Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators, 57585-57587 [2013-22772]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 182 / Thursday, September 19, 2013 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS In this supplemental proposal, EPA proposes to approve Delaware’s MVEBs for 2009 (Table 1) and also proposes to approve Delaware’s MVEBs for 2012 (Table 2) which Delaware had requested EPA to approve in its April 25, 2012 SIP submission. A supplemental TSD, dated August 26, 2013, discusses EPA’s analysis and support for this proposal approving Delaware’s MVEBs for 2009 and 2012 and is available on line at www.regulations.gov, Docket No. EPA– R03–OAR–2010–0141. Accordingly, EPA continues to believe that the MVEBs for 2009 meet applicable requirements for such budgets for purposes of the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS and asserts the MVEBs for 2012 likewise meet applicable requirements for budgets for transportation conformity purposes for New Castle County in Delaware. As a result of EPA’s finding, New Castle County must use the MVEBs from the April 25, 2012 SIP submittal for future conformity determinations for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. IV. Summary of Reproposal Based on the foregoing reasons, EPA proposes to approve the Delaware attainment plan submitted for the Philadelphia Area. EPA believes that the attainment plan submitted by Delaware for the Philadelphia Area, though not expressed in terms of subpart 4 requirements, substantively meets the requirements of that subpart for purposes of approval under section 110(k). EPA is also updating information related to EPA’s proposed approval of the MVEBs for New Castle County, Delaware, solely for purposes of transportation conformity for this Area. EPA solicits comments on this supplemental proposal, but only with respect to the specific issues raised in this rulemaking action. EPA is not seeking comment on any other aspect of the November 19, 2012 NPR as those issues have already been adequately addressed. The purpose of this supplemental proposal is limited to review of the attainment plan submitted by Delaware for the Philadelphia Area in light of the D.C. Circuit Court’s decision in NRDC v. EPA, EPA’s further evaluation of Delaware’s submitted attainment plan, and EPA’s desire for public input into how it should proceed in light of the NRDC v. EPA decision when acting on the pending attainment plan for this Area for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:59 Sep 18, 2013 Jkt 229001 that complies with the provisions of the CAA and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA’s role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely proposes to approve state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this proposed action: • Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993); • Does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.); • Is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.); • Does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–4); • Does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999); • Is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997); • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001); • Is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; and • Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). In addition, this supplemental proposed rule pertaining to the Delaware 1997 annual PM2.5 attainment plan for the Philadelphia Area, does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law. PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 57585 List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52 Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds. Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq. Dated: September 12, 2013. W.C. Early, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III. [FR Doc. 2013–22829 Filed 9–18–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Parts 380, 383, and 384 [FMCSA–2007–27748] RIN 2126–AB06 Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of withdrawal. AGENCY: FMCSA withdraws its December 26, 2007, notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that proposed new entry-level driver training standards for individuals applying for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. The Agency withdraws the 2007 proposal because commenters to the NPRM, and participants in the Agency’s public listening sessions in 2013, raised substantive issues which have led the Agency to conclude that it would be inappropriate to move forward with a final rule based on the proposal. In addition, since the NPRM was published, FMCSA received statutory direction on the issue of entry level driver training (ELDT) from Congress via the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21) reauthorization legislation. Finally, the Agency tasked its Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) to provide ideas the Agency should consider in implementing the MAP–21 requirements. In consideration of the above, the Agency has concluded that a new rulemaking should be initiated in lieu of completing the 2007 rulemaking. DATES: The NPRM ‘‘Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators,’’ RIN 2126–AB06, published on SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\19SEP1.SGM 19SEP1 57586 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 182 / Thursday, September 19, 2013 / Proposed Rules December 26, 2007 (72 FR 73226), is withdrawn on September 19, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this Notice of withdrawal, contact Mr. Richard Clemente, Transportation Specialist, FMCSA, Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, (202) 366–4325, MCPSD@ dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Background/General Issues Raised During Comment Period and Listening Sessions After the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the May 21, 2004 final rule, titled ‘‘Minimum Training Requirements for Entry Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators’’ (69 FR 29384), to the Agency for further consideration, FMCSA published an NPRM on December 26, 2007, entitled ‘‘Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators’’ (72 FR 73226). The Agency received more than 700 comments to its proposal. Additionally, on January 7, 2013, and March 22, 2013, FMCSA held listening sessions on ELDT. While most