Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From Groendyke Transport, Inc., 36662-36663 [2018-16223]

Download as PDF 36662 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 146 / Monday, July 30, 2018 / Notices Species; E.O. 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments; E.O. 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency; E.O. 13186, Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this program.) Authority: 23 U.S.C. 139 (l)(1). Issued on: July 23, 2018. Sandra A. Garcia-Aline, Federal Highway Administration, Alaska Division Administrator, Juneau. [FR Doc. 2018–16263 Filed 7–27–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0223] Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From Groendyke Transport, Inc. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments. AGENCY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requests public comment on an application for exemption from Groendyke Transport, Inc. (Groendyke) to allow the use of a pulsating brake lamp in addition to the steady burning brake lamps required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) in its fleet operations. The FMCSRs require all exterior lamps (both required lamps and any additional lamps) to be steady-burning, with the exception of turn signal lamps, hazard warning signal lamps, school bus warning lamps, amber warning lamps or flashing warning lamps on tow trucks and commercial motor vehicles (CMV) transporting oversized loads, and warning lamps on emergency and service vehicles authorized by State or local authorities. Groendyke believes that operating a pulsating brake lamp on the rear of its trailers on a fleet-wide basis would allow the company to operate its equipment more effectively, efficiently, and safely, and would maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:33 Jul 27, 2018 Jkt 244001 that it would achieve without the requested exemption. DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 29, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA– 2018–0223 using any of the following methods: • Website: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the Federal electronic docket site. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590– 0001. • Hand Delivery: Ground Floor, Room W12–140, DOT Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. e.t., MondayFriday, except Federal holidays. Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and docket number for this notice. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the exemption process, see the ‘‘Public Participation’’ heading below. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the ‘‘Privacy Act’’ heading for further information. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov or to Room W12– 140, DOT Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. 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. Public participation: The http:// www.regulations.gov website is generally available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You may find electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the ‘‘help’’ section of the http://www.regulations.gov website as well as the DOT’s http:// docketsinfo.dot.gov website. If you would like notification that we received your comments, please include a selfaddressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgment PO 00000 Frm 00150 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 page that appears after submitting comments online. Mr. Luke W. Loy, Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC–PSV, (202) 366–0676, Luke.Loy@dot.gov, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590– 0001. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA may grant exemptions from the FMCSRs. Pursuant to the implementing regulations, FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public with 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 the safety analyses and the public comments 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)). If the Agency denies the request, it must state the reason for doing so. If the decision is to grant the exemption, the notice must specify the person or class of persons receiving the exemption and the regulatory provision or provisions from which an exemption is granted. The notice must specify the effective period of the exemption (up to 5 years) and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.315(c) and 49 CFR 381.300(b)). Groendyke’s Application for Exemption Groendyke applied for an exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 393.25(e) which requires all exterior lamps (both required lamps and any additional lamps) to be steady-burning, with the exception of turn signal lamps, hazard warning signal lamps, school bus warning lamps, amber warning lamps or flashing warning lamps on tow trucks and CMVs transporting oversized loads, and warning lamps on emergency and service vehicles authorized by State or local authorities. Specifically, Groendyke is requesting the exemption to allow it to install pulsating brake lamps in addition to the steady-burning brake lamps required by the FMCSRs. A E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 146 / Monday, July 30, 2018 / Notices copy of the application is included in the docket referenced at the beginning of this notice. Groendyke is a carrier of flammable fuel and liquid hazardous materials. Groendyke has a fleet of approximately 900 trucks and 1,440 trailers, and employs over 1,200 individuals, including approximately 900 drivers. In its application, Groendyke states ‘‘Groendyke assessed what it could do to prevent other drivers from rear ending Groendyke trailers, and determined that increasing visibility of Groendyke trailers would be an efficient means to prevent rear ending accidents. To do this, Groendyke searched for ways to cause its braking system to capture the attention of other drivers faster and more completely.’’ In its application, Groendyke seeks an exemption to include an amber brakeactivated pulsating lamp to the rear of its trailers. The pulsating brake lamp would be positioned in the upper center portion of the trailer. In support of its application, Groendyke contends that the addition of the pulsating brake lamp will improve safety, and states that (1) research shows that pulsating brake lamps in addition to steady burning red brake lamps improves visibility and prevents accidents, (2) its own experience has demonstrated that pulsating brake lamps in addition to steady burning red brake lamps has decreased the frequency of rear-end accidents involving its fleet, and (3) similar exemptions exist for other classes of vehicles. Research. Groendyke cites several studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, another agency in the U.S. Department of Transportation, on the issues of rearend crashes, distracted driving, and braking signals. Groendyke states: daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Research indicates that there are ways to improve the attention-getting qualities of braking systems. Including a pulsating brake lamp on a lead vehicle has quantifiable effect on the drivers of following vehicles and measurably reduces rear-end collisions. Drivers are redirected and altered faster and more efficiently when a pulsating brake lamp draws their attention to the lead vehicle. As a result, rear-end collisions, can be prevented or at least reduced. Groendyke Experience. Beginning in the second quarter of 2015, Groendyke began installing pulsating brake lamps on some of its fleet without authorization from FMCSA to compare the frequency of rear-end collisions between (1) trailers equipped with pulsating brake lamps and the required steady-burning lamps and (2) trailers equipped with only the steady-burning lamps required by the FMCSRs. As of VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:33 Jul 27, 2018 Jkt 244001 July 31, 2017, Groendyke had outfitted 632 of its 1,440 trailers with pulsating brake lamps. Data gathered by Groendyke between January 2015 and July 2017 show that the pulsating brake lamps decreased the frequency of rear-end collisions by 33.7 percent. Groendyke also analyzed its data to determine whether the pulsating brake lamps improved outcomes when drivers were slowing or stopping at railroad crossings.1 Groendyke found that trailers equipped with the pulsating brake lamps were not involved in a rearend crash at a railroad crossing during the same time period. Groendyke states: The results of the Groendyke Brake Warning Device Campaign are clear: The frequency of rear-end collisions is markedly lower when trailers are outfitted with pulsating brake lamps in addition to the steady-burning lamps required by the FMCSRs. The pulsating brake lamps draw other drivers’ attention to what is happening with the vehicle in front more effectively and more quickly than steady burning lamps. In the interest of safety and productivity, Groendyke desires to implement the Groendyke Brake Warning Device Campaign on the rest of its fleet without risking violation of the FMCSRs. Exemptions for Other Classes of Vehicles. In its application, Groendyke notes that the current requirements of 49 CFR 393.25(e) specifically exclude tow trucks and CMVs from the requirements that all exterior lamps be steady-burning. Groendyke contends that ‘‘Allowing an exemption for drivers of hazardous loads would be consistent with the intent of the regulation.’’ Request for Comments In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests public comment from all interested persons on Groendyke’s application for an exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 393.25(e). All comments received before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated at the beginning of this notice will be considered and will be available for examination in the docket at the location listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Comments received after the comment closing date will be filed in the public docket and will be considered to the extent practicable. In addition to late comments, FMCSA will also continue to file, in the public docket, relevant 1 As cargo tank operators hauling hazardous materials, Groendyke drivers are required to stop or slow significantly at railroad crossings (49 CFR 392.10–392.12). Groendyke notes that railroad crossings are a significant source of rear-end collisions at Groendyke and elsewhere because noncommercial drivers may not anticipate stops at railroad crossings. PO 00000 Frm 00151 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 36663 information that becomes available after the comment closing date. Interested persons should continue to examine the public docket for new material. Issued on: July 17, 2018. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2018–16223 Filed 7–27–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0119] Agency Information Collection Activities; Request for Comments; Revision and Renewal of an Approved Information Collection: Medical Qualification Requirements Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FMCSA announces its plan to submit the Information Collection Request (ICR) described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The FMCSA requests to revise and renew an ICR titled, ‘‘Medical Qualification Requirements,’’ due to updated information for several of the Information Collections (ICs) discussed. This ICR is needed to ensure that drivers, motor carriers and the States are complying with the physical qualification requirements of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The information collected is used to determine and certify driver medical fitness and must be collected in order for our highways to be safe. On April 27, 2018, FMCSA published a 60day notice (83 FR 18640) requesting comment on the renewal of this ICR. In response to this notice, eight comments were received. However, none of the comments were related to information collection activities or the renewal of this ICR. DATES: Please send your comments by August 29, 2018. OMB must receive your comments by this date in order to act quickly on the ICR. ADDRESSES: All comments should reference Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket Number FMCSA–2018–0119. Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 146 (Monday, July 30, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36662-36663]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-16223]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0223]


Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application 
for an Exemption From Groendyke Transport, Inc.

