Pilot Project on NAFTA Trucking Provisions; Commercial Driver's License Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Mexico, 63344-63346 [2011-26442]

Download as PDF 63344 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 197 / Wednesday, October 12, 2011 / Notices jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES The meetings will be accessible to persons with disabilities. If special services, such as an interpreter or sign language services, are needed, please contact Mr. Michael P. Anderson, New York State Department of Transportation. Written comments on the scope of the EIS can be sent to Michael P. Anderson, Project Director, New York State Department of Transportation, 4 Burnett Boulevard, Poughkeepsie, New York 12603. Comments on the scope of the EIS can be submitted by 5 p.m. on November 15, 2011. 6. FHWA Procedures The EIS is being prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, and implemented by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations (40 CFR Parts 1500 to 1508) and FHWA environmental impact regulations (23 CFR Part 771) and the FHWA statewide planning/ metropolitan planning regulations (23 CFR Part 450) and Section 6002 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU) of 2005. This EIS will also comply with requirements of the Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966, the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, Executive Order 12898 (Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority and Low-Income Populations), Executive Order 11990 (Protection of Wetlands), and other applicable federal laws, rules, and regulations. This EIS will also satisfy environmental review requirements of the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA; 6 NYCRR Part 617). Consistent with 6 NYCRR Part 617.15, this NOI eliminates the need for a positive declaration under SEQRA. Regulations implementing NEPA as well as provisions of SAFETEA–LU call for enhanced agency and public involvement in the EIS process. An invitation to all Federal and non-Federal agencies and Native American tribes that may have an interest in the proposed project will be extended. In the event that an agency or tribe is not invited and would like to participate, please contract Michael P. Anderson at the contact information listed above. A Coordination Plan will be developed summarizing how the public and agencies will be engaged in the process. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:43 Oct 11, 2011 Jkt 226001 The plan will be posted to the project Web site (http://www.tzbsite.com). The public coordination and outreach efforts will include public meetings, open houses, a project Web site, stakeholder advisory and work groups, and public hearings. The project sponsor may identify a locally preferred alternative in the DEIS when made available for public and agency comments. Public hearings on the DEIS will be held in Rockland and Westchester Counties. On the basis of the DEIS and the public and agency comments received, the Project Sponsor will identify the locally preferred alternative in the FEIS. The FEIS will serve as the basis for federal and state environmental findings and determinations needed to conclude the environmental review process. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this program.) Issued on October 12, 2011. Jonathan D. McDade, New York Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration. [FR Doc. 2011–26280 Filed 10–11–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No FMCSA–2011–0097] Pilot Project on NAFTA Trucking Provisions; Commercial Driver’s License Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Mexico Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Since entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mexico on November 21, 1991, on the equivalency of a Mexican Licencia Federal de Conductor (LF) and a commercial driver’s license (CDL) issued in the United States, the U.S. motor carrier safety regulations have recognized the LF as equivalent to a CDL. As the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) explained in its Federal Register notice of April 13, 2011 (the April Notice), proposing the requirements for the United States-Mexico cross border longhaul trucking pilot program, the Secretary of Transportation will accept SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 only three areas of Mexican regulation as being equivalent to U.S. regulations. One of those areas is the reciprocal recognition of the LF and the CDL. In the Agency’s July 8, 2011, Federal Register notice (the July Notice), however, FMCSA recognized concerns about the on-going acceptance of the existing CDL MOU and committed to site visits at Mexican driver training, testing, and licensing locations prior to beginning the pilot program to review Mexico’s on-going compliance with the terms of the current MOU. The Agency agreed to post reports of these visits on the FMCSA pilot program Web site at http:/www.fmcsa.dot.gov/intl-programs/ trucking/Trucking-Program.aspx. The Agency also added copies of the 1991 MOU regarding CDL reciprocity to the docket for the pilot program. This notice is provided to summarize the results of the site visits and make interested parties aware that the report has been posted on the pilot program Web site and added to the docket for this pilot program. You may search background documents or comments to the docket for this notice, identified by docket number FMCSA–2011–0097, by visiting the: • eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for reviewing documents and comments. Regulations.gov is available electronically 24 hours each day, 365 days a year; or • DOT Docket Room: Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the DOT Headquarters Building at 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. 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 DOT’s Privacy Act System of Records Notice for the DOT Federal Docket Management System published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316), or you may visit http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/ E8–785.pdf. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marcelo Perez, FMCSA, North American Borders Division, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590– 0001. Telephone (512) 916–5440 Ext. 228; e-mail marcelo.perez@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\12OCN1.SGM 12OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 197 / Wednesday, October 12, 2011 / Notices jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Background In FMCSA’s April Notice (76 FR 20807) proposing the requirements for the United States-Mexico cross border long-haul trucking pilot program, the Agency explained that the Secretary of Transportation will accept only three areas of Mexican regulations as being equivalent to U.S. regulations. One of these areas is the set of regulations governing the licensing requirements for the operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The United States’ acceptance of a Mexican LF for CMV operations in the United States dates back to November 21, 1991, when the Federal Highway Administrator, who oversaw CMVs at the time, determined that the Mexican LF is equivalent to a CDL issued by a State in the United States, revised the Federal motor carrier safety regulations to recognize the Mexican LF, and entered into an MOU with Mexico that memorialized the equivalency findings. In its April Notice, FMCSA explained that the Agency is in the process of updating this MOU. As part of this process, on February 17, 2011, representatives from FMCSA, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators visited a Mexican driver license facility, medical qualification facility, and test and inspection location. During these site visits, FMCSA and its partner organizations observed Mexico to have rigorous requirements for knowledge and skills testing that are similar to those in the United States. In addition, Mexico requires that all new commercial drivers undergo training prior to testing and requires additional retraining each time the license is renewed. In addition, in the Agency’s July Notice (76 FR 40420), FMCSA recognized concerns about the on-going acceptance of the existing CDL MOU. It committed to additional site visits to Mexican driver training, testing, and licensing locations prior to beginning the pilot program to review Mexico’s on-going compliance with the terms of the current MOU. The Agency agreed to post reports of these visits on the FMCSA pilot program Web site at http:/ www.fmcsa.dot.gov/intl-programs/ trucking/Trucking-Program.aspx. The Agency also added the 1991 MOU regarding CDL reciprocity to the docket for the pilot program. The MOU Testing Requirements The MOU requires that before obtaining an LF, a driver must pass a knowledge test. The areas covered in VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:43 Oct 11, 2011 Jkt 226001 that test must be comparable to those in 49 CFR part 383. In addition, the test must have at least 80 questions and a driver must have a minimum score of 80 percent to pass. The tests must be administered separately for each LF class. The MOU also requires that before obtaining an LF, a driver must pass a skills test that is comparable to that in 49 CFR part 383. The skills test must be given in a CMV that is representative of the LF class of license sought. Lastly, the skills test must be conducted in onstreet or a combination of on/off street conditions. During the review process, FMCSA learned that until April 21, 2010, commercial driver’s license testing was conducted by both the Government of Mexico’s Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) and private Mexican training centers. Since April 21, 2010, however, a driver must take his/her test at a private training center rather than directly from SCT. As a result, while some Mexican drivers have LFs based on testing from SCT, others have LFs based on testing by private training centers. SCT Testing FMCSA reviewed the database of questions SCT used in its tests and confirmed that it covered the required subject matter. FMCSA also confirmed the number of questions on the SCT test, that SCT imposed the required passing rate of 80 percent, that SCT conducted skills tests in representative vehicles, and that a portion of SCT skills test included a demonstration of skills on the highway. Therefore, FMCSA is confident that SCT-issued tests are in compliance with the CDL MOU. Training Center Testing Per SCT, there are 204 SCT-certified training schools for first issuance LFs in Mexico. Similar to the United States, some of the certified training schools are public and others are training centers run by trucking companies. Representatives from FMCSA visited nine training centers in Mexico in Nuevo Laredo, Tuiltitlan, Veracruz, Guadaljara, Tijuana (two schools), Monterrey, Tlaxcala and Mexico City. FMCSA selected these cities based on the number of international LFs issued and renewed in these locations, the number of cargo drivers trained in the cities, the number of training centers they cover, the number of LFs from the cities that are verified in the United States via the Commercial Driver’s License Information System check, and their general populations. Other factors considered in selecting specific locations included the number of main PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 63345 trade corridors linking each location, their geographical position, and proximity to the U.S. border. The Tlaxcala training center was selected to represent training centers outside of large urban areas in Mexico. Prior to the visits, FMCSA requested from SCT a list of drivers who were trained at the centers between July 2010 and June 2011. The drivers selected were first time LF applicants for an LF Class B international license. The list included close to 30,000 drivers. The review team randomly selected and reviewed driver files at each of the training centers and the SCT field offices to determine compliance with the requirements of the MOU. The review team visited each training center to document whether drivers trained and tested there had to pass a knowledge and skills test as prescribed in the MOU. The review team also visited the SCT Field Office corresponding to each of the training centers. The reviewers confirmed that drivers were licensed to operate the same class of vehicles on which they were trained. Based on its review of the nine schools, FMCSA determined that while the schools were close to full compliance with the terms of the MOU, there are improvements needed in the schools’ testing to ensure consistent compliance. Specifically, FMCSA discovered two schools that had passing scores below the required 80 percent threshold; one school with 71 questions on its exam; and several schools that missed one or two of the required 20 subject matter areas. The report detailing the site visits is available at the Agency’s Web site for the pilot program at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/intlprograms/trucking/TruckingProgram.aspx. In addition, the report has been added to the docket for the pilot program. FMCSA shared the results of the report with SCT. SCT has committed to sending out information to all of the testing centers, reminding them of the MOU requirements and to requiring corrective action from the testing centers visited. In addition, in six months, FMCSA will be revisiting the training centers reviewed in the report as well as additional sites to confirm compliance with the MOU. FMCSA does not believe that the findings described above compel any modifications to the pilot program’s driver qualification standards