Hours of Service of Drivers: American Trucking Associations (ATA); Denial of Application for Exemption, 17240-17241 [2016-06951]

Download as PDF 17240 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 59 / Monday, March 28, 2016 / Notices no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. III. Public Participation and Request for Comments Charles H. Strople FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and related materials. Mr. Strople, 73, had a retinal detachment in his left eye in 2011. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/200. Following an examination in 2015, his ophthalmologist stated, ‘‘In my medical opinion, Mr. Strople has sufficient vision to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Strople reported that he has driven straight trucks for 49 years, accumulating 980,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 49 years, accumulating 2.45 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Massachusetts. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Eddie Walker Mr. Walker, 44, has had amblyopia in his left eye since childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/200. Following an examination in 2015, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my medical opinion Chad’s depth perception based on adapting since birth to the amblyopic Left Eye [sic] is sufficient and given all vision testing I would give the recommendation that Chad has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Walker reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 16 years, accumulating 672,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from North Carolina. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Trent Wipf Mr. Wifp, 30, has been blind in his right eye due to a traumatic incident in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is no light perception, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2015, his optometrist stated, ‘‘I, Erica Seelye, O.D., hereby certify that Trent Wipf has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Wipf reported that he has driven straight trucks for 15 years, accumulating 15,000 miles and tractor-trailer combinations for 15 years, accumulating 300,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from South Carolina. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Mar 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 Submitting Comments Viewing Comments and Documents To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number FMCSA–2015–0351 in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box and click ‘‘Search.’’ Next, click ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ button and choose the document listed to review. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Frm 00108 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 [FR Doc. 2016–06955 Filed 3–25–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. 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 http://www.regulations.gov and put the docket number FMCSA–2015–0351 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, selfaddressed postcard or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the comment period and may change this notice based on your comments. PO 00000 Issued on: March 21, 2016. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2013–0470] Hours of Service of Drivers: American Trucking Associations (ATA); Denial of Application for Exemption Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition; denial of application for exemption. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its denial of the application of ATA for an exemption from the 14-hour provision of the Agency’s hours-of-service regulations to enable certain drivers to exclude waiting time from their calculations of on-duty time. Currently, only specially trained drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) that are specially constructed to service oil and natural gas extraction sites may employ this provision. ATA proposed that FMCSA issue a limited 2-year exemption to permit exclusion of such waiting time by drivers of CMVs who are exclusively engaged in servicing oil and natural gas extraction sites and have the opportunity to obtain rest while waiting at such sites. FMCSA concluded that ATA did not demonstrate how the CMV operations under such an exemption would achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety obtained in the absence of the exemption. DATES: FMCSA denied the application for exemption by letter dated February 4, 2016, after notice and opportunity for public comment. ADDRESSES: 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 online FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mrs. Pearlie Robinson, Driver and Carrier Operations Division 202–366–4325 or: MCPSD@dot.gov, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590– SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\28MRN1.SGM 28MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 59 / Monday, March 28, 2016 / Notices 0001. If you have questions on viewing material in the docket, contact Docket Services at (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Public Participation Viewing Comments and Documents To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, ‘‘FMCSA–2013–0470 in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box and click ‘‘Search.’’ Next, click the ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ button and choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. II. Legal Basis FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from certain parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment on the request. The Agency reviews safety analyses and public comments submitted and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving the exemption and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is granted. The notice must specify the effective period and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)). Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES III. Background Part 395 of the FMCSRs contains the hours of service (HOS) rules for drivers of CMVs in interstate commerce. Section 395.8 requires most interstate CMV drivers to maintain a handwritten or electronic record of duty status, or log, on a 24-hour grid. They must record VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Mar 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 their duty status as either ‘‘off duty,’’ ‘‘sleeper berth,’’ ‘‘on duty/not driving,’’ or ‘‘on duty/driving.’’ Drivers must keep their log up to date to the most recent change of duty status and have their log for the current date and the preceding 7 days on board the CMV. Generally, a driver may not record time as ‘‘off duty’’ unless he or she has been relieved of all duty and responsibility for the care and custody of the CMV, its accessories, and its cargo, and is free to pursue activities of his or her own choosing. Thus, drivers who are waiting, whether at a loading dock or at a natural gas or oil well site, are generally considered to be ‘‘on duty.’’ Section 395.3(a)(2) provides that ‘‘a driver may drive only during a period of 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty.’’ However, the FMCSRs provide an exception to the 14-hour rule for the waiting time of a specific classification of driver. Section 395.1(d)(2) provides, ‘‘In the case of specially trained drivers of commercial motor vehicles that are specially constructed to service oil wells, on-duty time shall not include waiting time at a natural gas or oil well site’’ (waitingtime rule). These drivers may record such waiting time as off duty time, making note of the waiting-time rule on their log. Section 395.1(d)(2) also provides that the waiting time of these drivers ‘‘shall not be included in calculating the 14-hour period. . . .’’ IV. Request for Exemption ATA requested a limited 2-year renewable exemption to permit similar treatment of waiting time at such locations to drivers ‘‘exclusively engaged in servicing oil and natural gas extraction sites’’ who are able to establish ‘‘a method to adequately ensure a rest opportunity while waiting.’’ ATA suggested that ‘‘trucks equipped with sleeper berths’’ and ‘‘onsite bunking or resting facilities’’ would satisfy the ‘‘rest opportunity’’ standard. ATA believes the proposed exemption would encourage these drivers to obtain quality rest at extraction sites and would provide an improved standard for State officials enforcing waiting time requirements. for the exemption. Among the supporters were individuals and companies such as the American Exploration & Production Council and the National Association of Manufacturers. Eleven commenters opposed granting the exemption as requested. The commenters included Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. Five individuals provided comments that neither opposed nor supported the proposed exemption. The Agency reviewed ATA’s application and the public comments. By letter dated February 4, 2016, FMCSA denied the application because the Agency concluded that CMV operations under the proposed exemption were not likely to achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety that would be achieved in the absence of the exemption [49 CFR 381.310(c)(5)]. Fatigue during the work day represents the greatest safety risk because the 60and 70-hour rules would remain in effect if the exemption or petition were granted. The proposed relief from the 14-hour rule would enable miscellaneous off-duty periods at the oil or natural gas work sites to be excluded when determining whether the individual may operate the CMV during the work day. This creates the potential for extremely long work days provided the individual has not accumulated 14 hours of on-duty time prior to completing his/her driving tasks for the day. This may represent an extreme condition but the current waiting time exception does not include a limit and the ATA’s request would extend this potentially risky option to a wider population of oil and natural gas workers. A copy of the denial letter is in the docket referenced at the beginning of this notice. Issued on: March 21, 2016. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2016–06951 Filed 3–25–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P V. Public Comments and Agency Decision On May 23, 2014, FMCSA published notice of this application and asked for public comment (79 FR 29837). The Agency received 37 comments representing various transportation interests in response to the proposed exemption. Twenty-one commenters expressed support for the ATA’s request PO 00000 Frm 00109 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 17241 E:\FR\FM\28MRN1.SGM 28MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 59 (Monday, March 28, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17240-17241]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-06951]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0470]


