The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is once again going head to head with the White House’s very own Office of Management and Budget. This time, it’s over brakes. In which case, this is regarding a possible revision over the truck brake rule that they have long been implementing. All after a week that comes from the National Transportation Safety Board finding that Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) could have very well stopped a fatal crash from occurring. The proposal would only make things safer for all involved. All according to a “statement of need” that was received by the Office of Management and Budget through Tuesday, as the NHTSA thinks there could be a potential for AEB to, as they said, “improve safety by reducing the likelihood of rear-end crashes involving heavy vehicles and the severity of crashes.” According to them, the NHTSA is starting the rulemaking process to specifically use new heavy vehicles with automatic emergency braking systems that could very well standardize AEB performance as the systems themselves are optional to install on vehicles.
The proposed rule itself is necessary. This is all because of a provision from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was once signed into law on the date of November 15th, 2021. That in particular needs the rule to be finalized by November 15th, 2023. The OMB, therefore, is beginning their 90-day review, exactly on week after the NTSB had decided that a rear-end collision involving a truck that killed six people would have easily been prevented if a collision avoidance system like the AEB would have been properly deployed. The NTSB themselves have long sided with collision avoidance technology as the “most wanted” on their list of safety regulations.
In addition, an abstract of the proposal mentions how the NHTSA researched forward collision avoidance and mitigation technology for their heavy vehicles, like the forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems, for years on end.
Actually in 2015, the agency had granted the petition for rulemaking, while being submitted by the Truck Safety Coalition, Road Safe America, the Center for Auto Safety and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. For the requirement of automatic forward collision avoidance and mitigation systems on heavy trucks.
To support that petition, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance had pointed in advance that the technology is advancing onwards.