established in the MOU. To implement the program in a manner that will ensure compliance with those standards and the safety of drivers seeking to participate in the pilot program, the E:\FR\FM\12OCN1.SGM 12OCN1 63346 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 197 / Wednesday, October 12, 2011 / Notices Agency will approve only those drivers who were tested by SCT. If a driver’s original test was conducted by a private training center rather than by SCT, the driver will be required to be retested by SCT before he/she may be approved for the pilot program. SCT has agreed to conduct such testing for the pilot program participant drivers. Issued on: October 6, 2011. Anne S. Ferro, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2011–26442 Filed 10–7–11; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Highway Administration Federal Transit Administration Environmental Impact Statement, Tappan Zee Bridge/I–287 Corridor Project (Rockland and Westchester Counties, New York) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). ACTION: Rescinded Notice of Intent. AGENCY: The FHWA and FTA are issuing this rescinded notice to advise the public that the FHWA and FTA will not be preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Tappan Zee Bridge/I–287 Corridor project involving approximately 30 miles of Interstate 287 between Hillburn/Suffern, Rockland County, New York and Port Chester, Westchester County, New York including the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River. The Tappan Zee Bridge/I–287 Corridor project considered alternatives for highway, bridge, and transit improvements along the 30-mile Interstate 287 corridor. A Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Alternatives Analysis (AA) and EIS was published in the Federal Register on December 23, 2002. A Revised NOI to prepare a tiered EIS was published in the Federal Register on February 14, 2008. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael P. Anderson, Project Director, New York State Department of Transportation, 4 Burnett Boulevard, Poughkeepsie, New York 12603, Telephone: 518–810–9864; Jonathan McDade, Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, New York Division, Leo W. O’Brien Federal Building, 7th Floor, Clinton Avenue and North Pearl Street, Albany, New York 12207, Telephone: (518) 431–4127; or jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:43 Oct 11, 2011 Jkt 226001 Anthony Carr, Region II Acting Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, One Bowling Green, Room 429, New York, New York 10004, Telephone: (1212) 668–2170. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 23, 2002, the FHWA and FTA, in cooperation with the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) and Metro-North Commuter Railroad, a subsidiary of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA/MNR) issued an Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Alternatives Analysis (AA) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the I–287 Corridor in Rockland and Westchester Counties, New York. The AA explored a number of options to rehabilitate or replace the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River and to provide new transit service between Rockland and Westchester Counties with continuing service to New York City. In February 2008, FHWA and FTA issued a revised NOI to advise the public of lead agency roles; outline how the provisions of SAFETEA–LU 6002 would be met; update interested parties regarding the approach to prepare and EIS; provide updated information on the proposed project, purpose and need; and range of alternatives; and re-invite participation in project scoping and announce the dates and announce the dates and times for public scoping meetings. The revised NOI announced that a Tiered EIS would be prepared to assess alternatives developed and advanced for further study. The Tiered EIS would include a Tier 1 transit analysis of general alignment and mode choice while simultaneously assessing site specific impacts, cost, and mitigation measures in a Tier 2 EIS for bridge and highway elements of the project. The February 14, 2008 NOI also identified the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) as another sponsoring agency for the NEPA review and the State project manager. Because of the current economic realities which severely limit financing capability, FHWA, NYSTA, and NYSDOT propose to terminate the Tappan Zee Bridge/I–287 Corridor Tiered EIS and advance a project that will address the needs of the Tappan Zee Hudson River crossing alone. Transit improvements will not be considered. The new project will be as analyzed in a new EIS that considers alternatives for the Hudson River crossing between Rockland and Westchester Counties, New York. Prior completed studies will be used to inform the new EIS process PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and all reasonable alternatives under consideration for the project would not preclude cross-Hudson commuter rail and bus rapid transit services in the future. FHWA and FTA will terminate efforts to secure a Tier 1 Record of Decision on the transit improvements, and would advance the corridor and transit improvements through appropriate planning and environmental studies in the future as circumstances and finances dictate. Any such future action will be progressed under a separate environmental review, in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this program.) Issued on: September 26, 2011. Jonathan D. McDade, New York Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration. Anthony Carr, Region II Acting Administrator, Federal Transit Administration. [FR Doc. 2011–26489 Filed 10–11–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Notice of Delays in Processing of Special Permits Applications Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), DOT. AGENCY: List of Applications Delayed more than 180 days. ACTION: In accordance with the requirements of 49 U.S.C. 5117(c), PHMSA is publishing the following list of special permit applications that have been in process for 180 days or more. The reason(s) for delay and the expected completion date for action on each application is provided in association with each identified application. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ryan Paquet, Director, Office of Hazardous Materials Special Permits and Approvals, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, East Building, PHH–30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590– 0001, (202) 366–4535. E:\FR\FM\12OCN1.SGM 12OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 197 (Wednesday, October 12, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 63344-63346]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-26442]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No FMCSA-2011-0097]