Hours of Service of Drivers: American Trucking Associations 
(ATA); Denial of Application for Exemption

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

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

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its denial of the application of ATA for an 
exemption from the 14-hour provision of the Agency's hours-of-service 
regulations to enable certain drivers to exclude waiting time from 
their calculations of on-duty time. Currently, only specially trained 
drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) that are specially 
constructed to service oil and natural gas extraction sites may employ 
this provision. ATA proposed that FMCSA issue a limited 2-year 
exemption to permit exclusion of such waiting time by drivers of CMVs 
who are exclusively engaged in servicing oil and natural gas extraction 
sites and have the opportunity to obtain rest while waiting at such 
sites. FMCSA concluded that ATA did not demonstrate how the CMV 
operations under such an exemption would achieve a level of safety 
equivalent to or greater than the level of safety obtained in the 
absence of the exemption.

DATES: FMCSA denied the application for exemption by letter dated 
February 4, 2016, after notice and opportunity for public comment.

ADDRESSES: 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 online FDMS is available 
24 hours each day, 365 days each year.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mrs. Pearlie Robinson, Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division 202-366-4325 or: MCPSD@dot.gov, Federal 
Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590-

[[Page 17241]]

0001. If you have questions on viewing material in the docket, contact 
Docket Services at (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Public Participation

Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble 
as being available in the docket, go to www.regulations.gov and insert 
the docket number, ``FMCSA-2013-0470 in the ``Keyword'' box and click 
``Search.'' Next, click the ``Open Docket Folder'' button and choose 
the document to review. If you do not have access to the Internet, you 
may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility 
in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

II. Legal Basis

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from certain parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations (FMCSRs). FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption 
request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must 
provide the public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant 
to the application, including any safety analyses that have been 
conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public 
comment on the request.
    The Agency reviews safety analyses and public comments submitted 
and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a 
level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that would be 
achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of 
the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 
381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application 
and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving 
the exemption and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is 
granted. The notice must specify the effective period and explain the 
terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 
CFR 381.300(b)).

