Hours of Service of Drivers: Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA); Application for Exemption; Final Disposition, 75727-75729 [2016-26333]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 211 / Tuesday, November 1, 2016 / Rules and Regulations vibration cadence and audio attention signal. 14. Effective December 1, 2016, § 10.520 is amended by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows: ■ § 10.520 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 395 Common audio attention signal. * * * * * (d) No person may transmit or cause to transmit the WEA common audio attention signal, or a recording or simulation thereof, in any circumstance other than in an actual National, State or Local Area emergency or authorized test, except as designed and used for Public Service Announcements (PSAs) by federal, state, local, tribal and territorial entities, and nongovernmental organizations in coordination with those entities, to raise public awareness about emergency alerting, provided that the entity presents the PSA in a non-misleading manner, including by explicitly stating that the emergency alerting attention signal is being used in the context of a PSA for the purpose of educating the viewing or listening public about emergency alerting. * * * * * PART 11—EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM 15. The authority citation for part 11 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 47 U.S.C. 151, 154 (i) and (o), 303(r), 544(g) and 606. 16. Effective December 1, 2016, § 11.45 is revised to read as follows: ■ § 11.45 Prohibition of false or deceptive EAS transmissions. No person may transmit or cause to transmit the EAS codes or Attention Signal, or a recording or simulation thereof, in any circumstance other than in an actual National, State or Local Area emergency or authorized test of the EAS, or as specified in § 10.520(d) of this chapter. [FR Doc. 2016–26120 Filed 10–31–16; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION [Docket No. FMCSA–2016–0096] Hours of Service of Drivers: Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA); Application for Exemption; Final Disposition Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition; partial grant and partial denial of application for exemption. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to grant the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) an exemption from the 30-minute rest break rule of the Agency’s hours-ofservice (HOS) regulations for certain commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The Agency denies SC&RA’s further request for exemption from the 14-hour driving window of the HOS rules. All qualifying motor carriers and drivers operating mobile cranes with a rated lifting capacity of greater than 30 tons are exempt from the 30-minute break provision. FMCSA has analyzed the exemption application and public comments and has determined that the exemption, subject to the terms and conditions imposed, will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption. DATES: The exemption is effective November 1, 2016 and expires on November 1, 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information concerning this notice, contact Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; Telephone: 614–942–6477. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: BILLING CODE 6712–01–P jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Background FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from certain 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:21 Oct 31, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 75727 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 also specify the effective period and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)). Request for Exemption On December 27, 2011 (76 FR 81133), FMCSA published a final rule amending its HOS regulations for drivers of property-carrying CMVs. The rule requires most drivers to take a rest break during the workday. Generally, if 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes, the driver may not operate a CMV until he or she takes at least 30 minutes off duty (49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii)). FMCSA did not specify when drivers must take the 30minute break. The HOS rules also limit drivers of property-carrying CMVs to a 14-hour driving window each duty day (49 CFR 395.3(a)(2)). The window begins when the driver comes on duty following at least 10 consecutive hours off duty. After the 14th consecutive hour from that point, the driver cannot operate a CMV until he or she obtains at least 10 consecutive hours off duty. The requirements of the HOS rules apply to drivers of CMVs and to their motor carrier employers who direct the drivers to operate the CMVs. On June 18, 2015, FMCSA granted SC&RA an exemption from the 30minute rest-break requirement for qualifying drivers operating certain large and heavy vehicles that require an oversize/overweight (OS/OW) permit issued by State or local government (80 FR 34957). The Agency granted this exemption for the maximum period of 2 years permitted by the FMCSRs at that time. On December 4, 2015, the President signed the ‘‘Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act’’ (FAST Act)(Pub. L. 114–94). Section 5206(a)(3) of the FAST Act amended 49 U.S.C. 31315(b) to give FMCSA the authority to grant exemptions for up to 5 years. In E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES 75728 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 211 / Tuesday, November 1, 2016 / Rules and Regulations addition section 5206(b)(2)(A) extended any HOS exemption in effect on the date of enactment for a period of 5 years from the date it was issued. While that provision automatically extended SC&RA’s June 2015 exemption for drivers of vehicles requiring an oversize/overweight permit, FMCSA is using its authority under 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(2)(1) to issue the exemption from the 30-minute break requirement for mobile crane operators for 2 years from the date of this notice. SC&RA advises that there are approximately 85,000 trained and certified mobile crane operators in the United States, and, of these, approximately 65,000 operate cranes with a lifting capacity over 30 tons. While some of these cranes require a permit due to their size or weight, others do not. SC&RA seeks an exemption from the 14-hour rule and the requirement for a 30-minute break for drivers operating mobile cranes with a rated lifting capacity of greater than 30 tons. SC&RA states that the HOS rules create complications because it is difficult to find suitable parking