Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Standards; Volvo Trucks North America, Inc.'s Exemption Application, 20166-20167 [E7-7638]

Download as PDF 20166 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 77 / Monday, April 23, 2007 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Volvo Application for an Exemption [Docket No. FMCSA–2006–24932] Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Standards; Volvo Trucks North America, Inc.’s Exemption Application Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition; granting of application for exemption. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FMCSA announces its decision to grant Volvo Trucks North America, Inc.’s (Volvo) application for an exemption for seven of its drivers to enable them to test-drive commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in the United States without a commercial driver’s license (CDL) issued by one of the States. Volvo requested that the exemption cover seven Swedish engineers and technicians who will test drive CMVs for Volvo within the U.S. They stated the exemption is needed to support a Volvo field test to meet future air quality standards, and to test-drive Volvo prototype vehicles to verify results in ‘‘real world’’ environments. Each of these drivers holds a CDL issued in Sweden, but lacks the U.S. residency necessary to obtain a CDL issued by one of the States in the U.S. The FMCSA believes the knowledge and skills testing and training program that drivers must undergo to obtain a Swedish CDL ensures that these drivers will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption. DATES: This decision is effective April 23, 2007. The exemption expires on April 23, 2009. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, Driver and Carrier Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, MC– PSD, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590–0001. Telephone: 202–366–4009. E-mail: MCPSD@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Background Under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA may grant an exemption from the CDL requirements in 49 CFR 383.23 for a two-year period if it finds ‘‘such exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption’’ (49 CFR 381.305 (a)). FMCSA has evaluated Volvo’s application on its merits and VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:17 Apr 20, 2007 Jkt 211001 decided to grant the exemption for seven of Volvo’s engineers and technicians for a two-year period. Volvo applied for an exemption from the 49 CFR 383.23 requirement that the operator of a CMV obtain a CDL. This section of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) sets forth the standards that States must employ in issuing CDLs to drivers operating in commerce. In the U.S., an individual must be a resident of a State in order to qualify for a CDL.1 The Volvo driversemployees for whom this exemption is sought are all citizens and residents of Sweden; therefore, they cannot apply for a CDL in any State of the United States. A copy of the request for exemption from section 383.23 is in the docket identified at the beginning of this notice. Swedish Drivers This exemption enables the following drivers to test-drive in the U.S. Volvo CMVs that are assembled, sold or primarily used in the U.S.: Freddy Blixt, Goran Alsen, Kjell Jansson, Johnny Adolfsson, Lars Svensson, Peter Hofsten, and Thorbjorn Ohlund. Collectively, these drivers form a team of engineers and technicians. Volvo currently employs these drivers in Sweden, and wants them to be able to test-drive Volvo prototype vehicles at its test site and in the vicinity of Phoenix, Arizona, to verify vehicle results in ‘‘real world’’ environments. These drivers would test-drive Volvo CMVs that are assembled, sold or primarily used in the U.S. They are highly trained, experienced CMV operators with valid Swedish-issued CDLs. Because each of the drivers was required to satisfy strict CDL testing standards in Sweden to obtain a CDL, and has extensive training and experience operating CMVs, Volvo believes that the exemption will maintain a level of safety equivalent to the level of safety that would be obtained absent the exemption. Method to Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety According to Volvo, drivers applying for a Swedish-issued CDL must undergo a training program and pass knowledge and skills tests. Volvo believes the knowledge and skills tests and training program that Swedish drivers undergo to obtain a Swedish CDL ensure the exemption would provide a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater 1 Although 49 CFR 383.23 indicates that these drivers could obtain a Nonresident CDL, few States are currently issuing Nonresident CDLs. PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 than, the level of safety obtained by complying with the U.S. requirement for a CDL. Once a driver is granted a Swedish CDL, he or she is allowed to drive any CMV currently allowed on Swedish roads. There are no limits to types or weights of vehicles that may be operated by the drivers. Therefore, the process for obtaining a Swedish-issued CDL is considered to be comparable to, or as effective as, the requirements of 49 CFR part 383. Comments The Agency received one comment in response to its request for public comments (71 FR 45095, August 8, 2006). The individual expressed concern that Volvo was not employing U.S. CDL drivers for these tests, but offered no substantive comments concerning the ability of the drivers to operate CMV’s safely in the U.S. The docket number of this matter is referenced at the beginning of this notice. FMCSA Decision The FMCSA decision to grant these drivers an exemption from section 383.23 is based on the merits of the application for exemption, the rigorous knowledge and skills testing of Swedish drivers concerning the safe operation of CMVs, and consideration of the comment submitted in response to the public notice. Terms and Conditions for the Exemption After considering the comment to the docket and based upon evaluation of the application for an exemption, FMCSA grants Volvo an exemption from the CDL requirements in 49 CFR 383.23 for seven drivers, identified under the ‘‘Swedish Drivers’’ heading above, to test-drive CMVs within the U.S., subject to the following terms and conditions: (1) That these drivers will be subject to drug and alcohol regulations, including testing, as provided in 49 CFR part 382, (2) that these drivers are subject to the same driver disqualification rules under 49 CFR parts 383 and 391 that apply to other CMV drivers in the U.S., (3) that these drivers keep a copy of the exemption on the vehicle at all times, (4) that Volvo notify FMCSA in writing of any accident, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, involving one of the exempted drivers, and (5) that Volvo notify FMCSA in writing if any driver is convicted of a disqualifying offense described in sections 383.51 or 391.15 of the FMCSRs. