Agency Information Collection Activities; Approval of a New Information Collection Request: Truck and Bus Maintenance Requirements and Their Impact on Safety, 60946-60948 [2018-25839]

Download as PDF 60946 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 228 / Tuesday, November 27, 2018 / Notices license holder population does not support the contention that individuals with hearing impairment are at an increased risk for a crash. In addition, the Agency reviewed each applicant’s driving record found in the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS), for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders, and inspections recorded in the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). For nonCDL holders, the Agency reviewed the driving records from the State Driver’s Licensing Agency (SDLA). Each applicant’s record demonstrated a safe driving history. Based on an individual assessment of each applicant that focused on whether an equal or greater level of safety is likely to be achieved by permitting each of these drivers to drive in interstate commerce as opposed to restricting him or her to driving in intrastate commerce, the Agency believes the drivers granted this exemption have demonstrated that they do not pose a risk to public safety. Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these applicants from the hearing standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the exemption. V. Conditions and Requirements The terms and conditions of the exemption are provided to the applicants in the exemption document and includes the following: (1) Each driver must report any crashes or accidents as defined in 49 CFR 390.5; (2) each driver must report all citations and convictions for disqualifying offenses under 49 CFR part 383 and 49 CFR 391 to FMCSA; and (3) each driver is prohibited from operating a motorcoach or bus with passengers in interstate commerce. The driver must also have a copy of the exemption when driving, for presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement official. In addition, the exemption does not exempt the individual from meeting the applicable CDL testing requirements. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 VI. Preemption During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with this exemption with respect to a person operating under the exemption. VII. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the 30 exemption applications, FMCSA exempts the following drivers from the hearing standard, 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11), subject to the requirements cited above: David Alagna, (IL) VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Nov 26, 2018 Jkt 247001 Matthew H. Albrecht, (PA) Raymond Amundson, (OK) Michael Arwood, (TN) Jonathan D. Ball, (PA) Gerald Bennett, (NH) Dominick Booker, (PA) Michael Borman, (CO) Russel Brannan, (GA) Gerald Buoniconti, (MA) Luke C. Bundrum, (GA) Steven D. Chambers, (OK) Michael Dohanish, (OH) Ralph K. Domel, (TX) Jacquelyn Hetherington, (OK) Julian Koch, (TX) Jeremy Lampart, (SC) Jay Larson, (TX) Thomas E. McLaughlin, (NY) Dustin R. Miller, (MI) Eric D. Peer, (DE) Jose B. Ramirez, (IL) Donald Reamsayder, (FL) Kenneth W. Reimer, (WI) Troy Rolland, (TX) Thomas D. Sneer, (MN) Carlos Talamantes, (TX) Kenneth Weaver, (TX) Paul Whetstone, (AZ) Jason Wynne, (TX) 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: November 20, 2018. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2018–25842 Filed 11–26–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0189] Agency Information Collection Activities; Approval of a New Information Collection Request: Truck and Bus Maintenance Requirements and Their Impact on Safety Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00126 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 FMCSA announces its plan to submit the Information Collection Request (ICR) described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its review and approval and invites public comment. This new request titled ‘‘Truck and Bus Maintenance Requirements and Their Impact on Safety’’ will allow for a study that focuses on vehicle maintenance and aims to determine the impact of vehicle maintenance requirements on overall motor carrier safety. This information collection supports the DOT Strategic Goal of Safety. DATES: Please send your comments by December 27, 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–2018–0189. Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the attention of the Desk Officer, Department of Transportation/Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and sent via electronic mail to oira_submission@ omb.eop.gov, or faxed to (202) 395– 6974, or mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Docket Library, Room 10102, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Quon Y. Kwan, Program Manager, Technology Division, Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 6th Floor, West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Telephone: 202–385–2389; Email Address: quon.kwan@dot.gov. Office hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Truck and Bus Maintenance Requirements and Their Impact on Safety. OMB Control Number: 2126–00XX. Type of Request: New information collection. Respondents: Freight motor carriers and passenger carriers. Estimated Number of Respondents: 578 respondents will complete the Online Recruitment Survey. Of those 578 respondents, 289 will also complete the Carrier Maintenance Manager Survey. Estimated Time per Response: Varies [Online Recruitment Survey: 5 minutes. E:\FR\FM\27NON1.SGM 27NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 228 / Tuesday, November 27, 2018 / Notices amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 Carrier Maintenance Manager Survey: 45 minutes]. Expiration Date: Three years after approval. Frequency of Response: Once. Estimated Total Annual Burden: 265 hours [Online Recruitment Survey: 578 respondents × (5 minutes ÷ 60 minutes) = 48 hours; Carrier Maintenance Manager Survey: 289 respondents × (45 minutes ÷ 60 minutes) = 217 hours]. Background Background: FMCSA’s core mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. To aid in accomplishing this, the Agency uses the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) enforcement program to prioritize