Pilot Project on NAFTA Trucking Provisions; Commercial Driver's 
License Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Mexico

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: Since entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with 
Mexico on November 21, 1991, on the equivalency of a Mexican Licencia 
Federal de Conductor (LF) and a commercial driver's license (CDL) 
issued in the United States, the U.S. motor carrier safety regulations 
have recognized the LF as equivalent to a CDL. As the Federal Motor 
Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) explained in its Federal Register 
notice of April 13, 2011 (the April Notice), proposing the requirements 
for the United States-Mexico cross border long-haul trucking pilot 
program, the Secretary of Transportation will accept only three areas 
of Mexican regulation as being equivalent to U.S. regulations. One of 
those areas is the reciprocal recognition of the LF and the CDL.
    In the Agency's July 8, 2011, Federal Register notice (the July 
Notice), however, FMCSA recognized concerns about the on-going 
acceptance of the existing CDL MOU and committed to site visits at 
Mexican driver training, testing, and licensing locations prior to 
beginning the pilot program to review Mexico's on-going compliance with 
the terms of the current MOU. The Agency agreed to post reports of 
these visits on the FMCSA pilot program Web site at http:/
www.fmcsa.dot.gov/intl-programs/trucking/Trucking-Program.aspx. The 
Agency also added copies of the 1991 MOU regarding CDL reciprocity to 
the docket for the pilot program.
    This notice is provided to summarize the results of the site visits 
and make interested parties aware that the report has been posted on 
the pilot program Web site and added to the docket for this pilot 
program.