when crane drivers are required to go off duty. SC&RA cites data indicating that there is a shortage of parking places for CMVs in the United States and notes ongoing Federal and State efforts to address this problem. Parking for cranes is even more limited because of their size. SC&RA asserts that these two HOS rules often require crane drivers to stop operating a CMV to avoid violating their provisions. The result is that cranes are often parked on the shoulder of public roads. SC&RA states the width of some cranes means they cannot be parked entirely off the travel lanes, creating a safety hazard for their own drivers and others. SC&RA describes the unpredictable nature of the typical workday of a crane operator. It lists a variety of variables that can complicate the scheduling of operations, including delays waiting for the item to be lifted to arrive at the work site or to be rigged for lifting. Unexpected inclement weather can also trigger delays. SC&RA asserts that the primary result is that the workday may be extended unexpectedly. Thus, timing a crane’s movement from the worksite and onto public roads at the end of the day is highly problematic. It notes that State and local restrictions limit the hours of the day, and sometimes the days of the week, that cranes may move on public roads. In addition, the movement of cranes may require a pilot car, the display of signs and lights, and even a police escort. Cranes normally move much slower than the posted VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:21 Oct 31, 2016 Jkt 241001 speed limit, and are highly susceptible to weather and traffic conditions. SC&RA does not foresee any negative impact to safety from the requested exemption. It believes that granting the exemption would have a favorable impact on overall safety by reducing the frequency of cranes being parked along public roads. It points out that its members generally drive a crane less than 2 hours a day and have low crash rates. Public Comments FMCSA published the SC&RA exemption application for comment on March 16, 2016 (81 FR 14052). The Agency received 13 comments, most supporting the exemption. These commenters asserted that crane operators actually drive very little on public roads, and thus are less likely to suffer from driving fatigue than longhaul CMV drivers. Commenters also described the typical duty day of crane operators at the work site, and pointed out that there are substantial periods when they have to wait for others to complete preparations for the lift. These commenters also described the relatively short distances cranes are driven on public roads at the beginning and end of the day. NationsBuilders Insurance Services, Inc. commented that the drive unit of a crane generally logs only 60,000 miles in 9 years. Commenters opposing the exemption suggest that motor carriers could avoid or ameliorate their scheduling difficulties by employing a second crane driver. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) found the application for exemption fatally deficient because it ‘‘fails to include any analysis of the safety impacts of the requested exemption.’’ Advocates also stated that SC&RA ignored the requirement that it ‘‘carefully review the regulation to determine whether there are any practical alternatives already available’’ that would allow it to conduct its operations and comply with the HOS rules. Advocates also believes that SC&RA carriers could overcome the numerous variables affecting these operations by stronger management of their CMV fleets. FMCSA Decision FMCSA has evaluated SC&RA’s application and the public comments and has decided to grant an exemption from the 30-minute rule but to deny an exemption from the 14-hour rule. The Agency believes that the exempt crane drivers will likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption [49 CFR PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 381.305(a)]. The schedules of these CMV drivers are characterized by daytime hours, low-stress periods of waiting during the workday, and very limited hours of actual driving on public roads. In addition, these loads are sometimes escorted by other vehicles and operate at low speeds. The unpredictable workday of a mobile-crane operator, with its frequent interruptions and down time, reduces the risk of cumulative fatigue and thus the urgency of a 30-minute break. Providing an exemption from the break will also reduce the number of situations where a crane operator has to park at roadside midway through a move between job sites in order to comply with the 30-minute break rule. The Agency is concerned with parking shortages, especially for very large vehicles. It is highly undesirable to have cranes parked on the shoulders of highways, much less extending into the travel lanes. No matter how well marked, trucks parked at roadside, especially at night, are too easily mistaken for moving vehicles and struck at full speed, with serious consequences. However, the Agency is not granting exemption from the 14-hour rule. The absence of this limit would allow drivers to operate without any restriction on the length of their duty day. The risk that safety would deteriorate in the absence of this requirement is high. While we agree that the 30-minute break rule is unnecessarily restrictive for operators of large mobile cranes, the 14-hour window is far less restrictive. It is a critical factor in containing fatigue that might otherwise develop. The 14-hour rule is a limit that should be built into the planning of mobile crane operations. For these reasons, the Agency grants an exemption from the 30-minute restbreak requirement, subject to the terms and conditions in this Federal Register notice, but denies an exemption from the 14-hour rule. Terms of the Exemption 1. All motor carriers and drivers operating mobile cranes with a rated lifting capacity of greater than 30 tons are exempt from the 30-minute break requirement of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii). The lifting capacity of the crane must be displayed on a manufacturer’s certification plate on the crane or in manufacturer’s documentation carried on the vehicle. 2. Drivers must have a copy of this exemption document in their possession while operating under the terms of the exemption. The exemption document E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 211 / Tuesday, November 1, 2016 / Rules and Regulations must be presented to law enforcement officials upon request. 3. Motor carriers operating under this exemption must have a ‘‘Satisfactory’’ safety rating with FMCSA, or be ‘‘Unrated.’’ Motor carriers with ‘‘Conditional’’ or ‘‘Unsatisfactory’’ FMCSA safety ratings are prohibited from using this exemption. Period of the Exemption This exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii) is granted for the period from 12:01 a.m., November 1, 2016 through 11:59 p.m., November 1, 2018. Extent of the Exemption This exemption is limited to the provisions of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii). These motor carriers and drivers must comply with all other applicable provisions of the FMCSRs. Preemption In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31313(d), as implemented by 49 CFR 381.600, during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation applicable to interstate commerce that conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a firm or person operating under the exemption. States may, but are not required to, adopt the same exemption with respect to operations in intrastate commerce. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Notification to FMCSA Any motor carrier utilizing this exemption must notify FMCSA within 5 business days of any accident (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5), involving any of the motor carrier’s CMV drivers operating under the terms of this exemption. The notification must include the following information: a. Name of Exemption: ‘‘SC&RA cranes’’ b. Name of operating motor carrier and USDOT number, c. Date of the accident, d. City or town, and State, in which the accident occurred, or closest to the accident scene, e. Driver’s name and license number and State of issuance f. Vehicle number and State license plate number, g. Number of individuals suffering physical injury, h. Number of fatalities, i. The police-reported cause of the accident, j. Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws or motor carrier safety regulations, and k. The driver’s total driving time and total on-duty time prior to the accident. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:21 Oct 31, 2016 Jkt 241001 Reports filed under this provision shall be emailed to MCPSD@DOT.GOV. Termination FMCSA believes motor carriers conducting crane operations under this exemption will continue to maintain their safety record while operating under this exemption. However, should safety be compromised, FMCSA will take all steps necessary to protect the public interest, including revocation or restriction of the exemption. The FMCSA will immediately revoke or restrict the exemption for failure to comply with its terms and conditions. Issued on: October 20, 2016. T.F. Scott Darling, III, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2016–26333 Filed 10–31–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD 49 CFR Parts 800, 803, and 804 [Docket No.: NTSB–GC–2017–001] RIN 3147–AA03, 3147–AA08, 3147–AA09 Administrative Rules; Official Seal; Rules Implementing the Government in the Sunshine Act National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The NTSB makes technical updates and corrects citations in its administrative regulations governing agency organization and functions, delegations of authority to staff members, and procedures for adopting rules, regulations governing the agency’s official seal, and regulations implementing the Government in the Sunshine Act. These revisions make no substantive changes. DATES: This rule is effective November 1, 2016. ADDRESSES: A copy of this Final Rule, published in the Federal Register (FR), is available for inspection and copying in the NTSB’s public reading room, located at 490 L’Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20594–2003. Alternatively, a copy is available on the government-wide Web site on regulations at http:// www.regulations.gov (Docket ID Number NTSB–GC–2017–001). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matthew D. McKenzie, AttorneyAdvisor, (202) 314–6080, rulemaking@ ntsb.gov. SUMMARY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 75729 I. Legal Basis for the Final Rule The Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 553, provides exceptions to its notice and public comment rulemaking procedures where (1) the rules are rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice; or (2) the agency finds there is good cause to forego notice and comment, and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefore in the rule issued. Generally, good cause exists where the agency determines that notice and public comment procedures are impractical, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. 5 U.S.C. 553(b). Parts 800, 803, and 804 govern internal agency organization, procedure, or practice. Part 800, subparts A and B, describes the organization of the agency. Part 800, subpart C, prescribes procedures for the agency’s rulemakings. Part 803 describes the agency’s seal and limits its use. Part 804 prescribes procedures for the agency’s open meetings. The amendments made in this final rule merely correct inadvertent errors and omissions, remove obsolete references, and make minor editorial changes to improve clarity and consistency. The technical amendments do not impose any new requirements, nor do they make any substantive changes to the Code of Federal Regulations. For these reasons, the NTSB finds good cause that notice and public comment on this final rule are unnecessary. For these same reasons, this rule will be effective on the date of publication in the Federal Register. II. Background On June 25, 2012, the NTSB announced its plan to review its regulations, 49 CFR parts 800 through 850, to comply with Executive Order (E.O.) 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, 76 FR 3821 (Jan. 21, 2011); E.O. 13579, Regulation and Independent Regulatory Agencies, 76 FR 41587 (July 11, 2011); and E.O. 13610, Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens, 77 FR 28469 (May 14, 2012). NTSB Plan for Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules, 77 FR 37865. Though the Executive Orders require retrospective review of only ‘‘significant regulations,’’ NTSB stated it would review all of its regulations to implement the principles in the Orders. Id. at 37867. On January 8, 2013, after reviewing its regulations, the NTSB announced its plan to update its regulations, including revising internal agency procedures for which no public comment was required. Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules; Notification, 78 FR 1193, 1194. E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 211 (Tuesday, November 1, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 75727-75729]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-26333]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 395

