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DOT/PHMSA RIN: 2137-AE63 Publication ID: Fall 2010 
Title:+Hazardous Materials: Limiting the Use of Electronic Devices by Highway 
Abstract: This rulemaking would restrict the use of electronic devices by drivers during the operation of a motor vehicle containing a quantity of hazardous materials requiring placarding under part 172 of the 49 CFR or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR part 73. Additionally, in accordance with requirements proposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) motor carriers are prohibited from requiring or allowing drivers of covered motor vehicles to engage in texting while driving. This rulemaking would improve health and safety on the Nation's highways by reducing the prevalence of distracted driving-related crashes, fatalities, and injuries involving drivers of commercial motor vehicles. 
Agency: Department of Transportation(DOT)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 49 CFR 177   
Legal Authority: Not Yet Determined   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: This rulemaking expands on the limitations on wireless communications proposed by FMCSA's April 1, 2010, NPRM to the transportation of a quantity of hazardous materials requiring placarding under part 172 of the 49 CFR or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR part 73 in intrastate commerce. FMCSA's authority over motor carriers of these materials is limited to transportation in interstate commerce. The safety benefits associated with limiting the distractions caused by electronic devices are equally applicable to drivers transporting covered hazardous materials via intrastate as they are to interstate commerce. The use of an electronic device while driving constitutes a safety risk to the motor vehicle driver, other motorists, and bystanders.

Summary of the Legal Basis: Federal hazardous materials transportation law (Federal hazmat law; 49 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.)

Alternatives: PHMSA considered two alternatives: 1. Amend the HMR to expand the scope of the FMCSA NPRM to include those intrastate motor carriers and drivers that transport a quantity of hazardous materials requiring placarding under part 172 of the 49 CFR or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR part 73; or 2. Take no action.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: PHMSA estimates that this proposed rule will cost $5,227 annually. Additionally, PHMSA has not identified a significant increase in crash risk associated with drivers? strategies for complying with this proposed rule. As indicated in the regulatory evaluation, a crash resulting in property damage only (PDO) averages approximately $17,000 in damages. Consequently, the texting restriction would have to eliminate just one PDO crash every 3.25 years for the benefits of this proposed rule to exceed the costs.

Risks: Risk to the public and regulated community from distracted driving-related crashes, fatalities, and injuries involving drivers of commercial motor vehicles transporting covered hazardous materials in intrastate commerce.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  09/27/2010  75 FR 59197   
NPRM Comment Period End  10/27/2010    
Final Rule  03/00/2011    
Additional Information: HM-256
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL: www.regulations.gov   Public Comment URL: www.regulations.gov  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Lad Falat
Director, Engineering and Research
Department of Transportation
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE,
Washington, DC 20590
Phone:202 366-4545
Email: lad.falat@dot.gov