commenters expressed support for the ELDT ‘‘concept,’’ they had divergent views on several of the proposed rule’s key provisions. Hours-Based vs. Performance-Based Driver Training Several industry organizations expressed opposition to the proposed mandate of a specific minimum number of training hours. Instead, these commenters support a performancebased approach to training that would allow an individual to move through the training program at his/her own pace. Essentially, a driver who demonstrated mastery of one skill would be able to move to the next skill. The driver would not have to repeat continually or practice a skill for a prescribed amount of time—2 hours, for example—if the driver could master the skill in 20 minutes. Other commenters, however, did support a minimum hours-based approach to training. They stated that FMCSA must specify the minimum number of instructional hours in order to be consistent with the original Model Curriculum of the 1980s.1 Additionally, some supporters of an hours-based training approach believed that the Agency’s proposal did not involve sufficient hours (particularly behindthe-wheel hours) to train a driver adequately. Finally, other commenters 1 In 1985, FHWA issued the ‘‘Model Curriculum for Training Tractor-Trailer Drivers’’ (1985, GPO Stock No. 050–001–00293–1). VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:59 Sep 18, 2013 Jkt 229001 suggested a hybrid of the hours-based and performance-based approaches. Several commenters asserted that by establishing a minimum number of hours required for training, the Agency would create a Federal standard that would eliminate certain Federal loan options otherwise available to students enrolled in driver training programs. They claimed that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) would refuse to authorize Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) or Direct Loan funding to programs more than 50 percent longer than the minimum 120- or 90-hour programs for Class A and B/C CDL applicants proposed by the FMCSA. However, commenters contended further that if courses were to be capped at 180 or 135 hours—50 percent longer than the Agency’s proposed Class A or B/C programs—to comply with one aspect of ED’s regulations, they would then fail to meet the 300-hour minimum required to be eligible for FFEL and Direct Loan funding. One individual at a listening session disputed this claim. He said it was a misconception that training schools would not offer longer courses if drivers could not qualify for Title IV student funding. Accreditation The NPRM proposed to require that all commercial driver-training schools be accredited by an agency recognized by either ED or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Most commenters opposed the accreditation process because they claimed it is a long and costly process that would not necessarily result in better training of the students because the accreditation is not ‘‘program specific.’’ In other words, the training institution may obtain accreditation, but the accreditation would not be specific to the driver training program’s course content. They argued that accreditation might restrict the number of schools where drivers could receive training. Alternatives suggested included allowing training institutions to selfcertify, subject to Federal or other oversight, or voluntarily to obtain 3rd party certification or accreditation. However, other commenters believed that even stricter control of training schools should be exercised by the Federal and/or State governments. Passenger Driver Training Commenters from the motorcoach industry stated that they were an ‘‘afterthought’’ in the NPRM. Specifically, they stated that there was no mention of the Model Motorcoach Driver Training Curriculum in the proposed rule. One motorcoach PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 company asserted that its in-house training program is much more rigorous than the Agency proposal and that it continually tests and re-trains its drivers. Others believed that the proposed training program would have particularly adverse consequences for the motorcoach industry as few institutions offer training specific to that segment of the industry. Additionally, concerns were expressed that existing company training programs for entrylevel drivers would cease as they would no longer be able to hire the entry-level drivers they train. The school bus industry, in particular, questioned its inclusion in the proposed rule. Commenters asserted that the safety record of school buses shows that the industry’s own driver training, based on State requirements, is effective. Implementing the NPRM would increase the costs significantly for school bus operators with no demonstrable increase in safety. Furthermore, the proposed rule might exacerbate the school bus driver shortage. Post-CDL Training Some NPRM commenters and others who participated in the ELDT listening sessions suggested that the Agency consider regulatory actions beyond what was proposed in the 2007 NPRM. For example, several individuals and organizations believe the Agency should assess the merits of implementing a graduated commercial driver’s license (GCDL) system approach. This concept would involve placing limits on the operations of new CDL holders for certain periods of time until the drivers obtain enough experience to operate as solo drivers, without restrictions or limitation. For example, the GCDL approach would require that the new CDL holder work under the supervision of an experienced driver or mentor as part of a team operation before being allowed to drive solo. Other commenters stressed that their companies are doing continuous training/testing and that re-training of individuals should be required. As proposed, the 2007 NPRM would have required training before an individual obtained a CDL; the ‘‘finishing training’’ advocated by some commenters was not discussed. Participants in the listening sessions held earlier this year also raised concerns about the trainer/trainee relationship. Several stated that behindthe-wheel training, either pre- or postCDL, requires that the trainer be in the passenger seat of the cab providing actual ‘‘hands-on’’ instruction. Commenters cited specific instances of E:\FR\FM\19SEP1.SGM 19SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 182 / Thursday, September 19, 2013 / Proposed Rules new CDL holders being paired with an experienced driver, but on many occasions the experienced driver was resting in the sleeper-berth rather than training/mentoring the new driver. They believe that new CDL drivers should receive a minimum of 6 months of onthe-job, behind the wheel training, with the trainer required to ride in the passenger seat and provide coaching and mentoring rather than resting in the sleeper berth. In addition, commenters stated that trainers should meet minimum experience and knowledge requirements before being eligible to train CDL applicants. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS MAP–21 Requirements The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21) Section 32304, ‘‘Commercial motor vehicle operator training,’’ amends 49 U.S.C. 31305 to require the Agency to issue regulations to establish minimum entrylevel training requirements for all prospective CDL holders. Section 32304 specifically mandates that the training regulations (1) Address the knowledge and skills needed for safe operation of a CMV, (2) address the specific training needs of those seeking hazardous materials and passenger endorsements, (3) create a means of certifying that an applicant for a CDL meets Federal requirements, and (4) require training providers to demonstrate that their training meets uniform Federal standards. The 2007 NPRM did not address endorsement-related training or the entry-level training of new intrastate CDL applicants that is now mandated by MAP–21; these additions would be a significant change of direction. After Congress enacted MAP–21, FMCSA requested that its Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) consider the history of the ELDT issue, including legislative, regulatory and research background, and identify ideas the Agency should consider in moving forward with a rulemaking to implement the MAP–21 requirements. MCSAC issued its letter report in June 2013, which is available on the MCSAC Web site: http://mcsac.fmcsa.dot.gov. Other Actions Currently, FMCSA is conducting two research projects to gather supporting information on the effectiveness of ELDT. Study 1 will randomly sample CDL holders who received their license in the last three years and were identified as recently employed as a CMV driver. This will be done using information from the Motor Carrier Management Information System and the Commercial Driver License Information System. The drivers’ safety VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:59 Sep 18, 2013 Jkt 229001 performance data from these two systems will be analyzed against the type and amount of training they received. Study 2 will gather information from various sources to identify the relationship of training to safety performance. The sources include: Carriers; CDL training schools; and State Driver’s License Agency records for recently issued CDLs. This study will also examine the safety performance of drivers in two States that have regulations dealing with different aspects of CDL driver training. FMCSA Decision To Withdraw the NPRM After reviewing the MAP–21 requirements, comments to the 2007 NPRM, participants’ statements during the Agency’s public listening sessions held earlier this year, and the MCSAC’s June 2013 letter report, FMCSA has determined that it would be inappropriate to continue with the rulemaking initiated in 2007. The Agency believes a new rulemaking would provide the most effective starting point for implementing the MAP–21 requirements. A new rulemaking would provide the Agency and all interested parties the opportunity to move forward with a proposal that focuses on the MAP–21 mandate and makes the best use of the wealth of information provided by stakeholders since the publication of the 2007 NPRM. In consideration of the above, the Agency withdraws the December 26, 2007, NPRM. However, the rulemaking to carry out the MAP–21 entry-level training requirement will solicit comments from all interested parties, including those who may wish to reiterate their previous remarks. That new rulemaking will be based on the results of the studies referenced above, public comments responsive to the statutory mandate, and the specific requirements of § 32304 of MAP–21. Issued under the authority of delegation in 49 CFR 1.87. Dated: August 27, 2013. Anne S. Ferro, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2013–22772 Filed 9–18–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 57587 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Highway Administration 23 CFR Part 771 Federal Transit Administration 49 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. FHWA–2013–0049] FHWA RIN 2125–AF59; FTA RIN 2132–AB14 Environmental Impact and Related Procedures—Programmatic Agreements and Additional Categorical Exclusions Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: This notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) provides interested parties with the opportunity to comment on proposed changes to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) joint procedures that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The revisions are prompted by enactment of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21). This NPRM proposes to: add new categorical exclusions (CE) for FHWA and FTA, allow a State department of transportation (State DOT) to process certain CEs without FHWA’s detailed project-by-project review and approval (as long as the action meets specified constraints), and allow Programmatic Agreements between FHWA and States that would permit States to apply FHWA CEs on FHWA’s behalf. The FHWA and FTA seek comments on the proposals contained in this notice. DATES: Comments must be received on or before November 18, 2013. ADDRESSES: To ensure that you do not duplicate your docket submissions, please submit them by only one of the following means: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., West Building Ground Floor Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001; • Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is (202) 366–9329; SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\19SEP1.SGM 19SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 182 (Thursday, September 19, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 57585-57587]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-22772]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Parts 380, 383, and 384

