Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption; New Prime, Inc. (Prime), 92947-92949 [2016-30633]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 244 / Tuesday, December 20, 2016 / Notices John M. Warden (TX) Donald E. Weadon (MD) Douglas W. Williams (TN) The drivers were included in Docket No. FMCSA–2010–0288. Their exemptions are effective as of November 16, 2016 and will expire on November 16, 2018. As of November 22, 2016, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, the following 21 individuals have satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the rule prohibiting drivers with ITDM from driving CMVs in interstate commerce. (79 FR 63214; 80 FR 1070): Jeffrey S. Argabright (OH) James L. Crane (MS) Donald L. Feltman (MN) Benjamin T. Filip (ND) Harold L. Gomez (LA) Arthur M. Gonzalez (TX) William T. Jensen (NJ) Robert W. Johnson, Sr. (NY) Joseph J. Karas (NJ) Randy C. Lee (NY) John R. Miller II (OR) Robert A. Nicolai (MO) William P. Pearson, II (WI) Alan M. Primus (IA) Danny L. Reimers (NM) Michael L. Reynolds (NC) Samuel H. Schmidt (MN) Timothy W. Selk (AK) Dennis J. Stanley (WI) Steven M. Weimer (PA) Michael L. Westbury (SC) The drivers were included in Docket No. FMCSA–2014–0307. Their exemptions are effective as of November 22, 2016 and will expire on November 22, 2018. As of November 26, 2016, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, the following 9 individuals have satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the rule prohibiting drivers with ITDM from driving CMVs in interstate commerce. (77 FR 59447; 77 FR 70529): Charles E. Castle (OH) Larry W. Dearing (IN) Bradley E. DeWitt (WA) Leonard R. Dobosenski (MN) Michael L. Kiefer (SD) Marcus J. Kyle (IA) Robert C. Moore (PA) Jedediaha C. Record (WY) Jessie L. Webster (KY) The drivers were included in Docket No. FMCSA–2012–0281. Their exemptions are effective as of November 26, 2016 and will expire on November 26, 2018. Each of the 71 drivers in the aforementioned groups qualifies for a renewal of the exemption. They have maintained their required medical VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:36 Dec 19, 2016 Jkt 241001 monitoring and have not exhibited any medical issues that would compromise their ability to safely operate a CMV during the previous 2-year exemption period. These factors provide an adequate basis for predicting each driver’s ability to continue to drive safely in interstate commerce. Therefore, FMCSA concludes that extending the exemption for each of the 71 drivers for a period of two years is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the exemption. The drivers were included in docket numbers FMCSA– 2010–0288; FMCSA–2012–0281; FMCSA–2014–0306; FMCSA–2014– 0307. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315, each exemption will be valid for two years from the effective date unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be revoked if the following occurs: (1) The person fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained prior to being granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136 and 31315. Issued on: December 8, 2016. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2016–30589 Filed 12–19–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 395 [Docket No. FMCSA–2016–0420] Commercial Driver’s License Standards: Application for Exemption; New Prime, Inc. (Prime) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments. AGENCY: FMCSA announces that New Prime, Inc. (Prime) has applied for an exemption from the requirement in 49 CFR 383.25(a)(1) that a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holder must be accompanied by a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder with the proper CDL class and endorsements seated in the front seat of the vehicle while the CLP holder is operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on public roads or highways. Prime requests an exemption SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00178 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 92947 to allow CLP holders who have successfully passed the CDL skills test to be able to drive a CMV without having a CDL holder seated in the front seat beside them. Prime states that the CDL holder would remain in the CMV at all times while the CLP holder is driving, but not necessarily in the passenger seat. Prime believes that the exemption, if granted, would promote greater productivity and help individuals who have passed the CDL skills test return to actively earning a living faster, while achieving a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level of safety provided by complying with the regulations. FMCSA requests public comment on Prime’s application for exemption. DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 19, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Number FMCSA–2016–0420 by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. See the Public Participation and Request for Comments section below for further information. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12– 140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. • Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below. 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 on-line FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL–14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy. E:\FR\FM\20DEN1.SGM 20DEN1 92948 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 244 / Tuesday, December 20, 2016 / Notices For information concerning this notice, contact Mr. Tom 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: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: I. Public Participation and Request for Comments FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and related materials. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (FMCSA–2016–0420), indicate the specific section of this document to which the comment applies, and provide a reason for suggestions or recommendations. 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 comments online, go to www.regulations.gov and put the docket number, ‘‘FMCSA–2016–0420’’ 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, self-addressed postcard or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the comment period and may grant or not grant this application based on your comments. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:36 Dec 19, 2016 Jkt 241001 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)). III. Request for Exemption Prime seeks an exemption from 49 CFR 383.25(a)(1) that would allow CLP holders who have successfully passed a CDL skills test and are thus eligible to receive a CDL, to drive without having a CDL holder seated beside them in the CMV. Prime indicates that the CDL holder will remain in the CMV at all times while the CLP holder is driving— just not in the front seat. At present, Prime’s compliance with 49 CFR 383.25(a)(1) delays the second phase of CMV training of its CLP holders who have passed the CDL skills test. Prime is one of the nation’s largest transportation companies with a fleet of more than 7,500 CMVs. Prime advises that 2,500 to 3,500 CLP holders would operate under the terms of the exemption each year. The exemption application states that § 383.25(a)(1) creates undue burdens on Prime and its CLP holders, while also contributing to the unprecedented driver shortage that continues to plague the commercial trucking industry. Presently, the constraints that Prime faces in adhering to the requirements of 49 CFR 383.25(a)(1) are exceptionally costintensive. Prior to the implementation of this section of the regulations, it was not uncommon for States to issue temporary CDLs to CLP holders for the return trip to collect the CDL document from their State of domicile. During that time, CDL holders were neither required to log themselves ‘‘on duty’’ when supervising the CLP holder who had a temporary CDL, nor were they required to remain in the passenger