III. Background

    Part 395 of the FMCSRs contains the hours of service (HOS) rules 
for drivers of CMVs in interstate commerce. Section 395.8 requires most 
interstate CMV drivers to maintain a handwritten or electronic record 
of duty status, or log, on a 24-hour grid. They must record their duty 
status as either ``off duty,'' ``sleeper berth,'' ``on duty/not 
driving,'' or ``on duty/driving.'' Drivers must keep their log up to 
date to the most recent change of duty status and have their log for 
the current date and the preceding 7 days on board the CMV.
    Generally, a driver may not record time as ``off duty'' unless he 
or she has been relieved of all duty and responsibility for the care 
and custody of the CMV, its accessories, and its cargo, and is free to 
pursue activities of his or her own choosing. Thus, drivers who are 
waiting, whether at a loading dock or at a natural gas or oil well 
site, are generally considered to be ``on duty.'' Section 395.3(a)(2) 
provides that ``a driver may drive only during a period of 14 
consecutive hours after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours 
off duty.'' However, the FMCSRs provide an exception to the 14-hour 
rule for the waiting time of a specific classification of driver. 
Section 395.1(d)(2) provides, ``In the case of specially trained 
drivers of commercial motor vehicles that are specially constructed to 
service oil wells, on-duty time shall not include waiting time at a 
natural gas or oil well site'' (waiting-time rule). These drivers may 
record such waiting time as off duty time, making note of the waiting-
time rule on their log. Section 395.1(d)(2) also provides that the 
waiting time of these drivers ``shall not be included in calculating 
the 14-hour period. . . .''

IV. Request for Exemption

    ATA requested a limited 2-year renewable exemption to permit 
similar treatment of waiting time at such locations to drivers 
``exclusively engaged in servicing oil and natural gas extraction 
sites'' who are able to establish ``a method to adequately ensure a 
rest opportunity while waiting.'' ATA suggested that ``trucks equipped 
with sleeper berths'' and ``on-site bunking or resting facilities'' 
would satisfy the ``rest opportunity'' standard. ATA believes the 
proposed exemption would encourage these drivers to obtain quality rest 
at extraction sites and would provide an improved standard for State 
officials enforcing waiting time requirements.

V. Public Comments and Agency Decision

    On May 23, 2014, FMCSA published notice of this application and 
asked for public comment (79 FR 29837). The Agency received 37 comments 
representing various transportation interests in response to the 
proposed exemption. Twenty-one commenters expressed support for the 
ATA's request for the exemption. Among the supporters were individuals 
and companies such as the American Exploration & Production Council and 
the National Association of Manufacturers. Eleven commenters opposed 
granting the exemption as requested. The commenters included Advocates 
for Highway and Auto Safety and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. 
Five individuals provided comments that neither opposed nor supported 
the proposed exemption.
    The Agency reviewed ATA's application and the public comments. By 
letter dated February 4, 2016, FMCSA denied the application because the 
Agency concluded that CMV operations under the proposed exemption were 
not likely to achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than 
the level of safety that would be achieved in the absence of the 
exemption [49 CFR 381.310(c)(5)]. Fatigue during the work day 
represents the greatest safety risk because the 60- and 70-hour rules 
would remain in effect if the exemption or petition were granted. The 
proposed relief from the 14-hour rule would enable miscellaneous off-
duty periods at the oil or natural gas work sites to be excluded when 
determining whether the individual may operate the CMV during the work 
day. This creates the potential for extremely long work days provided 
the individual has not accumulated 14 hours of on-duty time prior to 
completing his/her driving tasks for the day. This may represent an 
extreme condition but the current waiting time exception does not 
include a limit and the ATA's request would extend this potentially 
risky option to a wider population of oil and natural gas workers.
    A copy of the denial letter is in the docket referenced at the 
beginning of this notice.

    Issued on: March 21, 2016.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2016-06951 Filed 3-25-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P