[Docket No. FMCSA-2016-0096]


Hours of Service of Drivers: Specialized Carriers & Rigging 
Association (SC&RA); Application for Exemption; Final Disposition

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

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

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to grant the Specialized Carriers 
& Rigging Association (SC&RA) an exemption from the 30-minute rest 
break rule of the Agency's hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for 
certain commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The Agency denies 
SC&RA's further request for exemption from the 14-hour driving window 
of the HOS rules. All qualifying motor carriers and drivers operating 
mobile cranes with a rated lifting capacity of greater than 30 tons are 
exempt from the 30-minute break provision. FMCSA has analyzed the 
exemption application and public comments and has determined that the 
exemption, subject to the terms and conditions imposed, will achieve a 
level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that 
would be achieved absent such exemption.

DATES: The exemption is effective November 1, 2016 and expires on 
November 1, 2018.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from certain 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 also specify the effective period and explain 
the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed 
(49 CFR 381.300(b)).

Request for Exemption

    On December 27, 2011 (76 FR 81133), FMCSA published a final rule 
amending its HOS regulations for drivers of property-carrying CMVs. The 
rule requires most drivers to take a rest break during the workday. 
Generally, if 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver's last 
off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes, the driver may 
not operate a CMV until he or she takes at least 30 minutes off duty 
(49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii)). FMCSA did not specify when drivers must take 
the 30-minute break. The HOS rules also limit drivers of property-
carrying CMVs to a 14-hour driving window each duty day (49 CFR 
395.3(a)(2)). The window begins when the driver comes on duty following 
at least 10 consecutive hours off duty. After the 14th consecutive hour 
from that point, the driver cannot operate a CMV until he or she 
obtains at least 10 consecutive hours off duty. The requirements of the 
HOS rules apply to drivers of CMVs and to their motor carrier employers 
who direct the drivers to operate the CMVs.
    On June 18, 2015, FMCSA granted SC&RA an exemption from the 30-
minute rest-break requirement for qualifying drivers operating certain 
large and heavy vehicles that require an oversize/overweight (OS/OW) 
permit issued by State or local government (80 FR 34957). The Agency 
granted this exemption for the maximum period of 2 years permitted by 
the FMCSRs at that time. On December 4, 2015, the President signed the 
``Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act'' (FAST Act)(Pub. L. 114-
94). Section 5206(a)(3) of the FAST Act amended 49 U.S.C. 31315(b) to 
give FMCSA the authority to grant exemptions for up to 5 years. In

