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Notice

Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption Renewal; Daimler Trucks North America (Daimler)

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AGENCY:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of application for exemption renewal; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

FMCSA announces that Daimler Trucks North America (Daimler) has requested an exemption renewal for one commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver, Martin Zeilinger, from the Federal requirement to hold a commercial driver's license (CDL) issued by one of the States. This project engineer holds a valid German commercial license and wants to test-drive Daimler vehicles on U.S. roads to better understand product requirements for these systems in “real world” environments, and verify results. Daimler believes the requirements for a German commercial license ensure that holders of the license will likely achieve a level of safety equal to or greater than that of drivers who hold a U.S. State-issued CDL.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before April 21, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2012-0032 using any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • 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., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251.

Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12-140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The on-line FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year.

Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/​privacy.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; Telephone: 614-942-6477. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and related materials.

Submitting Comments

If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (FMCSA-2012-0032), indicate the specific section of this document to which the comment applies, and provide a reason for suggestions or recommendations. You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your document so the Agency can contact you if it has questions regarding your submission.

To submit your comment online, go to www.regulations.gov and put the docket number, “FMCSA-2012-0032” in the “Keyword” box, and click “Search.” When the new screen appears, click on “Comment Now!” button and type your comment into the text box in the following screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual or on behalf of a third party and then submit. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the comment period and may grant or not grant this application based on your comments.

II. Legal Basis

FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from 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 the safety analyses and the public comments, 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 reason for the grant or denial, and, if granted, the specific person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the regulatory provision or provisions from which exemption is granted. The notice must also specify the effective period of the exemption (up to 5 years), and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).

III. Request for Exemption

Daimler has applied for an exemption renewal for one of its engineers from 49 CFR 383.23, which prescribes licensing requirements for drivers operating CMVs in interstate or intrastate commerce. This driver, Martin Zeilinger, holds a valid German commercial license but is unable to obtain a CDL in any of the U.S. States due to residency requirements. A copy of the application is in Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0032.

FMCSA initially granted an exemption to Mr. Zeilinger on March 27, 2015 (80 FR 16511). This exemption was effective March 27, 2015, and expires March 27, 2017. Detailed information about the qualifications and experience of Mr. Zeilinger was provided by Daimler in its original application, a copy of which is in the docket.

The exemption renewal would allow Mr. Zeilinger to operate CMVs in interstate or intrastate commerce to Start Printed Page 14792support Daimler field tests designed to meet future vehicle safety and environmental requirements and to develop improved safety and emission technologies. According to Daimler, Mr. Zeilinger will typically drive for no more than 6 hours per day for 2 consecutive days, and 10 percent of the test driving will be on two-lane State highways, while 90 percent will be on interstate highways. The driving will consist of no more than 200 miles per day, for a total of 400 miles during a two-day period on a quarterly basis. He will in all cases be accompanied by a holder of a U.S. CDL who is familiar with the routes to be traveled. Daimler requests that the exemption cover the maximum allowable duration of 5 years.

Daimler has explained in prior exemption requests that the German knowledge and skills tests and training program ensure that Daimler's drivers operating under the exemption will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety obtained by complying with the U.S. requirement for a CDL.

IV. Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety

FMCSA has previously determined that the process for obtaining a German commercial license is comparable to, or as effective as, the requirements of part 383, and adequately assesses the driver's ability to operate CMVs in the U.S. Since 2012, FMCSA has granted Daimler drivers similar exemptions [May 25, 2012 (77 FR 31422); July 22, 2014 (79 FR 42626); March 27, 2015 (80 FR 16511); October 5, 2015 (80 FR 60220); December 7, 2015 (80 FR 76059); December 21, 2015 (80 FR 79410)].

Start Signature

Issued on: March 16, 2017.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2017-05652 Filed 3-21-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P