Comments: FMCSA did not receive any comments on Sec.  396.19(b) and 
amends as proposed.

[[Page 47728]]

Speed-Restricted Tires
    Comments: In its comments, Southern Company states:

    The utility industry uses speed rated tires on their CMVs for 
on/off road work. Tires with a lug tread pattern design are 
typically speed rated and used extensively in the following 
industries; Utility, Municipalities, Refuse, Logging, Livestock, 
Farming, Construction, and by Carriers which routinely encounter 
snow.
    Based on review of the proposed changes to Appendix G to 
Subchapter B of Chapter III--Minimum Periodic Inspection Standards, 
Section 10. Tires, the intent of the FMCSA was to eliminate speed 
rated tires for motorcoach CMVs.
    SOCO recommends that the FMCSA clarify their proposed language 
on the modification of the current regulations to prohibit the use 
of speed rated tires specifically on motorcoach CMVs only.

    ABA supported FMCSA's intent to address speed-restricted tires in 
Appendix G, but stated that ``absent a requirement for labeling maximum 
speeds on all tires, it will be difficult for the law enforcement 
community to easily determine whether tires on a vehicle in use, are 
appropriate.'' ABA recommended that FMCSA provide additional guidance 
regarding (1) the intended meaning of ``extended periods of time,'' (2) 
how a carrier would designate the appropriate use of speed-restricted 
tires, and (3) when/where such designation would need to be produced 
for the purposes of compliance.
    RMA supported the proposed amendments to Appendix G. In addition, 
RMA noted that amendments to (1) FMVSS No. 119 to require all tires to 
be labeled with a maximum speed rating, and (2) FMVSS No. 120 to 
include such information on a required label, would ``greatly improve 
the ability of consumers, fleets, tire service personnel, [and] State 
and Federal inspection personnel to correctly identify appropriate 
tires for a given vehicle and vehicle operation.''
    FMCSA Response: Vehicles should be equipped with tires that have 
the proper speed rating for the vehicle's intended use, because 
operating a vehicle at speeds that exceed the specified tire speed 
rating could lead to heat build-up in a tire and cause premature or 
sudden tire failure. This potential safety issue could have significant 
consequences, especially in passenger carrier operations, and FMCSA 
believes that regulatory measures are necessary to ensure--to the 
extent practicable--that speed-restricted tires are properly installed 
in accordance with a vehicle's intended use.
    Although the October 2003 crash in Tallulah, LA, involved a 
motorcoach, the NTSB Safety Recommendation was not specific only to 
motorcoach tires, but advised the Agency to ``address a tire's speed 
rating to ensure that it is appropriate for a vehicle's intended use.'' 
As noted above, tires labeled with a specific speed restriction/limit 
should not be operated at speeds that exceed that specified limit, as 
doing so could lead to heat build-up and cause premature or sudden tire 
failure. As such, FMCSA believes that any regulatory requirements 
regarding speed-restricted tires should apply to all CMVs, and not to 
just motorcoaches as suggested by Southern Company.
    The NPRM proposed to amend Appendix G to prohibit the use of speed-
restricted tires on CMVs unless the use of such tires is specifically 
designated by the motor carrier. FMCSA believes that amending only the 
periodic (annual) inspection requirements in Appendix G--without a 
corresponding amendment to Sec.  393.75, ``Tires''--will not fully 
address the potential safety problem of using speed-restricted tires on 
vehicles that operate at speeds that exceed the rated limit of the tire 
as specified by the tire manufacturer. By including requirements 
relating to the appropriate use of speed-restricted tires in both Sec.  