[[Page 75728]]

addition section 5206(b)(2)(A) extended any HOS exemption in effect on 
the date of enactment for a period of 5 years from the date it was 
issued. While that provision automatically extended SC&RA's June 2015 
exemption for drivers of vehicles requiring an oversize/overweight 
permit, FMCSA is using its authority under 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(2)(1) to 
issue the exemption from the 30-minute break requirement for mobile 
crane operators for 2 years from the date of this notice.
    SC&RA advises that there are approximately 85,000 trained and 
certified mobile crane operators in the United States, and, of these, 
approximately 65,000 operate cranes with a lifting capacity over 30 
tons. While some of these cranes require a permit due to their size or 
weight, others do not. SC&RA seeks an exemption from the 14-hour rule 
and the requirement for a 30-minute break for drivers operating mobile 
cranes with a rated lifting capacity of greater than 30 tons. SC&RA 
states that the HOS rules create complications because it is difficult 
to find suitable parking when crane drivers are required to go off 
duty. SC&RA cites data indicating that there is a shortage of parking 
places for CMVs in the United States and notes ongoing Federal and 
State efforts to address this problem. Parking for cranes is even more 
limited because of their size. SC&RA asserts that these two HOS rules 
often require crane drivers to stop operating a CMV to avoid violating 
their provisions. The result is that cranes are often parked on the 
shoulder of public roads. SC&RA states the width of some cranes means 
they cannot be parked entirely off the travel lanes, creating a safety 
hazard for their own drivers and others.
    SC&RA describes the unpredictable nature of the typical workday of 
a crane operator. It lists a variety of variables that can complicate 
the scheduling of operations, including delays waiting for the item to 
be lifted to arrive at the work site or to be rigged for lifting. 
Unexpected inclement weather can also trigger delays. SC&RA asserts 
that the primary result is that the workday may be extended 
unexpectedly. Thus, timing a crane's movement from the worksite and 
onto public roads at the end of the day is highly problematic. It notes 
that State and local restrictions limit the hours of the day, and 
sometimes the days of the week, that cranes may move on public roads. 
In addition, the movement of cranes may require a pilot car, the 
display of signs and lights, and even a police escort. Cranes normally 
move much slower than the posted speed limit, and are highly 
susceptible to weather and traffic conditions.
    SC&RA does not foresee any negative impact to safety from the 
requested exemption. It believes that granting the exemption would have 
a favorable impact on overall safety by reducing the frequency of 
cranes being parked along public roads. It points out that its members 
generally drive a crane less than 2 hours a day and have low crash 
rates.

Public Comments

    FMCSA published the SC&RA exemption application for comment on 
March 16, 2016 (81 FR 14052). The Agency received 13 comments, most 
supporting the exemption. These commenters asserted that crane 
operators actually drive very little on public roads, and thus are less 
likely to suffer from driving fatigue than long-haul CMV drivers. 
Commenters also described the typical duty day of crane operators at 
the work site, and pointed out that there are substantial periods when 
they have to wait for others to complete preparations for the lift. 
These commenters also described the relatively short distances cranes 
are driven on public roads at the beginning and end of the day. 
NationsBuilders Insurance Services, Inc. commented that the drive unit 
of a crane generally logs only 60,000 miles in 9 years.
    Commenters opposing the exemption suggest that motor carriers could 
avoid or ameliorate their scheduling difficulties by employing a second 
crane driver. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) found 
the application for exemption fatally deficient because it ``fails to 
include any analysis of the safety impacts of the requested 
exemption.'' Advocates also stated that SC&RA ignored the requirement 
that it ``carefully review the regulation to determine whether there 
are any practical alternatives already available'' that would allow it 
to conduct its operations and comply with the HOS rules. Advocates also 
believes that SC&RA carriers could overcome the numerous variables 
affecting these operations by stronger management of their CMV fleets.