[FMCSA-2007-27748]
RIN 2126-AB06


Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor 
Vehicle Operators

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

ACTION: Notice of withdrawal.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA withdraws its December 26, 2007, notice of proposed 
rulemaking (NPRM) that proposed new entry-level driver training 
standards for individuals applying for a commercial driver's license 
(CDL) to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate 
commerce. The Agency withdraws the 2007 proposal because commenters to 
the NPRM, and participants in the Agency's public listening sessions in 
2013, raised substantive issues which have led the Agency to conclude 
that it would be inappropriate to move forward with a final rule based 
on the proposal. In addition, since the NPRM was published, FMCSA 
received statutory direction on the issue of entry level driver 
training (ELDT) from Congress via the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 
21st Century Act (MAP-21) reauthorization legislation. Finally, the 
Agency tasked its Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) to 
provide ideas the Agency should consider in implementing the MAP-21 
requirements. In consideration of the above, the Agency has concluded 
that a new rulemaking should be initiated in lieu of completing the 
2007 rulemaking.

DATES: The NPRM ``Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level 
Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators,'' RIN 2126-AB06, published on

[[Page 57586]]

December 26, 2007 (72 FR 73226), is withdrawn on September 19, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this Notice 
of withdrawal, contact Mr. Richard Clemente, Transportation Specialist, 
FMCSA, Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, (202) 366-4325, 
MCPSD@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background/General Issues Raised During Comment Period and Listening 
Sessions

    After the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the May 21, 2004 
final rule, titled ``Minimum Training Requirements for Entry Level 
Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators'' (69 FR 29384), to the Agency for 
further consideration, FMCSA published an NPRM on December 26, 2007, 
entitled ``Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial 
Motor Vehicle Operators'' (72 FR 73226). The Agency received more than 
700 comments to its proposal. Additionally, on January 7, 2013, and 
March 22, 2013, FMCSA held listening sessions on ELDT. While most 
commenters expressed support for the ELDT ``concept,'' they had 
divergent views on several of the proposed rule's key provisions.