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), the exemption will be valid for 2 years unless revoked earlier E:\FR\FM\23APN1.SGM 23APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 77 / Monday, April 23, 2007 / Notices by the FMCSA. The exemption will be revoked if: (1) The drivers for Volvo fail to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained before it was granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136. Issued on: April 13, 2007. Rose A. McMurray, Chief Safety Officer Assistant Administrator. [FR Doc. E7–7638 Filed 4–20–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2006–25756] Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Standards; Volvo Trucks North America, Inc.’s Exemption Application Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition; granting of application for exemption. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FMCSA announces its decision to grant Volvo Trucks North America, Inc.’s (Volvo) application for an exemption for three of its drivers to enable them to test-drive commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in the United States without a commercial driver’s license (CDL) issued by one of the States. Volvo had requested that the exemption cover three Swedish engineers and technicians who will test drive CMVs for Volvo within the U.S. They stated the exemption is needed to support a Volvo field test to meet future air quality standards, and to test-drive Volvo prototype vehicles to verify results in ‘‘real world’’ environments. Each of these drivers holds a valid CDL issued in Sweden, but lacks the U.S. residency necessary to obtain a CDL issued by one of the States in the U.S. The FMCSA believes the knowledge and skills testing and training program that drivers must undergo to obtain a Swedish CDL ensures that these drivers will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption. DATES: This decision is effective April 20, 2007. The exemption expires on April 23, 2009. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, Driver and Carrier Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, MC– VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:17 Apr 20, 2007 Jkt 211001 PSD, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590–0001. Telephone: 202–366–4009. E-mail: MCPSD@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA may grant an exemption from the CDL requirements in 49 CFR 383.23 for a two-year period if it finds ‘‘such exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption’’ (49 CFR 381.305 (a)). FMCSA has evaluated Volvo’s application on its merits and decided to grant the exemption for three of Volvo’s engineers and technicians for a two-year period. Volvo Application for an Exemption Volvo applied for an exemption from the 49 CFR 383.23 requirement that the operator of a CMV obtain a CDL. This section of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) sets forth the standards that States must employ in issuing CDLs to drivers operating in commerce. In the U.S., an individual must be a resident of a State in order to qualify for a CDL.1 The Volvo driversemployees for whom this exemption is sought are all citizens and residents of Sweden; therefore, they cannot apply for a CDL in any State of the United States. A copy of the request for exemption from section 383.23 is in the docket identified at the beginning of this notice. Swedish Drivers This exemption enables the following drivers to test-drive in the U.S. Volvo CMVs that are assembled, sold or primarily used in the U.S.: Hans Leif Esbjorn Berg, Ingemar Karlsson, and Rolf Stefan Wikner. Collectively, these drivers form a team of engineers and technicians. Volvo currently employs these drivers in Sweden, and wants them to be able to test-drive Volvo prototype vehicles at its test site and in the vicinity of Phoenix, Arizona, to verify vehicle results in ‘‘real world’’ environments. These drivers would test-drive Volvo CMVs that are assembled, sold or primarily used in the U.S. They are highly trained, experienced CMV operators with valid Swedish-issued CDLs. Because each of the drivers was required to satisfy strict CDL testing standards in Sweden to obtain a CDL, and has extensive training 1 Although 49 CFR 383.23 indicates that these drivers could obtain a Nonresident CDL, few States are currently issuing Nonresident CDLs. PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20167 and experience operating CMVs, Volvo believes that the exemption will maintain a level of safety equivalent to the level of safety that would be obtained absent the exemption. Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety According to Volvo, drivers applying for a Swedish-issued CDL must undergo a training program and pass knowledge and skills tests. Volvo believes the knowledge and skills tests and training program that these drivers undergo to obtain a Swedish CDL ensure the exemption would provide 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. Once a driver is granted a Swedish CDL, he or she is allowed to drive any CMV currently allowed on Swedish roads. There are no limits to types or weights of vehicles that may be operated by the drivers. In addition, Volvo has submitted a copy of the Swedish driving record of each of these drivers, and each has a driving record free of violations. The FMCSA had previously determined that the process for obtaining a Swedish-issued CDL adequately assesses the driver’s ability to operate CMVs in the U.S. Therefore, the process for obtaining a Swedishissued CDL is considered to be comparable to, or as effective as, the requirements of 49 CFR part 383. Comments The FMCSA received no response to its request for public comments published in the Federal Register on December 22, 2006 (71 FR 77090). FMCSA Decision The FMCSA decision to grant these drivers an exemption from section 383.23 is based on the merits of the application for exemption, and the rigorous knowledge and skills testing of Swedish drivers concerning the safe operation of CMVs. Terms and Conditions for the Exemption Based upon evaluation of the application for an exemption, FMCSA grants Volvo an exemption from the Federal CDL requirement in 49 CFR 383.23 for three drivers, identified under the ‘‘Swedish Drivers’’ heading above, to test-drive CMVs within the U.S., subject to the following terms and conditions: (1) That these drivers will be subject to drug and alcohol regulations, including testing, as provided in 49 CFR part 382, (2) that these drivers are subject to the same driver E:\FR\FM\23APN1.SGM 23APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 77 (Monday, April 23, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 20166-20167]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-7638]