seat of the CMV. Under that scenario, the PO 00000 Frm 00179 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 productivity of the CMV, the earnings capacity of the CDL and CLP holders, and the logistics of the motor carrier’s freight network all went undisturbed. Under the current rule, however, carriers must staff two drivers in the cab of the tractor to accomplish the on-duty work of one. Prime contends that compliance with the CDL rule leaves it with only two options. It can either: (1) Secure some mode of public transportation to allow the CLP holder to collect his or her CDL document before returning to Prime; or (2) the company can route the driver to his or her State of domicile, often against the natural flow of the freight network. Prime argues that securing public transit for each of these CLP holders under Option 1 entails extreme cost burdens to the company; and option 2 is no more beneficial because routing CLP holders to their home States, commonly without reference to shipper demand, introduces extreme cost inefficiencies. Other reasons cited by Prime in support of the exemption request include: (1) CDL issuing agencies across States may require many days, if not weeks, to secure the CLP holder’s licensure materials. CLP holders suffer great financial hardship during this waiting period. As commercial truck driving is already notorious for its high turnover rates, requiring such protracted waiting periods will greatly augment driver attrition levels. (2) A marked reduction of CLP holders’ functional driving skills: CLP holders who are sidelined for many days or weeks will experience a material diminishment in their driving skills, as continuous experiential exposure to commercial driving is required to keep such skills suitably honed; and (3) The industrywide driver shortage is exacerbated by the current rule. Prospective drivers who learn that they might have to wait several days and be inefficiently routed baci to their home State for CDL licensure, are less likely to enlist in the trucking profession. The exemption sought would apply only to those Prime drivers who have passed the CDL skills test and hold a valid CLP. IV. Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety Prime states that granting this exemption will result in a level of safety that is equal to or greater than the level of safety without the exemption. The practical result of the exemption is that a CLP holder who has passed a CDL skills test would be able to drive without complying with § 383.25(a)(1) and begin immediate and productive E:\FR\FM\20DEN1.SGM 20DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 244 / Tuesday, December 20, 2016 / Notices on-the-job operation of a CMV on a public road or highway. Anyone who obtained training and took the CDL skills test near his or her home could go directly to the licensing agency, collect the CDL, and begin driving without onboard supervision. It is only when the new driver completes the training and testing in another State that the trip back to obtain the CDL from the State of residence becomes problematic. Allowing CLP holders who have passed the skills test to function as a team driver on the trip home enables these new operators to continue to sharpen their driving skills under the mentoring and observation of a more experienced driver—and they immediately earn an income. FMCSA has granted an exemption similar to the Prime request on two prior occasions. In the September 23, 2016, Federal Register, FMCSA granted a similar exemption from 49 CFR 383.25(a)(1) to CRST Expedited (81 FR 65696). In the June 11, 2015, Federal Register, FMCSA also granted this exemption to C.R. England, Inc. (80 FR 33329). Under the terms and conditions of both of these exemptions, a CLP holder who has documentation of passing the CDL skills test may drive a CMV for either of these companies without being accompanied by a CDL holder in the front seat of the vehicle. The Agency believed that both of these requests for exemption would achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption. A copy of Prime’s application for exemption is available for review in the docket for this notice. Issued on: December 15, 2016. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2016–30633 Filed 12–19–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES [Docket No. FMCSA–2010–0083; FMCSA– 2010–0115; FMCSA–2010–0138; FMCSA– 2012–0108; FMCSA–2012–0109; FMCSA– 2014–0016; FMCSA–2014–0017] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemptions; request for comments. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew the exemptions of 174 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:36 Dec 19, 2016 Jkt 241001 individuals from its rule prohibiting persons with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) from operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. FMCSA has statutory authority to exempt individuals from this rule if the exemptions granted will not compromise safety. The Agency has concluded that granting these exemption renewals will provide a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level of safety maintained without the exemptions for these CMV drivers. DATES: Each group of renewed exemptions was effective from the dates stated in the discussions below. Comments must be received on or before January 19, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) numbers: Docket No. FMCSA–2010–0083; FMCSA–2010– 0115; FMCSA–2010–0138; FMCSA– 2012–0108; FMCSA–2012–0109; FMCSA–2014–0016; FMCSA–2014– 0017, using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. Instructions: Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to http:// www.regulations.gov at any time or 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. e.t, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want acknowledgment that we received your comments, please include a self- PO 00000 Frm 00180 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 92949 addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments on-line. Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or of the person signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s Privacy Act Statement for the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Christine A. Hydock, Chief, Medical Programs Division, 202–366–4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W64– 113, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may renew an exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 2-year period if it finds ‘‘such exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved absent such exemption.’’ The statute also allows the Agency to renew exemptions at the end of the 2-year period. The 174 individuals listed in this notice have recently become eligible for a renewed exemption from the diabetes prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3), which applies to drivers of CMVs in interstate commerce. The drivers remain in good standing with the Agency, have maintained their required medical monitoring and have not exhibited any medical issues that would compromise their ability to safely operate a CMV during the previous 2year exemption period. Exemption Decision This notice addresses 174 individuals who have requested renewal of their exemptions in accordance with FMCSA procedures. These 174 drivers remain in good standing with the Agency, have maintained their required medical monitoring and have not exhibited any medical issues that would compromise their ability to safely operate a CMV during the previous 2-year exemption period. Therefore, FMCSA has decided to extend each exemption for a renewable two-year period. Each individual is identified according to the renewal date. E:\FR\FM\20DEN1.SGM 20DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 244 (Tuesday, December 20, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 92947-92949]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-30633]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 395