and target interventions of those motor carriers who are most likely to be involved in a future crash. As part of the CSA program, the Agency deploys the Safety Measurement System (SMS). SMS uses inspection, crash, and investigation data captured in the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) to calculate a percentile for each motor carrier. A motor carrier’s SMS percentile is based on its past compliance with a complete range of safety-based regulations (such as driver safety, hours of service, driver fitness, and vehicle maintenance, among others). The survey described in this notice focuses on the vehicle maintenance component of those safety regulations. The goal of the study is to determine what improvements, ranging from better compliance interventions to better vehicle maintenance requirements, would enhance motor carrier safety. In 2014, the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe) conducted a study to assess the effectiveness of SMS in identifying the highest risk motor carriers to be targeted for interventions. One finding from the study was that motor carriers targeted for intervention due to ‘‘vehicle maintenance’’ issues (i.e., violations) had a 65 percent higher crash rate compared to the national average. These violations are based on Federal and State inspections of components critical to the safe operation of the vehicle. It is important to recognize that proper and regular preventative maintenance (i.e., systematic maintenance programs) among carriers—rather than Federal and State inspections, which are by nature limited to the most visible or obvious safety-related components—should be the primary activity applied to ensure safe equipment operation. While these initial findings are important, they raise additional questions. One such question is VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Nov 26, 2018 Jkt 247001 prompted by the stipulation in 49 CFR 396.3(a), which states that every carrier must have a program to ‘‘systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles and intermodal equipment subject to its control.’’ Though this regulation provides some direction, there is no supporting definition of the word ‘‘systematic,’’ and because this term is subjective, it is likely to vary from one carrier to another. The lack of specificity regarding standard intervals for preventative maintenance makes it difficult for Federal and State personnel to evaluate the effectiveness of and compliance with a carrier’s maintenance program. Furthermore, the lack of specificity may make it difficult for carriers to ascertain and therefore comply with the regulation’s intent. The current research effort, augmented by the proposed survey, is necessary to improve FMCSA’s understanding of the safety impact of preventative vehicle maintenance and to clarify the requirements of section 396.3(a). The study objectives are as follows: 1. Develop an operational definition of ‘‘systematic maintenance.’’ 2. Evaluate whether current regulations and the intervention process could be modified to improve compliance with vehicle maintenance requirements. Examples of such requirements include: (i) Preventative maintenance intervals, (ii) preventative maintenance inspections with adequately trained/equipped mechanics, and (iii) adequacy of motor carriers’ maintenance facilities. [However, the results of the survey will be used only to explore what areas of rulemaking and/or other areas, such as policy guidance and training, might be useful in the future; the results of the survey will not be used for rulemaking, per se.] 3. Gather information to assist in establishing minimum standards for inspection intervals, mechanic qualifications and training, and certification of maintenance facilities. FMCSA is authorized to conduct this research under 49 U.S.C. 31108, Motor Carrier Research and Technology Program. Under section 31108(a)(3)(C), FMCSA may fund research, development, and technology projects that improve the safety and efficiency of commercial motor vehicle operations through technological innovation and improvement. This information collection supports the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) strategic goal of Safety. PO 00000 Frm 00127 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60947 Under contract to FMCSA, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VT) will use online surveys to obtain the data required to address the study objectives. The information collection will be administered in two phases: Phase I: Online Recruitment Survey. This voluntary, seven-question survey will screen carriers and verify their eligibility for Phase II participation. To be eligible for Phase II participation, carriers must fall into one of two groups: (a) The Recommended Practices (RP) Group, which includes carriers with the lowest Vehicle Maintenance and Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASIC) percentiles (i.e., less than or equal to the 33rd percentile); or (b) the Intervention Effects (IE) Group, which includes carriers that have experienced Federal or State interventions in the last 24 months due to vehicle maintenance violations. The BASICs are Unsafe Driving, Crash Indicator, Hours-ofService (HOS) Compliance, Vehicle Maintenance, Controlled Substances/ Alcohol, Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance, and Driver Fitness. More information on the SMS methodology can be found at https:// csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Documents/ SMSMethodology.pdf. Phase II: Carrier Maintenance Management Survey. This voluntary, 106-question survey will include questions about demographics; maintenance practices, intervals, personnel, and facilities; and State and Federal inspections, among other things. The Phase II survey will employ branch logic; as such, carriers will be prompted to complete different sections based on their survey group (and for one section, carrier size). Consequently, no participating carrier will be asked to complete all 106 questions. In the Phase II survey, carriers (of all sizes) in the RP Group will be asked to provide additional information about maintenance personnel and facilities (e.g., mechanic training levels, tools required for adequate inspection, and certification of facilities) and vehicle maintenance issues that may impact