According to the amendment, certain safety devices can now be adhered to the windshield of all commercial motor vehicles, including in the area that is swept by windshield wipers. Previously these devices would have been viewed as a violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).
The FMCSA now allows the following safety devices on commercial vehicles, as well as others at their future discretion:
- Camera systems
- Video event recorders
- Lane departure warning systems
- Speed management systems
- Collision mitigation or warning systems
- Sensors that are part of hands-free equipment packages
- Active cruise control systems
Devices must be mounted in a “location that maximizes their effectiveness without impairing operational safety.” This is determined to be no more than four inches below the upper edge or seven inches above the lower edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers. Mounted devices also must be out of the driver’s sight lines to traffic signals and signs.
Time will tell what impact these devices have on truck safety on the roads, particularly in terms of avoiding vs. causing traffic accidents. Electronic safety devices cannot completely eliminate the possibility of driver mistakes, however, so it is important to be aware, alert and not distracted when on the roads. If an accident occurs, be sure to get medical treatment right away and protect your legal right to compensation.