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FMCSA Might Allow Pulsating Brake Lights on More Trucks

Remember in October when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) started allowing tanker trucks to use pulsating amber brake lights? It may be added to more truck types soon enough, as the FMCSA has granted Grote Industries LLC a limited 5-year exemption to allow motor carriers operating trailers and van body trucks to install rear amber brake-activated pulsating warning lamps.

Regulation Exemption

  • 393.25e says that exterior lamps need to be steady burning when in use, with exceptions including:
  • Turn signal lamps
  • Hazard signal lamps
  • School bus warning lamps
  • Amber warning lamps on tow trucks
  • Amber warning lamps for trucks hauling oversized loads
  • Warning lamps for emergency vehicles
  • Tanker trucks

So far, only Grote Industries LLC has been giving an exemption for operating trailers and van body trucks, but, like Groendyke Transport for tanker trucks before, it is possible that the results from Grote Industries LLC may cause the FMCSA to expand the exemption list further. Considering the Groendyke Transport experimentation resulted in around 33% fewer rear-end collisions, there is a high chance that this process from Grote will bear fruit.

Conclusion

The exemption for Grote lasts until December 2nd, 2025, but chances are that if the testing proves to be successful, trailers and van body trucks will be added to the exemption list before that. While Groendyke Transport started collecting data in 2015, it was roughly 18 months between being granted an official exemption for Groendyke alone and applying it to other tanker trucks. If the same logic applies, we should see the exemptions list expand sometime in mid-2022. Once that happens, it is possible that the cycle may begin again for other forms of vehicles, including brake lights on the standard semi-truck.

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