Hours-Based vs. Performance-Based Driver Training

    Several industry organizations expressed opposition to the proposed 
mandate of a specific minimum number of training hours. Instead, these 
commenters support a performance-based approach to training that would 
allow an individual to move through the training program at his/her own 
pace. Essentially, a driver who demonstrated mastery of one skill would 
be able to move to the next skill. The driver would not have to repeat 
continually or practice a skill for a prescribed amount of time--2 
hours, for example--if the driver could master the skill in 20 minutes.
    Other commenters, however, did support a minimum hours-based 
approach to training. They stated that FMCSA must specify the minimum 
number of instructional hours in order to be consistent with the 
original Model Curriculum of the 1980s.\1\ Additionally, some 
supporters of an hours-based training approach believed that the 
Agency's proposal did not involve sufficient hours (particularly 
behind-the-wheel hours) to train a driver adequately. Finally, other 
commenters suggested a hybrid of the hours-based and performance-based 
approaches.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ In 1985, FHWA issued the ``Model Curriculum for Training 
Tractor-Trailer Drivers'' (1985, GPO Stock No. 050-001-00293-1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Several commenters asserted that by establishing a minimum number 
of hours required for training, the Agency would create a Federal 
standard that would eliminate certain Federal loan options otherwise 
available to students enrolled in driver training programs. They 
claimed that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) would refuse to 
authorize Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) or Direct Loan funding 
to programs more than 50 percent longer than the minimum 120- or 90-
hour programs for Class A and B/C CDL applicants proposed by the FMCSA. 
However, commenters contended further that if courses were to be capped 
at 180 or 135 hours--50 percent longer than the Agency's proposed Class 
A or B/C programs--to comply with one aspect of ED's regulations, they 
would then fail to meet the 300-hour minimum required to be eligible 
for FFEL and Direct Loan funding. One individual at a listening session 
disputed this claim. He said it was a misconception that training 
schools would not offer longer courses if drivers could not qualify for 
Title IV student funding.

Accreditation

    The NPRM proposed to require that all commercial driver-training 
schools be accredited by an agency recognized by either ED or the 
Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Most commenters opposed the 
accreditation process because they claimed it is a long and costly 
process that would not necessarily result in better training of the 
students because the accreditation is not ``program specific.'' In 
other words, the training institution may obtain accreditation, but the 
accreditation would not be specific to the driver training program's 
course content. They argued that accreditation might restrict the 
number of schools where drivers could receive training.
    Alternatives suggested included allowing training institutions to 
self-certify, subject to Federal or other oversight, or voluntarily to 
obtain 3rd party certification or accreditation. However, other 
commenters believed that even stricter control of training schools 
should be exercised by the Federal and/or State governments.

Passenger Driver Training

    Commenters from the motorcoach industry stated that they were an 
``afterthought'' in the NPRM. Specifically, they stated that there was 
no mention of the Model Motorcoach Driver Training Curriculum in the 
proposed rule. One motorcoach company asserted that its in-house 
training program is much more rigorous than the Agency proposal and 
that it continually tests and re-trains its drivers. Others believed 
that the proposed training program would have particularly adverse 
consequences for the motorcoach industry as few institutions offer 
training specific to that segment of the industry. Additionally, 
concerns were expressed that existing company training programs for 
entry-level drivers would cease as they would no longer be able to hire 
the entry-level drivers they train.
    The school bus industry, in particular, questioned its inclusion in 
the proposed rule. Commenters asserted that the safety record of school 
buses shows that the industry's own driver training, based on State 
requirements, is effective. Implementing the NPRM would increase the 
costs significantly for school bus operators with no demonstrable 
increase in safety. Furthermore, the proposed rule might exacerbate the 
school bus driver shortage.

Post-CDL Training

    Some NPRM commenters and others who participated in the ELDT 
listening sessions suggested that the Agency consider regulatory 
actions beyond what was proposed in the 2007 NPRM. For example, several 
individuals and organizations believe the Agency should assess the 
merits of implementing a graduated commercial driver's license (GCDL) 
system approach. This concept would involve placing limits on the 
operations of new CDL holders for certain periods of time until the 
drivers obtain enough experience to operate as solo drivers, without 
restrictions or limitation. For example, the GCDL approach would 
require that the new CDL holder work under the supervision of an 
experienced driver or mentor as part of a team operation before being 
allowed to drive solo. Other commenters stressed that their companies 
are doing continuous training/testing and that re-training of 
individuals should be required. As proposed, the 2007 NPRM would have 
required training before an individual obtained a CDL; the ``finishing 
training'' advocated by some commenters was not discussed.
    Participants in the listening sessions held earlier this year also 
raised concerns about the trainer/trainee relationship. Several stated 
that behind-the-wheel training, either pre- or post-CDL, requires that 
the trainer be in the passenger seat of the cab providing actual 
``hands-on'' instruction. Commenters cited specific instances of