393.75 and Appendix G, potential safety issues associated with the 
improper use of speed-restricted tires can be identified at any time 
and not just during periodic inspections conducted once a year. 
However, and because FMVSS No. 119 currently requires only tires that 
are speed-restricted to 55 mph or less to be labeled on the sidewall of 
the tire, it is not practicable to apply requirements to all tires (to 
include those that are rated for above 55 mph) as inspectors would have 
no way of easily determining the design maximum speed capability of the 
tire for the specified maximum load rating and corresponding inflation 
pressure.
    Based on the above, FMCSA adopts new language in Sec.  393.75 to 
prohibit the use of speed-restricted tires labeled for 55 mph or less 
in accordance with S6.5(e) of FMVSS No. 119 on vehicles that operate at 
speeds that exceed the rated limit of the tire. In addition, FMCSA 
amends Appendix G as proposed in the NPRM to prohibit the use of speed-
restricted tires unless specifically designated by the motor carrier. 
This will require every CMV to be examined for the possible improper 
use of speed-restricted tires at least once a year.
    Given that not all tires are currently required to be marked with a 
maximum speed rating, FMCSA understands ABA's concerns regarding how a 
motor carrier will adequately ``designate the appropriate use of speed-
restricted tires'' as proposed in the NPRM. NHTSA estimates that speed-
restricted tires comprise less than 2 percent of the heavy truck tires, 
and, as Southern Company notes, these are typically used on utility, 
refuse, logging, livestock, farming, construction, and similar vehicles 
that are more often operated in heavy mixed-use service (on/off road 
operations in lower speed applications). Inspectors conducting roadside 
inspections will rarely encounter speed-restricted tires, and can 
generally expect that regional and long haul trucks and motorcoaches 
should not be equipped with speed-restricted tires. By including a 
requirement in Appendix G that prohibits the use of speed-restricted 
tires on vehicles ``unless designated by the motor carrier,'' motor 
carrier or other personnel conducting periodic inspections of the 
limited number of vehicles with speed-restricted tires will be prompted 
to confirm with the motor carrier that the use of such tires is 
appropriate for the specific vehicle. FMCSA retains the amendment to 
Appendix G as proposed in the NPRM.
Motorcoach Seat Anchorage Strength
    Comments: Capitol Bus Lines agrees that seat anchor points should 
be inspected, and believes that ``most reputable motorcoach operators 
check [the anchor points] as part of their `best practices.''' However, 
Capitol Bus Lines also noted that ``to add this item to Appendix G with 
no guidance as to the inspection criteria puts an undue burden on 
carrier maintenance personnel as to the inspection standard. The lack 
of guidance can also result in different interpretations as to what is 
acceptable between operator and enforcement personnel. It would seem 
appropriate that for this item to be included in Appendix G, some 
minimum guidance must be provided for clarity and for the benefit of 
both operator and enforcement personnel.'' ABA commented that ``. . . 
an alternative . . . may be to make a more complimentary change to 
Appendix G in line with the requirements of Sec.  393.93, and develop a 
proposal to look for the presence of, and evidence of well maintained, 
seat belt assemblies at all driver and passenger seating positions, as 
appropriate.''
    FMCSA Response: As noted in the NPRM, the wide range of seat 
anchorage designs, coupled with the lack of testing requirements 
specifically for seat anchorage strength in the FMVSSs, makes it 
impracticable for FMCSA to develop a detailed methodology for the 
inspection of motorcoach passenger seat

