Federal agencies Trucking Transportation

Safety agencies set to propose automatic braking requirements for large trucks

Photo: vitpho/iStockphoto

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration want to require automatic emergency braking systems on heavy trucks.

On June 22, the agencies announced their intent to publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register. Under the proposal, AEB systems would be a requirement on trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating of at least 10,000 pounds, as mandated under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. A prepublished version of the rule states that AEB systems “mitigate the frequency and severity of rear-end collisions with vehicles.”

AEB systems are designed to use sensor technology to automatically engage brakes to prevent collisions. The combination of AEB systems and electronic stability control technology – which would also be required under the rule – could help prevent more than 19,000 crashes each year while saving 155 lives and reducing nonfatal injuries by at least 8,800, NHTSA estimates show.

Vehicles already in service wouldn’t be required to be retrofitted with the technologies.

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

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