ADDRESSES: You may search background documents or comments to the 
docket for this notice, identified by docket number FMCSA-2011-0097, by 
visiting the:
     eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
online instructions for reviewing documents and comments. 
Regulations.gov is available electronically 24 hours each day, 365 days 
a year; or
     DOT Docket Room: Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the 
DOT Headquarters Building at 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, 
DC 20590 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays.
    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 DOT's 
Privacy Act System of Records Notice for the DOT Federal Docket 
Management System published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 
(73 FR 3316), or you may visit http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-785.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marcelo Perez, FMCSA, North American 
Borders Division, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590-
0001. Telephone (512) 916-5440 Ext. 228; e-mail marcelo.perez@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

[[Page 63345]]

Background

    In FMCSA's April Notice (76 FR 20807) proposing the requirements 
for the United States-Mexico cross border long-haul trucking pilot 
program, the Agency explained that the Secretary of Transportation will 
accept only three areas of Mexican regulations as being equivalent to 
U.S. regulations. One of these areas is the set of regulations 
governing the licensing requirements for the operation of commercial 
motor vehicles (CMVs). The United States' acceptance of a Mexican LF 
for CMV operations in the United States dates back to November 21, 
1991, when the Federal Highway Administrator, who oversaw CMVs at the 
time, determined that the Mexican LF is equivalent to a CDL issued by a 
State in the United States, revised the Federal motor carrier safety 
regulations to recognize the Mexican LF, and entered into an MOU with 
Mexico that memorialized the equivalency findings. In its April Notice, 
FMCSA explained that the Agency is in the process of updating this MOU.
    As part of this process, on February 17, 2011, representatives from 
FMCSA, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the American 
Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators visited a Mexican driver 
license facility, medical qualification facility, and test and 
inspection location. During these site visits, FMCSA and its partner 
organizations observed Mexico to have rigorous requirements for 
knowledge and skills testing that are similar to those in the United 
States. In addition, Mexico requires that all new commercial drivers 
undergo training prior to testing and requires additional retraining 
each time the license is renewed.
    In addition, in the Agency's July Notice (76 FR 40420), FMCSA 
recognized concerns about the on-going acceptance of the existing CDL 
MOU. It committed to additional site visits to Mexican driver training, 
testing, and licensing locations prior to beginning the pilot program 
to review Mexico's on-going compliance with the terms of the current 
MOU. The Agency agreed to post reports of these visits on the FMCSA 
pilot program Web site at http:/www.fmcsa.dot.gov/intl-programs/
trucking/Trucking-Program.aspx. The Agency also added the 1991 MOU 
regarding CDL reciprocity to the docket for the pilot program.

The MOU Testing Requirements

    The MOU requires that before obtaining an LF, a driver must pass a 
knowledge test. The areas covered in that test must be comparable to 
those in 49 CFR part 383. In addition, the test must have at least 80 
questions and a driver must have a minimum score of 80 percent to pass. 
The tests must be administered separately for each LF class. The MOU 
also requires that before obtaining an LF, a driver must pass a skills 
test that is comparable to that in 49 CFR part 383. The skills test 
must be given in a CMV that is representative of the LF class of 
license sought. Lastly, the skills test must be conducted in on-street 
or a combination of on/off street conditions.
    During the review process, FMCSA learned that until April 21, 2010, 
commercial driver's license testing was conducted by both the 
Government of Mexico's Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) 
and private Mexican training centers. Since April 21, 2010, however, a 
driver must take his/her test at a private training center rather than 
directly from SCT. As a result, while some Mexican drivers have LFs 
based on testing from SCT, others have LFs based on testing by private 
training centers.