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

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

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

SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 
requests public comment on an application for exemption from Groendyke 
Transport, Inc. (Groendyke) to allow the use of a pulsating brake lamp 
in addition to the steady burning brake lamps required by the Federal 
Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) in its fleet operations. The 
FMCSRs require all exterior lamps (both required lamps and any 
additional lamps) to be steady-burning, with the exception of turn 
signal lamps, hazard warning signal lamps, school bus warning lamps, 
amber warning lamps or flashing warning lamps on tow trucks and 
commercial motor vehicles (CMV) transporting oversized loads, and 
warning lamps on emergency and service vehicles authorized by State or 
local authorities. Groendyke believes that operating a pulsating brake 
lamp on the rear of its trailers on a fleet-wide basis would allow the 
company to operate its equipment more effectively, efficiently, and 
safely, and would maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or 
greater than, the level that it would achieve without the requested 
exemption.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 29, 2018.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2018-0223 using any of the 
following methods:
     Website: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments on the Federal electronic docket 
site.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 
20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: Ground Floor, Room W12-140, DOT Building, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
e.t., Monday-Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and 
docket number for this notice. For detailed instructions on submitting 
comments and additional information on the exemption process, see the 
``Public Participation'' heading below. Note that all comments received 
will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including 
any personal information provided. Please see the ``Privacy Act'' 
heading for further information.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or to Room W12-140, 
DOT Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. 
and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    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.
    Public participation: The http://www.regulations.gov website is 
generally available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You may find 
electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the 
``help'' section of the http://www.regulations.gov website as well as 
the DOT's http://docketsinfo.dot.gov website. If you would like 
notification that we received your comments, please include a self-
addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgment 
page that appears after submitting comments online.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Luke W. Loy, Vehicle and Roadside 
Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC-
PSV, (202) 366-0676, [email protected], Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA may grant exemptions from 
the FMCSRs. Pursuant to the implementing regulations, FMCSA must 
publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 
CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public with 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 the safety analyses and the public comments 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)). If the Agency denies the request, it must 
state the reason for doing so. If the decision is to grant the 
exemption, the notice must specify the person or class of persons 
receiving the exemption and the regulatory provision or provisions from 
which an exemption is granted. The notice must specify the effective 
period of the exemption (up to 5 years) and explain the terms and 
conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 
381.315(c) and 49 CFR 381.300(b)).

Groendyke's Application for Exemption

    Groendyke applied for an exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 
393.25(e) which requires all exterior lamps (both required lamps and 
any additional lamps) to be steady-burning, with the exception of turn 
signal lamps, hazard warning signal lamps, school bus warning lamps, 
amber warning lamps or flashing warning lamps on tow trucks and CMVs 
transporting oversized loads, and warning lamps on emergency and 
service vehicles authorized by State or local authorities. 
Specifically, Groendyke is requesting the exemption to allow it to 
install pulsating brake lamps in addition to the steady-burning brake 
lamps required by the FMCSRs. A