[[Page 20166]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2006-24932]


Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Standards; Volvo Trucks North 
America, Inc.'s Exemption Application

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of final disposition; granting of application for 
exemption.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The FMCSA announces its decision to grant Volvo Trucks North 
America, Inc.'s (Volvo) application for an exemption for seven of its 
drivers to enable them to test-drive commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) 
in the United States without a commercial driver's license (CDL) issued 
by one of the States. Volvo requested that the exemption cover seven 
Swedish engineers and technicians who will test drive CMVs for Volvo 
within the U.S. They stated the exemption is needed to support a Volvo 
field test to meet future air quality standards, and to test-drive 
Volvo prototype vehicles to verify results in ``real world'' 
environments. Each of these drivers holds a CDL issued in Sweden, but 
lacks the U.S. residency necessary to obtain a CDL issued by one of the 
States in the U.S. The FMCSA believes the knowledge and skills testing 
and training program that drivers must undergo to obtain a Swedish CDL 
ensures that these drivers will achieve a level of safety that is 
equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without 
the exemption.

DATES: This decision is effective April 23, 2007. The exemption expires 
on April 23, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and 
Operations, MC-PSD, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 400 
Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001. Telephone: 202-366-
4009. E-mail: MCPSD@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA may grant an exemption 
from the CDL requirements in 49 CFR 383.23 for a two-year period if it 
finds ``such exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is 
equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent 
such exemption'' (49 CFR 381.305 (a)). FMCSA has evaluated Volvo's 
application on its merits and decided to grant the exemption for seven 
of Volvo's engineers and technicians for a two-year period.