[Docket No. FMCSA-2016-0420]


Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption; 
New Prime, Inc. (Prime)

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

ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that New Prime, Inc. (Prime) has applied for 
an exemption from the requirement in 49 CFR 383.25(a)(1) that a 
commercial learner's permit (CLP) holder must be accompanied by a 
commercial driver's license (CDL) holder with the proper CDL class and 
endorsements seated in the front seat of the vehicle while the CLP 
holder is operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on public roads or 
highways. Prime requests an exemption to allow CLP holders who have 
successfully passed the CDL skills test to be able to drive a CMV 
without having a CDL holder seated in the front seat beside them. Prime 
states that the CDL holder would remain in the CMV at all times while 
the CLP holder is driving, but not necessarily in the passenger seat. 
Prime believes that the exemption, if granted, would promote greater 
productivity and help individuals who have passed the CDL skills test 
return to actively earning a living faster, while achieving a level of 
safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level of safety 
provided by complying with the regulations. FMCSA requests public 
comment on Prime's application for exemption.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 19, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Number FMCSA-2016-0420 by any of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. See the 
Public Participation and Request for Comments section below for further 
information.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Each submission must include the Agency name and the 
docket number for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments 
received without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading 
below.
    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 on-line FDMS is available 24 hours each 
day, 365 days each year.
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits 
comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT 
posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information 
the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the 
system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
www.dot.gov/privacy.

[[Page 92948]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information concerning this 
notice, contact Mr. Tom 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: 

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and 
related materials.

Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
notice (FMCSA-2016-0420), indicate the specific section of this 
document to which the comment applies, and provide a reason for 
suggestions or recommendations. 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 comments online, go to www.regulations.gov and put 
the docket number, ``FMCSA-2016-0420'' 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 8\1/2\ 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, self-addressed postcard 
or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received 
during the comment period and may grant or not grant this application 
based on your comments.

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 also specify the effective period and explain 
the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed 
(49 CFR 381.300(b)).