safety. Information from the RP Group will seek to address Objective 1, relating to development of an operational definition of ‘‘systematic maintenance,’’ Objective 2, and Objective 3, relating to establishment of minimum standards for inspection intervals, mechanic qualifications and training, and certification of maintenance facilities. Carriers in the IE Group will be asked to complete the section on intervention effects, which includes questions about E:\FR\FM\27NON1.SGM 27NON1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 60948 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 228 / Tuesday, November 27, 2018 / Notices the status of active interventions or investigations; results of closed interventions or investigations; interactions with State versus Federal agencies; intervention activities experienced; the accuracy of violations leading to interventions; actions taken in response to interventions; changes in carrier vehicle maintenance practices as a result of an intervention; significant benefits of interventions; and ways the intervention process could be improved. Information provided by the IE Group will address the portion of Objective 2 regarding sufficiency of regulations and where interventions need to be improved to facilitate complying with these regulations. Survey responses will be summarized and reported using plots, tables, content analysis, and calculated summary statistics. Plots and tables will provide a visual comparison of multiple choice and checkbox survey responses for successful carriers (i.e., carriers in the RP Group) and those receiving interventions in the last 24 months (i.e., carriers in the IE Group). These methods will also allow researchers to summarize responses by carrier operation type (i.e., truck or bus) and size. Bar charts will be used to plot responses to many survey questions. Some survey responses may be summarized with tables with rows for each of the carrier operation types (truck or bus) and each carrier-size subgroup. To explore and summarize responses to open-ended survey questions, researchers will use content analysis methods. An illustration of an openended question in the survey is ‘‘List examples of critical safety-related maintenance activities for trailer vehicle milestones.’’ The goal of content analysis of open-ended questions will be to identify common answers. The results of this information collection will be documented in a technical report to be delivered to and published by FMCSA. In addition, the results will be used to create a ‘‘recommended best practices’’ report that will outline minimum standards for inspection intervals, mechanic qualifications and training, and certification of maintenance facilities. Finally, VTTI is required under the contract with FMCSA to compile and analyze the collected information and develop a public-use data set. This ICR is for a one-time data collection. If this data collection does not take place, the truck and bus industry will continue to operate with the uncertainty of what constitutes a ‘‘systematic maintenance’’ program, as currently worded in section 396.3(a). This term’s ambiguous definition makes VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Nov 26, 2018 Jkt 247001 it difficult for Federal and State inspectors to evaluate the effectiveness of a carrier’s maintenance program or its compliance with this provision. Furthermore, this uncertainty may make it difficult for carriers to ascertain and therefore comply with the regulation’s intent. On July 16, 2018, FMCSA published a 60-day Federal Register notice (83 FR 32950). The Agency received four comments. One anonymous comment was unrelated to the ICR. Both the American Bus Association and the American Trucking Associations voiced support for the ICR in their comment letters. The National School Transportation Association also voiced support for the ICR, but it requested that the survey instrument include questions to identify the type of commercial motor vehicles operated by the respondent. In response, the Agency reviewed and revised three survey questions to better differentiate between various types of passenger-carrying CMVs. Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including: (1) Whether the proposed collection is necessary for FMCSA to perform its functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways for FMCSA to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. Issued under the authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.87 on: November 20, 2018. G. Kelly Regal, Associate Administrator for Office of Research and Information Technology. [FR Doc. 2018–25839 Filed 11–26–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2016–0096] Hours of Service of Drivers: Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA); Application for Exemption Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemption; request for comments. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association’s (SC&RA) exemption from the 30-minute rest break rule of the Agency’s hours-ofservice (HOS) regulations for certain SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00128 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. SC&RA currently holds an exemption valid through November 1, 2018. The exemption renewal is for five years. 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. DATES: The renewed exemption is effective through November 1, 2023. Comments must be received on or before December 27, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket Management System Number FMCSA– 2016–0096 by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the online 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, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. E.T., 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information concerning this notice, contact Ms. Pearlie Robinson, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; Telephone: 202–366– 4225. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. If you have questions on viewing or submitting E:\FR\FM\27NON1.SGM 27NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 228 (Tuesday, November 27, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60946-60948]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-25839]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0189]