[[Page 47729]]

mounting anchorages. FMCSA adopts the amendment as proposed in the 
NPRM.

VII. Today's Final Rule

    Today's final rule codifies changes to parts 393 and 396 by adding 
a definition of ``major tread groove'' and an illustration to show the 
location of tread wear indicators or wear bars on a tire signifying a 
major tread groove; revising the rear license plate lamp requirement to 
eliminate the requirement for an operable rear license plate lamp on 
vehicles when there is no rear license plate present; prohibiting the 
operation of a vehicle with speed-restricted tires at speeds that 
exceed the rated limit of the tire; providing specific requirements 
regarding when violations or defects noted on an inspection report must 
be corrected; amending Appendix G to the FMCSRs, ``Minimum Periodic 
Inspection Standards,'' to include provisions for the inspection of 
antilock braking systems (ABS) and automatic brake adjusters, speed-
restricted tires, and motorcoach passenger seat mounting anchorages; 
amending the periodic inspection rules to eliminate the option for a 
motor carrier to satisfy the periodic inspection requirement through 
use of a violation-free roadside inspection; and amending the inspector 
qualification requirements as a result of the amendments to the 
periodic inspection rules. In addition, the Agency eliminates 
introductory regulatory text from Appendix G to the FMCSRs.

VIII. Section-by-Section Analysis

A. Part 393--Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation

Section 393.5 (Definitions)
    FMCSA modifies this section by adding a definition of ``major tread 
groove.''
Section 393.11 (Lamps and Reflective Devices)
    FMCSA modifies Footnote 11 to Table 1 of Sec.  393.11 dealing with 
rear license plates lights.
Section 393.75 (Tires)
    FMCSA adds a new paragraph (f) dealing with speed-restricted tires 
and tread wear indicators and an illustration of a tread wear 
indicator.

B. Part 396--Inspection, Repair and Maintenance

Section 396.9 (Inspection of Motor Vehicles and Intermodal Equipment in 
Operation)
    FMCSA amends paragraph (d)(2) dealing with correction of violations 
of defects.
Section 396.17 (Periodic Inspection)
    FMCSA amends paragraph (f) to bar roadside inspections from serving 
as annual inspections.
Section 396.19 (Inspector Qualifications)
    FMCSA amends paragraph (b) to make it consistent with amended Sec.  
396.17.
Section 396.23 (Equivalent to Periodic Inspection)
    FMCSA removes Sec.  396.23(a) to make it consistent with Sec.  
396.17, and renumbers the remainder of the section accordingly.
Appendix G to Subchapter B of Chapter III (Minimum Periodic Inspection 
Standards)
    FMCSA amends Appendix G by adding sections 1.l and 1.m, revising 
section 10.c, adding section 14, and eliminating introductory 
regulatory text, as explained in detail above.
Amendments to Existing Regulatory Guidance
    Elsewhere in today's issue of the Federal Register, FMCSA amends 
certain regulatory guidance to ensure consistency between the FMCSRs, 
as amended by this final rule, and the published guidance.

IX. Regulatory Analyses

A. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review and DOT 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures as Supplemented by E.O. 13563)

    This final rule is not a significant regulatory action under 
section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, 
as supplemented by E.O. 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011), and is 
also not significant within the meaning of DOT regulatory policies and 
procedures (DOT Order 2100.5 dated May 22, 1980; 44 FR 11034, February 
26, 1979) and does not require an assessment of potential costs and 
benefits under section 6(a)(3) of that Order. The Office of Management 
and Budget has not reviewed this final rule under that Order.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) 
requires Federal agencies to consider the effects of their regulatory 
actions on small business and other small entities and to minimize any 
significant economic impact. The term ``small entities'' encompasses 
small businesses and not-for-profit organizations that are 
independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields 
and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000.\1\ 
Accordingly, DOT policy requires an analysis of the impact of all 
regulations on small entities and mandates that agencies strive to 
lessen any adverse effects on these businesses.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), see 
National Archives at http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/laws/regulatory-flexibility/601.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended by the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA) (Title 
II, Pub. L. 104-121, 110 Stat. 857, March 29, 1996), this final rule is 
not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities because the amendments generally do not 
involve the adoption of new or more stringent requirements, but, 
instead, the clarification of existing requirements. Therefore, there 
is no disproportionate burden to small entities.
    Consequently, I certify that the action will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

C. Assistance for Small Entities

    In accordance with section 213(a) of the SBREFA, FMCSA wants to 
assist small entities in understanding this final rule so that they can 
better evaluate its effects on themselves. If the final rule would 
affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction 
and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for 
compliance, please consult the FMCSA point of contact, Mike Huntley, 
listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of the rule.
    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal 
employees who enforce or otherwise determine compliance with Federal 
regulations to the Small Business Administration's Small Business and 
Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small 
Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these 
actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small 
business. If you wish to comment on actions by

[[Page 47730]]

employees of FMCSA, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). DOT has a 
policy ensuring the rights of small entities to regulatory enforcement 
fairness and an explicit policy against retaliation for exercising 
these rights.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) 
requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary 
regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may 
result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, 
taken together, or by the private sector, of $155 million (which is the 
value equivalent of $100 million in 1995, adjusted for inflation to 
2014 levels) or more in any 1 year. This final rule would not result in 
such an expenditure.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule calls for no new collection of information and is 
therefore not subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3501-3520).

F. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    A rule has implications for Federalism under Section 1(a) of 
Executive Order 13132 if it has ``substantial direct effects on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government.'' FMCSA has determined that this final 
rule does not have substantial direct effects on or costs to States, 
nor does it limit the policymaking discretion of States. Nothing in 
this document preempts any State law or regulation.

G. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This final rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 
3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize 
litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

H. Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)

    E.O. 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks 
and Safety Risks (62 FR 19885, Apr. 23, 1997), requires agencies 
issuing ``economically significant'' rules, if the regulation also 
concerns an environmental health or safety risk that an agency has 
reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, to include an 
evaluation of the regulation's environmental health and safety effects 
on children. The Agency determined this final rule is not economically 
significant. Therefore, no analysis of the impacts on children is 
required. In any event, this regulatory action could not present an 
environmental or safety risk that would disproportionately affect 
children.

I. Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    FMCSA has reviewed this final rule in accordance with Executive 
Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with 
Constitutionally Protected Property Rights, and has determined it will 
not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking 
implications.

J. Privacy Impact Assessment

    Section 522 of title I of division H of the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2005, enacted December 8, 2004 (Pub. L. 108-447, 
118 Stat. 2809, 3268, 5 U.S.C. 552a note), requires the Agency to 
conduct a privacy impact assessment (PIA) of a regulation that will 
affect the privacy of individuals.
    The Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) applies only to Federal agencies 
and any non-Federal agency which receives records contained in a system 
of records from a Federal agency for use in a matching program.
    The E-Government Act of 2002, Public Law 107-347, Sec.  208, 116 
Stat. 2899, 2921 (Dec. 17, 2002), requires Federal agencies to conduct 
a PIA for new or substantially changed technology that collects, 
maintains, or disseminates information in an identifiable form.
    This rule does not require a PIA because it does not require the 
collection of personally identifiable information (PII).

K. Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding 
intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do 
not apply to this program.

L. Executive Order 13211 (Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use)

    FMCSA has analyzed this final rule under E.O. 13211, Actions 
Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use. The Agency has determined that it is not a 
``significant energy action'' under that order because it is not a 
``significant regulatory action'' likely to have a significant adverse 
effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Therefore, it 
does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under E.O. 13211.

M. Executive Order 13175 (Indian Tribal Governments)

    This rule does not have tribal implications under E.O. 13175, 
Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because 
it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian 
tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian 
tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between 
the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

N. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (15 U.S.C. 272 
note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their 
regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through OMB, 
with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent 
with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus 
standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or 
operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management 
systems practices) are standards that are developed or adopted by 
voluntary consensus standards bodies. This final rule does not use 
technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of 
voluntary consensus standards.

O. Environment (National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act, 
Environmental Justice)

    FMCSA analyzed this final rule for purposes of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and 
determined this action is categorically excluded from further analysis 
and documentation in an environmental assessment or environmental 
impact statement under FMCSA Order 5610.1 (69 FR 9680, March 1, 2004), 
Appendix 2, paragraphs 6(z)(aa) and 6(z)(bb). The Categorical Exclusion 
(CE) in paragraph 6(z)(aa) covers regulations requiring motor carriers, 
their officers, drivers, agents, representatives, and employees 
directly in control of CMVs to inspect, repair, and provide maintenance 
for every CMV used on a public road. The CE in paragraph 6(z)(bb) 
covers regulations concerning vehicle operation safety standards (e.g., 
regulations requiring: certain motor carriers to use approved equipment 
which is required to be installed such as an ignition cut-off switch, 
or carried on board, such as a fire extinguisher, and/or stricter blood

