Mike Senneff 2017-10-25 01:55:36
An industry collaboration that became law Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article appeared on the AEM website on 19 September 2016 (“Ag Lighting & Marking: Collaboration Becomes Law”) and is available at: https://www.aem.org/news/september-2016/ag-lighting-marking-collaboration-becomes-law. On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP- 21), a $105 billion bill to fund federal surface transportation spending for two years. Buried deep within this legislation, which addresses funding for more than thirty different surface transportation programs managed by the federal government, is the Agricultural Machinery Illumination and Safety Act (AMISA). With the signing into law of MAP-21, the roadway lighting and marking of agricultural machinery becomes, for the first time, subject to regulation by the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Prior to the AMISA, the requirements for lighting and marking of agricultural machinery that operated on public roadways were left up to each state. While a small number of states adopted ASABE Standard S279, Lighting and Marking of Agricultural Equipment on Highways, as their law, most states specified minimal and outdated requirements for lighting and marking of agricultural machinery. In some cases, the state requirements conflicted with ASABE’s well-established standard. In 2009, public and legislative affairs staff from Deere & Company, CNH Industrial, 3M Company, and AEM joined together to develop and promote to Congress a bill that would establish ASABE Standard S279 as the minimum national requirement for lighting and marking of agricultural machinery when operated on public roadways in all fifty states. With the sponsorship of several farm state legislators in both the U.S. House and Senate, a proposed Act was developed and ultimately attached to the pending surface transportation funding bill. With passage of the funding bill (MAP-21) in 2012, ASABE Standard S279 became the law of the land. What does AMISA require of equipment manufacturers? In brief, the Act and its implementation rules require that agricultural equipment manufactured as new on or after June 22, 2017, must be equipped with roadway lighting and marking in accordance with ASABE Standard S279.14 (revised July 2008) or any subsequent revision of the standard. How is agricultural machinery defined? The machinery included within the scope of the Act includes agricultural tractors, self-propelled machines, implements, and combinations thereof designed primarily for agricultural use as identified by ASABE Standard S390.4, Definitions and Classifications of Agricultural Field Equipment. Do the lighting and marking requirements of the regulation apply to used machinery? No. The requirements apply only to agricultural machinery manufactured on or after June 22, 2017. Does the regulation define how the manufacturing date is to be established? No. When a piece of agricultural machinery is considered to have been manufactured is a determination made by the manufacturer. Does the Act apply to new agricultural machinery that was manufactured before June 22, 2017, but that was sitting on a dealer’s lot as new equipment on or after June 22, 2017? No. Will the regulation be updated to reflect newer revisions of the standard? The current revision of the standard is S279.17 (revised July 2013). The NHTSA has determined that the provisions in the latest revision of the standard do not warrant an update to the regulation at this time. Do I need to read and study the regulation in order to understand the lighting and marking requirements for new machinery? No. The text of the regulation is very specific in that it makes repeated references to S279.14 or later revisions of the standard. If a manufacturer meets or exceeds the technical provisions of S279.14, or any later revisions of the standard, the machinery will be in compliance with the regulation. Note: The regulatory text includes a section that attempts to summarize the lighting and marking provisions of ASABE Standard S279.14. However, this summary includes significant errors and omissions. Manufacturers are advised to refer to the original standard, and not the text of the regulation, when determining the lighting and marking requirements for new machinery. Where can I get a copy of ASABE Standard S279? The latest revision of the standard is available for purchase and download from ASABE (www.asabe.org/publications/order-publications/standards.aspx). Archived copies of previous revisions of the standard are also available from ASABE. ASABE member Mike Senneff, Consultant, Product Safety Help, LLC, Bettendorf, Iowa, USA, MikeSenneff@ProductSafetyHelp.com.
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