Volvo Application for an Exemption

    Volvo applied for an exemption from the 49 CFR 383.23 requirement 
that the operator of a CMV obtain a CDL. This section of the Federal 
Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) sets forth the standards that 
States must employ in issuing CDLs to drivers operating in commerce. In 
the U.S., an individual must be a resident of a State in order to 
qualify for a CDL.\1\ The Volvo drivers-employees for whom this 
exemption is sought are all citizens and residents of Sweden; 
therefore, they cannot apply for a CDL in any State of the United 
States. A copy of the request for exemption from section 383.23 is in 
the docket identified at the beginning of this notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Although 49 CFR 383.23 indicates that these drivers could 
obtain a Nonresident CDL, few States are currently issuing 
Nonresident CDLs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Swedish Drivers

    This exemption enables the following drivers to test-drive in the 
U.S. Volvo CMVs that are assembled, sold or primarily used in the U.S.: 
Freddy Blixt, Goran Alsen, Kjell Jansson, Johnny Adolfsson, Lars 
Svensson, Peter Hofsten, and Thorbjorn Ohlund.
    Collectively, these drivers form a team of engineers and 
technicians. Volvo currently employs these drivers in Sweden, and wants 
them to be able to test-drive Volvo prototype vehicles at its test site 
and in the vicinity of Phoenix, Arizona, to verify vehicle results in 
``real world'' environments. These drivers would test-drive Volvo CMVs 
that are assembled, sold or primarily used in the U.S. They are highly 
trained, experienced CMV operators with valid Swedish-issued CDLs. 
Because each of the drivers was required to satisfy strict CDL testing 
standards in Sweden to obtain a CDL, and has extensive training and 
experience operating CMVs, Volvo believes that the exemption will 
maintain a level of safety equivalent to the level of safety that would 
be obtained absent the exemption.

Method to Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety

    According to Volvo, drivers applying for a Swedish-issued CDL must 
undergo a training program and pass knowledge and skills tests. Volvo 
believes the knowledge and skills tests and training program that 
Swedish drivers undergo to obtain a Swedish CDL ensure the exemption 
would provide 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. Once a driver is granted a Swedish CDL, he or she is allowed to 
drive any CMV currently allowed on Swedish roads. There are no limits 
to types or weights of vehicles that may be operated by the drivers.
    Therefore, the process for obtaining a Swedish-issued CDL is 
considered to be comparable to, or as effective as, the requirements of 
49 CFR part 383.

Comments

    The Agency received one comment in response to its request for 
public comments (71 FR 45095, August 8, 2006). The individual expressed 
concern that Volvo was not employing U.S. CDL drivers for these tests, 
but offered no substantive comments concerning the ability of the 
drivers to operate CMV's safely in the U.S. The docket number of this 
matter is referenced at the beginning of this notice.

FMCSA Decision

    The FMCSA decision to grant these drivers an exemption from section 
383.23 is based on the merits of the application for exemption, the 
rigorous knowledge and skills testing of Swedish drivers concerning the 
safe operation of CMVs, and consideration of the comment submitted in 
response to the public notice.

Terms and Conditions for the Exemption

    After considering the comment to the docket and based upon 
evaluation of the application for an exemption, FMCSA grants Volvo an 
exemption from the CDL requirements in 49 CFR 383.23 for seven drivers, 
identified under the ``Swedish Drivers'' heading above, to test-drive 
CMVs within the U.S., subject to the following terms and conditions: 
(1) That these drivers will be subject to drug and alcohol regulations, 
including testing, as provided in 49 CFR part 382, (2) that these 
drivers are subject to the same driver disqualification rules under 49 
CFR parts 383 and 391 that apply to other CMV drivers in the U.S., (3) 
that these drivers keep a copy of the exemption on the vehicle at all 
times, (4) that Volvo notify FMCSA in writing of any accident, as 
defined in 49 CFR 390.5, involving one of the exempted drivers, and (5) 
that Volvo notify FMCSA in writing if any driver is convicted of a 
disqualifying offense described in sections 383.51 or 391.15 of the 
FMCSRs.
    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), the exemption will 
be valid for 2 years unless revoked earlier

[[Page 20167]]

by the FMCSA. The exemption will be revoked if: (1) The drivers for 
Volvo fail to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; 
(2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was 
maintained before it was granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption 
would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 
31315 and 31136.

    Issued on: April 13, 2007.
Rose A. McMurray,
Chief Safety Officer Assistant Administrator.
[FR Doc. E7-7638 Filed 4-20-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P