[[Page 57587]]

new CDL holders being paired with an experienced driver, but on many 
occasions the experienced driver was resting in the sleeper-berth 
rather than training/mentoring the new driver. They believe that new 
CDL drivers should receive a minimum of 6 months of on-the-job, behind 
the wheel training, with the trainer required to ride in the passenger 
seat and provide coaching and mentoring rather than resting in the 
sleeper berth. In addition, commenters stated that trainers should meet 
minimum experience and knowledge requirements before being eligible to 
train CDL applicants.

MAP-21 Requirements

    The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) 
Section 32304, ``Commercial motor vehicle operator training,'' amends 
49 U.S.C. 31305 to require the Agency to issue regulations to establish 
minimum entry-level training requirements for all prospective CDL 
holders. Section 32304 specifically mandates that the training 
regulations (1) Address the knowledge and skills needed for safe 
operation of a CMV, (2) address the specific training needs of those 
seeking hazardous materials and passenger endorsements, (3) create a 
means of certifying that an applicant for a CDL meets Federal 
requirements, and (4) require training providers to demonstrate that 
their training meets uniform Federal standards. The 2007 NPRM did not 
address endorsement-related training or the entry-level training of new 
intrastate CDL applicants that is now mandated by MAP-21; these 
additions would be a significant change of direction.
    After Congress enacted MAP-21, FMCSA requested that its Motor 
Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) consider the history of the 
ELDT issue, including legislative, regulatory and research background, 
and identify ideas the Agency should consider in moving forward with a 
rulemaking to implement the MAP-21 requirements. MCSAC issued its 
letter report in June 2013, which is available on the MCSAC Web site: 
http://mcsac.fmcsa.dot.gov.

Other Actions

    Currently, FMCSA is conducting two research projects to gather 
supporting information on the effectiveness of ELDT. Study 1 will 
randomly sample CDL holders who received their license in the last 
three years and were identified as recently employed as a CMV driver. 
This will be done using information from the Motor Carrier Management 
Information System and the Commercial Driver License Information 
System. The drivers' safety performance data from these two systems 
will be analyzed against the type and amount of training they received. 
Study 2 will gather information from various sources to identify the 
relationship of training to safety performance. The sources include: 
Carriers; CDL training schools; and State Driver's License Agency 
records for recently issued CDLs. This study will also examine the 
safety performance of drivers in two States that have regulations 
dealing with different aspects of CDL driver training.

FMCSA Decision To Withdraw the NPRM

    After reviewing the MAP-21 requirements, comments to the 2007 NPRM, 
participants' statements during the Agency's public listening sessions 
held earlier this year, and the MCSAC's June 2013 letter report, FMCSA 
has determined that it would be inappropriate to continue with the 
rulemaking initiated in 2007. The Agency believes a new rulemaking 
would provide the most effective starting point for implementing the 
MAP-21 requirements. A new rulemaking would provide the Agency and all 
interested parties the opportunity to move forward with a proposal that 
focuses on the MAP-21 mandate and makes the best use of the wealth of 
information provided by stakeholders since the publication of the 2007 
NPRM.
    In consideration of the above, the Agency withdraws the December 
26, 2007, NPRM. However, the rulemaking to carry out the MAP-21 entry-
level training requirement will solicit comments from all interested 
parties, including those who may wish to reiterate their previous 
remarks. That new rulemaking will be based on the results of the 
studies referenced above, public comments responsive to the statutory 
mandate, and the specific requirements of Sec.  32304 of MAP-21.

    Issued under the authority of delegation in 49 CFR 1.87.

    Dated: August 27, 2013.
Anne S. Ferro,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2013-22772 Filed 9-18-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P