III. Request for Exemption

    Prime seeks an exemption from 49 CFR 383.25(a)(1) that would allow 
CLP holders who have successfully passed a CDL skills test and are thus 
eligible to receive a CDL, to drive without having a CDL holder seated 
beside them in the CMV. Prime indicates that the CDL holder will remain 
in the CMV at all times while the CLP holder is driving--just not in 
the front seat. At present, Prime's compliance with 49 CFR 383.25(a)(1) 
delays the second phase of CMV training of its CLP holders who have 
passed the CDL skills test.
    Prime is one of the nation's largest transportation companies with 
a fleet of more than 7,500 CMVs. Prime advises that 2,500 to 3,500 CLP 
holders would operate under the terms of the exemption each year. The 
exemption application states that Sec.  383.25(a)(1) creates undue 
burdens on Prime and its CLP holders, while also contributing to the 
unprecedented driver shortage that continues to plague the commercial 
trucking industry. Presently, the constraints that Prime faces in 
adhering to the requirements of 49 CFR 383.25(a)(1) are exceptionally 
cost-intensive. Prior to the implementation of this section of the 
regulations, it was not uncommon for States to issue temporary CDLs to 
CLP holders for the return trip to collect the CDL document from their 
State of domicile. During that time, CDL holders were neither required 
to log themselves ``on duty'' when supervising the CLP holder who had a 
temporary CDL, nor were they required to remain in the passenger seat 
of the CMV. Under that scenario, the productivity of the CMV, the 
earnings capacity of the CDL and CLP holders, and the logistics of the 
motor carrier's freight network all went undisturbed. Under the current 
rule, however, carriers must staff two drivers in the cab of the 
tractor to accomplish the on-duty work of one.
    Prime contends that compliance with the CDL rule leaves it with 
only two options. It can either: (1) Secure some mode of public 
transportation to allow the CLP holder to collect his or her CDL 
document before returning to Prime; or (2) the company can route the 
driver to his or her State of domicile, often against the natural flow 
of the freight network. Prime argues that securing public transit for 
each of these CLP holders under Option 1 entails extreme cost burdens 
to the company; and option 2 is no more beneficial because routing CLP 
holders to their home States, commonly without reference to shipper 
demand, introduces extreme cost inefficiencies.
    Other reasons cited by Prime in support of the exemption request 
include: (1) CDL issuing agencies across States may require many days, 
if not weeks, to secure the CLP holder's licensure materials. CLP 
holders suffer great financial hardship during this waiting period. As 
commercial truck driving is already notorious for its high turnover 
rates, requiring such protracted waiting periods will greatly augment 
driver attrition levels. (2) A marked reduction of CLP holders' 
functional driving skills: CLP holders who are sidelined for many days 
or weeks will experience a material diminishment in their driving 
skills, as continuous experiential exposure to commercial driving is 
required to keep such skills suitably honed; and (3) The industry-wide 
driver shortage is exacerbated by the current rule. Prospective drivers 
who learn that they might have to wait several days and be 
inefficiently routed baci to their home State for CDL licensure, are 
less likely to enlist in the trucking profession.
    The exemption sought would apply only to those Prime drivers who 
have passed the CDL skills test and hold a valid CLP.

IV. Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety

    Prime states that granting this exemption will result in a level of 
safety that is equal to or greater than the level of safety without the 
exemption. The practical result of the exemption is that a CLP holder 
who has passed a CDL skills test would be able to drive without 
complying with Sec.  383.25(a)(1) and begin immediate and productive

[[Page 92949]]

on-the-job operation of a CMV on a public road or highway. Anyone who 
obtained training and took the CDL skills test near his or her home 
could go directly to the licensing agency, collect the CDL, and begin 
driving without onboard supervision. It is only when the new driver 
completes the training and testing in another State that the trip back 
to obtain the CDL from the State of residence becomes problematic. 
Allowing CLP holders who have passed the skills test to function as a 
team driver on the trip home enables these new operators to continue to 
sharpen their driving skills under the mentoring and observation of a 
more experienced driver--and they immediately earn an income.
    FMCSA has granted an exemption similar to the Prime request on two 
prior occasions. In the September 23, 2016, Federal Register, FMCSA 
granted a similar exemption from 49 CFR 383.25(a)(1) to CRST Expedited 
(81 FR 65696). In the June 11, 2015, Federal Register, FMCSA also 
granted this exemption to C.R. England, Inc. (80 FR 33329). Under the 
terms and conditions of both of these exemptions, a CLP holder who has 
documentation of passing the CDL skills test may drive a CMV for either 
of these companies without being accompanied by a CDL holder in the 
front seat of the vehicle. The Agency believed that both of these 
requests for exemption would achieve a level of safety that is 
equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without 
the exemption.
    A copy of Prime's application for exemption is available for review 
in the docket for this notice.

    Issued on: December 15, 2016.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2016-30633 Filed 12-19-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P