SCT Testing

    FMCSA reviewed the database of questions SCT used in its tests and 
confirmed that it covered the required subject matter. FMCSA also 
confirmed the number of questions on the SCT test, that SCT imposed the 
required passing rate of 80 percent, that SCT conducted skills tests in 
representative vehicles, and that a portion of SCT skills test included 
a demonstration of skills on the highway. Therefore, FMCSA is confident 
that SCT-issued tests are in compliance with the CDL MOU.

Training Center Testing

    Per SCT, there are 204 SCT-certified training schools for first 
issuance LFs in Mexico. Similar to the United States, some of the 
certified training schools are public and others are training centers 
run by trucking companies. Representatives from FMCSA visited nine 
training centers in Mexico in Nuevo Laredo, Tuiltitlan, Veracruz, 
Guadaljara, Tijuana (two schools), Monterrey, Tlaxcala and Mexico City. 
FMCSA selected these cities based on the number of international LFs 
issued and renewed in these locations, the number of cargo drivers 
trained in the cities, the number of training centers they cover, the 
number of LFs from the cities that are verified in the United States 
via the Commercial Driver's License Information System check, and their 
general populations. Other factors considered in selecting specific 
locations included the number of main trade corridors linking each 
location, their geographical position, and proximity to the U.S. 
border. The Tlaxcala training center was selected to represent training 
centers outside of large urban areas in Mexico.
    Prior to the visits, FMCSA requested from SCT a list of drivers who 
were trained at the centers between July 2010 and June 2011. The 
drivers selected were first time LF applicants for an LF Class B 
international license. The list included close to 30,000 drivers. The 
review team randomly selected and reviewed driver files at each of the 
training centers and the SCT field offices to determine compliance with 
the requirements of the MOU. The review team visited each training 
center to document whether drivers trained and tested there had to pass 
a knowledge and skills test as prescribed in the MOU. The review team 
also visited the SCT Field Office corresponding to each of the training 
centers. The reviewers confirmed that drivers were licensed to operate 
the same class of vehicles on which they were trained.
    Based on its review of the nine schools, FMCSA determined that 
while the schools were close to full compliance with the terms of the 
MOU, there are improvements needed in the schools' testing to ensure 
consistent compliance. Specifically, FMCSA discovered two schools that 
had passing scores below the required 80 percent threshold; one school 
with 71 questions on its exam; and several schools that missed one or 
two of the required 20 subject matter areas. The report detailing the 
site visits is available at the Agency's Web site for the pilot program 
at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/intl-programs/trucking/Trucking-Program.aspx. In addition, the report has been added to the docket for 
the pilot program.
    FMCSA shared the results of the report with SCT. SCT has committed 
to sending out information to all of the testing centers, reminding 
them of the MOU requirements and to requiring corrective action from 
the testing centers visited. In addition, in six months, FMCSA will be 
revisiting the training centers reviewed in the report as well as 
additional sites to confirm compliance with the MOU.
    FMCSA does not believe that the findings described above compel any 
modifications to the pilot program's driver qualification standards 
established in the MOU. To implement the program in a manner that will 
ensure compliance with those standards and the safety of drivers 
seeking to participate in the pilot program, the

[[Page 63346]]

Agency will approve only those drivers who were tested by SCT. If a 
driver's original test was conducted by a private training center 
rather than by SCT, the driver will be required to be retested by SCT 
before he/she may be approved for the pilot program. SCT has agreed to 
conduct such testing for the pilot program participant drivers.

    Issued on: October 6, 2011.
Anne S. Ferro,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2011-26442 Filed 10-7-11; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P