Group Applies for Exemption to FMCSA for Trucker Window Film

January 29th, 2014 | Category: Industry News

The International Window Film Association (IWFA) has submitted an application for exemption and request for comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regarding allowable levels of light transmission for window film in commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).

Comments have been requested for the petition “to allow the use of certain glazing in the windows that does not meet the light transmission requirements specified in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR).”

According to FMCSA, “Section 393.60(d) of the FMCSRs currently permits windshields and to the immediate right and left of the driver windows to be tinted, as long as the light transmission is not restricted to less than 70 percent of normal. IWFA contends that since a reduction of light entering the truck cab interior will decrease not only available visible light but also scattered light, the exemption can significantly improve driver comfort and reduce eye strain while allowing films to be used that can also reduce the heat load of the interior environment, thus making the driver more comfortable as well as lowering energy use for cooling.”

In 2012, FMCSA issued clarification to the safety regulations relating to a truck’s window visibility that now allows the use of compliant window films on big rigs’ sidelites, allowing truckers to install window films following scrutiny surrounding skin cancer levels from long-term sun exposure while driving.

“Many commercial operators, however, have been unable to obtain the approved film products in a timely and local basis; this has generated a significant volume of inquiries to federal, state and association offices. We are therefore requesting a favorable consideration for the use of a market-standard 50 percent-type of film with a 7 percent measurement tolerance (to accommodate variances in glass, glass condition, film manufacturing variation and meter differences). This would allow the standard 50 percent-type film to be used on CMVs for the windows to the immediate right and left of the driver. This film is the same minimum visibility requirement used in the majority of states for automobiles and is essentially ‘clear’ to the extent that, in most cases, it is difficult to determine if a vehicle even has had film applied. Since a reduction of light entering the truck cab interior will decrease not only available visible light but also scattered light (sometimes called ‘interference haze’ by optical researchers), it can significantly improve driver comfort and reduce eye strain while also allowing films to be used which can also reduce the heat load of the interior environment, thus making the driver more comfortable as well as lowering energy use for cooling,” states the IWFA’s request.

“I do wish they would lower the tint percentage to the same as it is with regular vehicles. I see no reason to have different laws on vehicle on the roadway for this type of thing,” comments Rikki Bates, a truck driver in Missouri. “There are days when it is really hot outside and [sic] wished your windows were tinted to keep some of the heat out. Especially when you spend several hours driving every day. The heat and sun coming in does make you tired and frustrated at times. If you compare the unlawful behavior between commercial vehicles with tinted windows and regular vehicle with tinted windows, there is by far a higher crime rate with regular vehicles. I also believe it would give drivers more privacy at truck stops while resting and keep other drivers from being able to see in other trucks. I had my windows tinted on my truck at one time, until I got pulled into the scale and was told to take it off. The DOT officers said they didn’t agree with it either, they just have to go by the law.”

“I want the regulations to allow window tinting for commercial vehicles,” adds commenter Joey Slaughter. “As a commercial driver for more than 20 years, I’ve had sun spots on the left side of my face examined a few times and thankfully were found to be non-cancerous. However, the doctor informed me that they were due to sun exposure and told me to wear sun screen daily as I drive.”

Comments are requested and must be received by February 24, 2014, by close of business.

Anyone wishing to participate may submit comments identified by DOT DMS Docket Number FMCSA-2013-0436 by any of the following methods:

  • Website: Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the Federal electronic docket site at http://www.regulations.gov;
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251;
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue S.E., Washington, D.C. 20590-0001; or
  • Hand delivery: Ground Floor, Room W12-140, DOT Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue S.E., Washington, D.C., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

To learn more, visit http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FMCSA-2013-0436-0001.

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