The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to file a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register in the coming days. The agency also plans to host a public hearing this summer to take comments. Electronic stability control or ESC uses engine torque and braking of individual wheels to assist in preventing rollover crashes. ESC is compatible with air-braked vehicles and is not compatible with hydraulic braking systems.
Truck off road
Truck off road
NHTSA states that the technology would help prevent 40-56 percent of untripped rollovers and 14 percent of loss-of-control crashes caused by severe oversteer or understeer conditions. Untrippedrollovers are generally attributed to vehicle top-heaviness, roadway slope, curves, and other factors. Loss-of-control rollovers are generally attributed to evasive maneuvers or over-corrections.
OOIDA believes that driver training and cab-crashworthiness standards would be more effective at saving truckers' lives than a government mandate for electronic stability control.
"In typical Washington fashion, we have another government agency bent on 'idiot-proofing' the world with yet another new mandate that overstates the benefits and understates the costs that will be disproportionately borne by small business," OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said. "Any technology that is worthwhile sells itself without mandates."
OOIDA points out that at $1,160 per truck, and with approximately 171,000 new trucks being sold each year, it would take only five years for the mandate to cost the industry $1 billion.
"Combine this with NHTSA's unholy alliance with EPA and truckers may soon see a $200,000 truck," Spencer said. "The regulatory machine in Washington is clearly on steroids and hurtling totally out of control. It's time to put the brakes on, and quick."
Spencer says OOIDA has promoted cab-crashworthiness and training standards to federal agencies, but NHTSA has been cool to those suggestions.
"The absurdity of their upside down logic is even more pronounced. In the collective wisdom of government safety agencies, they can't even cost justify a requirement that individuals be trained for situations they will face on the road before they are licensed and turned loose on our highways," Spencer said.
According to a NHTSA posting, the agency is targeting the requirement to take effect in 2016 and affect all new vehicles from that point forward.
Public comments are being accepted at www.regulations.gov; by fax to 202-493-2251; and by mail to Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, D.C. 20590-0001
The docket number is NHTSA-2012-0065.
Doug Duncan, Executive Director