Greyhound Seeks Exemption to Place Video Recorders Lower

An exemption request from Greyhound Lines Inc. seeks permission to place video event recorders on the inside of the windshields of its 1,650 buses at a lower position than federal rules now permit. The regulations say antennas and devices may not be mounted more than 6 inches below the top of the windshield and cannot block the part of the windshield that is swept clear by windshield wipers, but Greyhound says today's commercial bus windows and wipers are larger than they used to be, and the recorders must be in part of the swept area to maximize safety.

Using them furthers safety because the recorders view both what happens in front of the bus and what happens inside. This gives Greyhound information about unsafe driving actions, a greater ability to monitor passengers' behavior, and more information to analyze after a crash. The position of the recorders, if approved, will not block the drivers' field of vision to see signs, signals, and the road. Greyhound says it is the largest commercial bus line in America, with about 13,000 daily departures in North America. Commercial bus safety has abruptly taken center stage on the heels of a 17-fatality wreck in Sherman, Texas, involving an illegally operated charter bus and two other crashes on Sunday in Mississippi and Nevada. 

Comments on Greyhound's application are due by Sept. 10 (identified by DOT DMS Docket Number FMCSA-2008-0224) to www.regulations.gov or faxed to 202-493-2251.

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