[[Page 36663]]

copy of the application is included in the docket referenced at the 
beginning of this notice.
    Groendyke is a carrier of flammable fuel and liquid hazardous 
materials. Groendyke has a fleet of approximately 900 trucks and 1,440 
trailers, and employs over 1,200 individuals, including approximately 
900 drivers. In its application, Groendyke states ``Groendyke assessed 
what it could do to prevent other drivers from rear ending Groendyke 
trailers, and determined that increasing visibility of Groendyke 
trailers would be an efficient means to prevent rear ending accidents. 
To do this, Groendyke searched for ways to cause its braking system to 
capture the attention of other drivers faster and more completely.''
    In its application, Groendyke seeks an exemption to include an 
amber brake-activated pulsating lamp to the rear of its trailers. The 
pulsating brake lamp would be positioned in the upper center portion of 
the trailer. In support of its application, Groendyke contends that the 
addition of the pulsating brake lamp will improve safety, and states 
that (1) research shows that pulsating brake lamps in addition to 
steady burning red brake lamps improves visibility and prevents 
accidents, (2) its own experience has demonstrated that pulsating brake 
lamps in addition to steady burning red brake lamps has decreased the 
frequency of rear-end accidents involving its fleet, and (3) similar 
exemptions exist for other classes of vehicles.
    Research. Groendyke cites several studies conducted by the National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, another agency in the U.S. 
Department of Transportation, on the issues of rear-end crashes, 
distracted driving, and braking signals. Groendyke states:

    Research indicates that there are ways to improve the attention-
getting qualities of braking systems. Including a pulsating brake 
lamp on a lead vehicle has quantifiable effect on the drivers of 
following vehicles and measurably reduces rear-end collisions. 
Drivers are redirected and altered faster and more efficiently when 
a pulsating brake lamp draws their attention to the lead vehicle. As 
a result, rear-end collisions, can be prevented or at least reduced.

    Groendyke Experience. Beginning in the second quarter of 2015, 
Groendyke began installing pulsating brake lamps on some of its fleet 
without authorization from FMCSA to compare the frequency of rear-end 
collisions between (1) trailers equipped with pulsating brake lamps and 
the required steady-burning lamps and (2) trailers equipped with only 
the steady-burning lamps required by the FMCSRs. As of July 31, 2017, 
Groendyke had outfitted 632 of its 1,440 trailers with pulsating brake 
lamps.
    Data gathered by Groendyke between January 2015 and July 2017 show 
that the pulsating brake lamps decreased the frequency of rear-end 
collisions by 33.7 percent. Groendyke also analyzed its data to 
determine whether the pulsating brake lamps improved outcomes when 
drivers were slowing or stopping at railroad crossings.\1\ Groendyke 
found that trailers equipped with the pulsating brake lamps were not 
involved in a rear-end crash at a railroad crossing during the same 
time period. Groendyke states:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ As cargo tank operators hauling hazardous materials, 
Groendyke drivers are required to stop or slow significantly at 
railroad crossings (49 CFR 392.10-392.12). Groendyke notes that 
railroad crossings are a significant source of rear-end collisions 
at Groendyke and elsewhere because non-commercial drivers may not 
anticipate stops at railroad crossings.

    The results of the Groendyke Brake Warning Device Campaign are 
clear: The frequency of rear-end collisions is markedly lower when 
trailers are outfitted with pulsating brake lamps in addition to the 
steady-burning lamps required by the FMCSRs. The pulsating brake 
lamps draw other drivers' attention to what is happening with the 
vehicle in front more effectively and more quickly than steady 
burning lamps. In the interest of safety and productivity, Groendyke 
desires to implement the Groendyke Brake Warning Device Campaign on 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
the rest of its fleet without risking violation of the FMCSRs.

    Exemptions for Other Classes of Vehicles. In its application, 
Groendyke notes that the current requirements of 49 CFR 393.25(e) 
specifically exclude tow trucks and CMVs from the requirements that all 
exterior lamps be steady-burning. Groendyke contends that ``Allowing an 
exemption for drivers of hazardous loads would be consistent with the 
intent of the regulation.''

Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests 
public comment from all interested persons on Groendyke's application 
for an exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 393.25(e). All 
comments received before the close of business on the comment closing 
date indicated at the beginning of this notice will be considered and 
will be available for examination in the docket at the location listed 
under the Addresses section of this notice. Comments received after the 
comment closing date will be filed in the public docket and will be 
considered to the extent practicable. In addition to late comments, 
FMCSA will also continue to file, in the public docket, relevant 
information that becomes available after the comment closing date. 
Interested persons should continue to examine the public docket for new 
material.

    Issued on: July 17, 2018.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2018-16223 Filed 7-27-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P