FMCSA Decision

    FMCSA has evaluated SC&RA's application and the public comments and 
has decided to grant an exemption from the 30-minute rule but to deny 
an exemption from the 14-hour rule. The Agency believes that the exempt 
crane drivers will likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent 
to or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption 
[49 CFR 381.305(a)]. The schedules of these CMV drivers are 
characterized by daytime hours, low-stress periods of waiting during 
the workday, and very limited hours of actual driving on public roads. 
In addition, these loads are sometimes escorted by other vehicles and 
operate at low speeds.
    The unpredictable workday of a mobile-crane operator, with its 
frequent interruptions and down time, reduces the risk of cumulative 
fatigue and thus the urgency of a 30-minute break. Providing an 
exemption from the break will also reduce the number of situations 
where a crane operator has to park at roadside midway through a move 
between job sites in order to comply with the 30-minute break rule. The 
Agency is concerned with parking shortages, especially for very large 
vehicles. It is highly undesirable to have cranes parked on the 
shoulders of highways, much less extending into the travel lanes. No 
matter how well marked, trucks parked at roadside, especially at night, 
are too easily mistaken for moving vehicles and struck at full speed, 
with serious consequences.
    However, the Agency is not granting exemption from the 14-hour 
rule. The absence of this limit would allow drivers to operate without 
any restriction on the length of their duty day. The risk that safety 
would deteriorate in the absence of this requirement is high. While we 
agree that the 30-minute break rule is unnecessarily restrictive for 
operators of large mobile cranes, the 14-hour window is far less 
restrictive. It is a critical factor in containing fatigue that might 
otherwise develop. The 14-hour rule is a limit that should be built 
into the planning of mobile crane operations.
    For these reasons, the Agency grants an exemption from the 30-
minute rest-break requirement, subject to the terms and conditions in 
this Federal Register notice, but denies an exemption from the 14-hour 
rule.

Terms of the Exemption

    1. All motor carriers and drivers operating mobile cranes with a 
rated lifting capacity of greater than 30 tons are exempt from the 30-
minute break requirement of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii). The lifting 
capacity of the crane must be displayed on a manufacturer's 
certification plate on the crane or in manufacturer's documentation 
carried on the vehicle.
    2. Drivers must have a copy of this exemption document in their 
possession while operating under the terms of the exemption. The 
exemption document

[[Page 75729]]

must be presented to law enforcement officials upon request.
    3. Motor carriers operating under this exemption must have a 
``Satisfactory'' safety rating with FMCSA, or be ``Unrated.'' Motor 
carriers with ``Conditional'' or ``Unsatisfactory'' FMCSA safety 
ratings are prohibited from using this exemption.

Period of the Exemption

    This exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii) is 
granted for the period from 12:01 a.m., November 1, 2016 through 11:59 
p.m., November 1, 2018.

Extent of the Exemption

    This exemption is limited to the provisions of 49 CFR 
395.3(a)(3)(ii). These motor carriers and drivers must comply with all 
other applicable provisions of the FMCSRs.

Preemption

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31313(d), as implemented by 49 CFR 
381.600, during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall 
enforce any law or regulation applicable to interstate commerce that 
conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a 
firm or person operating under the exemption. States may, but are not 
required to, adopt the same exemption with respect to operations in 
intrastate commerce.

Notification to FMCSA

    Any motor carrier utilizing this exemption must notify FMCSA within 
5 business days of any accident (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5), involving 
any of the motor carrier's CMV drivers operating under the terms of 
this exemption. The notification must include the following 
information:
    a. Name of Exemption: ``SC&RA cranes''
    b. Name of operating motor carrier and USDOT number,
    c. Date of the accident,
    d. City or town, and State, in which the accident occurred, or 
closest to the accident scene,
    e. Driver's name and license number and State of issuance
    f. Vehicle number and State license plate number,
    g. Number of individuals suffering physical injury,
    h. Number of fatalities,
    i. The police-reported cause of the accident,
    j. Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws 
or motor carrier safety regulations, and
    k. The driver's total driving time and total on-duty time prior to 
the accident.
    Reports filed under this provision shall be emailed to 
MCPSD@DOT.GOV.

Termination

    FMCSA believes motor carriers conducting crane operations under 
this exemption will continue to maintain their safety record while 
operating under this exemption. However, should safety be compromised, 
FMCSA will take all steps necessary to protect the public interest, 
including revocation or restriction of the exemption. The FMCSA will 
immediately revoke or restrict the exemption for failure to comply with 
its terms and conditions.

    Issued on: October 20, 2016.
 T.F. Scott Darling, III,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2016-26333 Filed 10-31-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P