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Hours of Service of Drivers: Application of Illumination Fireworks, LLC and ACE Pyro LLC, for Exemption From the 14-Hour Rule During Independence Day Celebrations

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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.


Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.


FMCSA announces that it has received an application from Illumination Fireworks, LLC and ACE Pyro, LLC (applicants) for a limited exemption from the requirement that drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) must not drive following the 14th hour after coming on duty. The exemption would apply solely to the operation of drivers of 50 CMVs employed by the applicants in conjunction with staging fireworks shows celebrating Independence Day during the periods June 28-July 8, 2014, and June 28-July 8, 2015, inclusive. During these two periods, the CMV drivers employed by the applicants would be allowed to exclude off-duty and sleeper-berth time of any length from the calculation of the 14 hours. These drivers would not be allowed to drive after accumulating a total of 14 hours of on-duty time, following 10 consecutive hours off duty, and would continue to be subject to the 11-hour driving time limit, and the 60- and 70-hour on-duty limits. The applicants maintain that the terms and conditions of the limited exemption would ensure a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption.


If granted, this exemption would be effective during the periods of June 28, 2014, through July 8, 2014, inclusive, and June 28, 2015, through July 8, 2015, inclusive. The exemption would expire on July 8, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. Comments must be received on or before June 2, 2014.


You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket Management System Number FMCSA-2014-0111 by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and docket number. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the exemption process, see the Public Participation heading below. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to, including any personal information provided. Please also see the Privacy Act heading below.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to, and follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets, or go to the street address listed above.

Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

Public participation: The Federal eRulemaking Portal is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You can obtain electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the “help” section of the Federal eRulemaking Portal Web site. If you want us to notify you that we received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard, or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments online. Comments received after the comment closing date will be included in the docket and will be considered to the extent practicable.

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Ms. Pearlie Robinson, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations; Telephone: 202-366-4325. Email:

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The hours-of-service (HOS) rule in 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) prohibits a property-carrying CMV driver from driving a CMV after the 14th hour after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from certain parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment on the request.

The Agency reviews safety analyses and public comments submitted, and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is granted. The notice must also specify the effective period and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).

Request for Exemption

Illumination Fireworks, LLC (USDOT 2326703) and ACE Pyro, LLC (USDOT 1352892) (Applicants) are fireworks display companies that employ CMV drivers who hold commercial driver's licenses with hazardous materials endorsements to transport Division 1.3G and 1.4G fireworks in conjunction with the setup of firework shows for Independence Day. The applicants seek an exemption from the 14-hour rule in 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) so that drivers would be allowed to exclude off-duty and sleeper-berth time of any length from the calculation of the 14 hours. The applicants state that the basis for their request is the existing FMCSA exemption granted to the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) under Docket No. FMCSA-2007-28043, which exempts comparable fireworks companies from the 14-hour rule.

The applicants further state they are seeking an HOS exemption for the 2014 and 2015 Independence Day periods because compliance with the 14-hour Start Printed Page 27365rule would impose economic hardship on cities, municipalities, and themselves. Complying with the existing regulations means most shows would require two drivers, significantly increasing the cost of the fireworks display.

The applicants assert that without the extra duty-period provided by the exemption, safety would decline because firework drivers would be unable to return to their home base after each show should they have fireworks remaining after the display. They would be forced to park the CMVs carrying Division 1.3G and 1.4G products in areas less secure than the motor carriers' home base. As a condition for holding the exemption, each motor carrier would be required to notify FMCSA within 5 business days of any accident (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5) involving the operation of any CMVs under this exemption. The applicants advise they have never been in an accident. As additional support for the requested exemption, the applicants contend that the nature and duties of APA CMV operators is exactly the same as the CMV operators it employs and they feel strongly that there will not be any decline in safety.

In the exemption request, the applicants assert that the operational demands of this unique industry minimize the risks of CMV crashes. In the last few days before the Independence Day holiday, these drivers transport fireworks over relatively short routes from distribution points to the site of the fireworks display, and normally do so in the early morning when traffic is light. The applicants noted that during the 2013 Independence Day season, the furthest an Illumination Fireworks or Ace Pyro CMV traveled from its home base was 150 miles, which involves a very small amount of driving compared to the distance traveled by companies covered by the APA exemption. At the site, they spend considerable time installing, wiring, and safety-checking the fireworks displays, followed by several hours of duty in the late afternoon and early evening prior to the event. During this time, the drivers are able to rest and nap, thereby reducing or eliminating the fatigue accumulated during the day. Before beginning another duty day, these drivers must take 10 consecutive hours off duty, the same as other CMV drivers.

A copy of the applicants' application for exemption is available for review in the docket for this notice.

Request for Comments

In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b)(4), FMCSA requests public comment on the applicants' application for an exemption from certain provisions of the driver's HOS rules in 49 CFR part 395. The Agency will consider all comments received by close of business on June 2, 2014. Comments will be available for examination in the docket at the location listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The Agency will consider to the extent practicable comments received in the public docket after the closing date of the comment period.

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Issued on: May 2, 2014.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2014-10978 Filed 5-12-14; 8:45 am]