FMCSA Grants Exception for Video Event Recorders

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted an exemption that will enable video event recorders to be mounted on commercial motor vehicles lower in the windshield than previously permitted by the Agency’s regulations.

According to the FMCSA, commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) can continue to use the video event recorders in order to increase safety through "(1) identification and remediation of risky driving behaviors such as distracted driving and drowsiness; (2) enhanced monitoring of passenger behavior for CMVs in passenger service; and (3) enhanced collision review and analysis." FMCSA further explained that the possible safety gains from "the use of video event recorders to improve driver behavior will improve the overall level of safety to the motoring public." This continues to validate the importance of innovations in the category of video event recorders, pursuing improvements in fleet safety.

FMCSA believes that permitting video event recorders to be mounted lower than previously allowed, but still outside the driver’s sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals, will maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption. The FMCSA went on to say in their granting of the exemption, ”the use of video event recorders by fleets to deter unsafe driving behaviors is likely to improve the overall level of safety to the motoring public.” Its exemption supercedes any state regulations by stating, “no State shall enforce any law or regulation that is inconsistent or conflicts with the exemption…”

The new exemption applies to all commercial vehicles and is effective for two years, while FMCSA is working on a permanent regulation. It also allows Velvac camera and recording systems to be mounted up to 2” inside the upper edge of the area swept by wipers, as long as it does not interfere with the driver’s sightlines of signs and signals.

For more information on this exemption, click HERE.