Conformance with the full rear visibility portion of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS 111) regulation is required in the U.S. by May 1, 2018. Here are some things to know about the regulation.

What is FMVSS 111?

FMVSS 111 is a visibility standard for all motor vehicles except trailers. The standard traditionally applied to mirrors, but NHTSA added new requirements for rearward visibility to reduce backing crashes involving children and disabled people.

The regulation includes the following requirements:

  • Field of view (FOV)
  • Image size
  • Image response time
  • Image linger time
  • Deactivation
  • Image default view
  • Component durability

Effective May 1, 2018, 100% of vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 2018 with a 10,000-pound or less GVWR must meet all aspects of FMVSS 111 rear visibility. This applies to original, final-stage, or altered-stage manufacture.

Why were new regulations added?

The Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act was passed in 2008, which required NHTSA to revise the federal standard for rear visibility. In 2009, NHTSA released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) which included research that 292 fatalities and 18,000 injuries result from backover incidents every year. Pickup trucks and SUVs account for more than half of these fatalities.

Who’s affected by FMVSS 111?

Truck equipment distributors and upfitters may need to install or relocate the rear-view camera and make sure other requirements are met. Fleet managers will need to understand the new regulation to ensure compliance with FMVSS 111 for upfitted vehicles. OEMs will want to better understand any design implications for truck-mounted equipment that may impact rearview camera placement and assist upfitter customers.

What steps should fleets take to comply?

  1. Determine if the new vehicle you are modifying is originally compliance as certified by the OEM. If so, you must maintain compliance.
  2. If the answer is yes, you must maintain compliance. There are two ways to do this. One is to keep the rear-view camera in the OEM-production location (as received). If you need to accommodate bodies and equipment, relocate the camera to a new, compliant location.
  3. Note: Moving the camera could affect both FOV and image size compliance beginning May 1, 2018.

Are there exceptions?

Yes, some vehicles do not need to meet FOV requirements by April 30, 2018: vehicles manufactured by small manufacturers or limited-line manufacturers, vehicles manufactured in two or more stages before May 1, 2018, and vehicles originally compliant with FOV and altered before May 1, 2017.

Vehicles previously certified as meeting FOV requirements before May 1, 2017 and altered on or after May 1, 2017 must continue to meet FOV requirements.

Anything else to know?

Equivalent requirements have been adopted in Canada (CMVSS 111) for multi-stage vehicles. Transport Canada has extended the effective date until May 1, 2019.

There are resources available for fleets seeking to meet compliance. NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry, for example, offers a FMVSS 111 Field of View Conformity Manual and Kit on its website.

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