[[Page 47731]]

alcohol concentration (BAC) standards for drivers, etc.), equipment 
approval, and/or equipment carriage requirements (e.g., fire 
extinguishers and flares). The CE determination is available for 
inspection or copying in the Regulations.gov Web site listed under 
ADDRESSES.
    FMCSA also analyzed this rule under the Clean Air Act, as amended 
(CAA), section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), and implementing 
regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency. 
Approval of this action is exempt from the CAA's general conformity 
requirement since it does not affect direct or indirect emissions of 
criteria pollutants.
    Under E.O. 12898 (Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice 
in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations), each Federal 
agency must identify and address, as appropriate, ``disproportionately 
high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, 
policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income 
populations'' in the United States, its possessions, and territories. 
FMCSA has determined that this rule will have no environmental justice 
effects, nor would its promulgation have any collective environmental 
impact.

List of Subjects

49 CFR Part 393

    Highway safety, Motor carriers, Motor vehicle safety.

49 CFR Part 396

    Highway safety, Motor carriers, Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons stated above, FMCSA amends 49 CFR chapter III, 
subchapter B, as follows:

PART 393--PARTS AND ACCESSORIES NECESSARY FOR SAFE OPERATION

0
1. The authority citation for part 393 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 31136, 31151, and 31502; sec. 1041(b) of 
Pub. L. 102-240, 105 Stat. 1914, 1993 (1991); and 49 CFR 1.87.


0
2. Amend Sec.  393.5 to add a definition for ``Major tread groove'' in 
alphabetical order to read as follows:


Sec.  393.5  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Major tread groove is the space between two adjacent tread ribs or 
lugs on a tire that contains a tread wear indicator or wear bar. (In 
most cases, the locations of tread wear indicators are designated on 
the upper sidewall/shoulder of the tire on original tread tires.)
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  393.11, revise Footnote 11 of Table 1 to read as follows:


Sec.  393.11  Lamps and reflective devices.

* * * * *
Table 1 of Sec.  393.11--Required Lamps and Reflectors on Commercial 
Motor Vehicles
* * * * *
    Footnote--11 To be illuminated when headlamps are illuminated. No 
rear license plate lamp is required on vehicles that do display a rear 
license plate.
* * * * *

0
4. In Sec.  393.75:
0
a. Redesignate paragraphs (f) through (h) as paragraphs (g) through (i) 
and in redesignated paragraph (g) remove ``paragraph (g)'' and add in 
its place ``paragraph (h)'';
0
b. Add a new paragraph (f) and add Figure 23--``Location of Tread Wear 
Indicators or Wear Bars Signifying a Major Tread Groove'' immediately 
following new paragraph (f) to read as follows:


Sec.  393.75  Tires.

* * * * *
    (f) No motor vehicle may be operated with speed-restricted tires 
labeled with a maximum speed of 55 mph or less in accordance with 
S6.5(e) of FMVSS No. 119 at speeds that exceed the rated limit of the 
tire.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JY16.007

* * * * *

PART 396--INSPECTION, REPAIR, AND MAINTENANCE

0
5. The authority citation for part 396 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 504, 31133, 31136, 31151, and 31502; sec. 
32934, Pub. L. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405, 830; and 49 CFR 1.87.


0
6. Revise Sec.  396.9(d)(2) to read as follows:


Sec.  396.9  Inspection of motor vehicles and intermodal equipment in 
operation.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (2) Motor carriers and intermodal equipment providers shall examine 
the report. Violations or defects noted

[[Page 47732]]

thereon shall be corrected in accordance with Sec.  396.11(a)(3). 
Repairs of items of intermodal equipment placed out-of-service are also 
to be documented in the maintenance records for such equipment.
* * * * *
0
7. Revise Sec.  396.17(f) to read as follows:


Sec.  396.17  Periodic inspection.

