FMCSA Requiring Rear Impact Guards to be Checked During Annual Inspections

FMCSA Requiring Rear Impact Guards to be Checked During Annual Inspections

Trucks that fail to pass will not be placed out of service (OOS) but each violation could result in a max fine of $15,876 for carriers and $3,969 for drivers.

In Aug. 2018, CVSA conducted a one-day enforcement check to take a closer look at the condition of rear impact underride guards, a requirement of both Level I and Level V inspections.

They concluded that inspectors were not properly inspecting rear guards and, when they put a focus on it, violations were substantially higher than what inspectors were documenting.

Currently, rear impact guards are not included on FMCSA’s list of items in Appendix G that must be examined during an annual inspection.

This means that a vehicle could pass the annual inspection with a missing or damaged rear impact guard.

Although a rear-guard violation does not put a truck out of service, it does prohibit the inspector from issuing a CVSA decal for a truck.

To remedy this, the FMCSA on Dec. 9 will require assessment of underride impact guards during motor carrier and roadside annual inspections.

Underride guards are intended to help prevent vehicles from sliding underneath a semi-trailer during a rear-end crash.

The rule also adds a definition of road construction controlled (RCC) horizontal discharge trailers and makes it clear that RCC trailers are not required to have a rear impact guard installed.

Industry trade groups support the new annual inspection requirement but worry this may lead to future side guard requirements, which NHTSA believes a federal mandate would be too costly.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill approved by Congress late Friday includes underride guard requirements and requires more research on the effectiveness of side underride guards.

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