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.