* * * * *
    (f) Vehicles passing periodic inspections performed under the 
auspices of any State government or equivalent jurisdiction, meeting 
the minimum standards contained in appendix G of this subchapter, will 
be considered to have met the requirements of an annual inspection for 
a period of 12 months commencing from the last day of the month in 
which the inspection was performed.
* * * * *
0
8. Revise Sec.  396.19(b) to read as follows:


Sec.  396.19  Inspector qualifications.

* * * * *
    (b) Motor carriers and intermodal equipment providers must retain 
evidence of that individual's qualifications under this section. They 
must retain this evidence for the period during which that individual 
is performing annual motor vehicle inspections for the motor carrier or 
intermodal equipment provider, and for one year thereafter. However, 
motor carriers and intermodal equipment providers do not have to 
maintain documentation of inspector qualifications for those 
inspections performed as part of a State periodic inspection program.


Sec.  396.23  [Amended]

0
9. In Sec.  396.23, remove paragraph (a) and redesignate paragraph (b) 
as paragraph (a) and reserve a new paragraph (b).
0
10. Amend Appendix G to Subchapter B of Chapter III by:
0
a. Adding Section 1.l and footnotes 1 and 2;
0
b. Adding Section 1.m;
0
b. Adding Section 10.c;
0
c. Adding Section 14; and
0
d. Removing ``Comparison of Appendix G, and the New North American 
Uniform Driver Vehicle Inspection Procedure (North American Commercial 
Vehicle Critical Safety Inspection Items and Out-Of-Service 
Criteria),'' including the introductory text and paragraphs 1.-13.
    The additions read as follows:

Appendix G to Subchapter B of Chapter III--Minimum Periodic Inspection 
Standards

* * * * *
1. Brake System
* * * * *
    l. Antilock Brake System \1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Power units manufactured after March 1, 2001, have two ABS 
malfunction indicators, one for the power unit and one for the units 
that they tow. Both malfunction indicators are required to be fully 
functional.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (1) Missing ABS malfunction indicator components (i.e., bulb, 
wiring, etc.).
    (2) ABS malfunction indicator that does not illuminate when 
power is first applied to the ABS controller (ECU) during initial 
power up.
    (3) ABS malfunction indicator that stays illuminated while power 
is continuously applied to the ABS controller (ECU).
    (4) ABS malfunction indicator lamp on a trailer or dolly does 
not cycle when electrical power is applied:
    (a) Only to the vehicle's constant ABS power circuit, or
    (b) Only to the vehicle.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ This section is applicable to tractors with air brakes built 
on or after March 1, 1997, and all other vehicles with air brakes 
built on or after March 1, 1998. This section is also applicable to 
vehicles over 10,000 lbs. GVWR with hydraulic brakes built on or 
after March 1, 1999.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (5) With its brakes released and its ignition switch in the 
normal run position, power unit does not provide continuous 
electrical power to the ABS on any vehicle it is equipped to tow.
    (6) Other missing or inoperative ABS components.
    m. Automatic Brake Adjusters
    (1) Failure to maintain a brake within the brake stroke limit 
specified by the vehicle manufacturer.
    (2) Any automatic brake adjuster that has been replaced with a 
manual adjuster.
    (3) Damaged, loose, or missing components.
    (4) Any brake that is found to be out of adjustment on initial 
inspection must be evaluated to determine why the automatic brake 
adjuster is not functioning properly and the problem must be 
corrected in order for the vehicle to pass the inspection. It is not 
acceptable to manually adjust automatic brake adjusters without 
first correcting the underlying problem. For example, there may be 
other components within the braking system that are distressed or 
out of specification (i.e., broken welds, loose mounting hardware, 
cracked brake drums, worn bushings, etc.) that would require 
immediate attention.
* * * * *
    10. Tires
* * * * *
    c. Installation of speed-restricted tires unless specifically 
designated by motor carrier.
* * * * *
    14. Motorcoach Seats
    a. Any passenger seat that is not securely fastened to the 
vehicle structure.
    b. [Reserved]

    Issued under the authority of delegation in 49 CFR 1.87. July 
14, 2016.
T.F. Scott Darling, III,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2016-17364 Filed 7-21-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P