Agency Information Collection Activities; Approval of a New 
Information Collection Request: Truck and Bus Maintenance Requirements 
and Their Impact on Safety

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

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: 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 its 
review and approval and invites public comment. This new request titled 
``Truck and Bus Maintenance Requirements and Their Impact on Safety'' 
will allow for a study that focuses on vehicle maintenance and aims to 
determine the impact of vehicle maintenance requirements on overall 
motor carrier safety. This information collection supports the DOT 
Strategic Goal of Safety.

DATES: Please send your comments by December 27, 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-2018-0189. Interested persons are 
invited to submit written comments on the proposed information 
collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office 
of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the attention 
of the Desk Officer, Department of Transportation/Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Administration, and sent via electronic mail to 
[email protected], or faxed to (202) 395-6974, or mailed to 
the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management 
and Budget, Docket Library, Room 10102, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, 
DC 20503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Quon Y. Kwan, Program Manager, 
Technology Division, Department of Transportation, Federal Motor 
Carrier Safety Administration, 6th Floor, West Building, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001. Telephone: 202-385-2389; 
Email Address: [email protected]. Office hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Title: Truck and Bus Maintenance Requirements and Their Impact on 
Safety.
    OMB Control Number: 2126-00XX.
    Type of Request: New information collection.
    Respondents: Freight motor carriers and passenger carriers.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 578 respondents will complete the 
Online Recruitment Survey. Of those 578 respondents, 289 will also 
complete the Carrier Maintenance Manager Survey.
    Estimated Time per Response: Varies [Online Recruitment Survey: 5 
minutes.

[[Page 60947]]

Carrier Maintenance Manager Survey: 45 minutes].
    Expiration Date: Three years after approval.
    Frequency of Response: Once.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 265 hours [Online Recruitment 
Survey: 578 respondents x (5 minutes / 60 minutes) = 48 hours; Carrier 
Maintenance Manager Survey: 289 respondents x (45 minutes / 60 minutes) 
= 217 hours].

Background

    Background: FMCSA's core mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, 
and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. To aid in 
accomplishing this, the Agency uses the Compliance, Safety, 
Accountability (CSA) enforcement program to prioritize and target 
interventions of those motor carriers who are most likely to be 
involved in a future crash. As part of the CSA program, the Agency 
deploys the Safety Measurement System (SMS). SMS uses inspection, 
crash, and investigation data captured in the Motor Carrier Management 
Information System (MCMIS) to calculate a percentile for each motor 
carrier. A motor carrier's SMS percentile is based on its past 
compliance with a complete range of safety-based regulations (such as 
driver safety, hours of service, driver fitness, and vehicle 
maintenance, among others). The survey described in this notice focuses 
on the vehicle maintenance component of those safety regulations. The 
goal of the study is to determine what improvements, ranging from 
better compliance interventions to better vehicle maintenance 
requirements, would enhance motor carrier safety.
    In 2014, the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center 
(Volpe) conducted a study to assess the effectiveness of SMS in 
identifying the highest risk motor carriers to be targeted for 
interventions. One finding from the study was that motor carriers 
targeted for intervention due to ``vehicle maintenance'' issues (i.e., 
violations) had a 65 percent higher crash rate compared to the national 
average. These violations are based on Federal and State inspections of 
components critical to the safe operation of the vehicle. It is 
important to recognize that proper and regular preventative maintenance 
(i.e., systematic maintenance programs) among carriers--rather than 
Federal and State inspections, which are by nature limited to the most 
visible or obvious safety-related components--should be the primary 
activity applied to ensure safe equipment operation.
    While these initial findings are important, they raise additional 
questions. One such question is prompted by the stipulation in 49 CFR 
396.3(a), which states that every carrier must have a program to 
``systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be 
systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles 
and intermodal equipment subject to its control.'' Though this 
regulation provides some direction, there is no supporting definition 
of the word ``systematic,'' and because this term is subjective, it is 
likely to vary from one carrier to another. The lack of specificity 
regarding standard intervals for preventative maintenance makes it 
difficult for Federal and State personnel to evaluate the effectiveness 
of and compliance with a carrier's maintenance program. Furthermore, 
the lack of specificity may make it difficult for carriers to ascertain 
and therefore comply with the regulation's intent.
    The current research effort, augmented by the proposed survey, is 
necessary to improve FMCSA's understanding of the safety impact of 
preventative vehicle maintenance and to clarify the requirements of 
section 396.3(a). The study objectives are as follows:
    1. Develop an operational definition of ``systematic maintenance.''
    2. Evaluate whether current regulations and the intervention 
process could be modified to improve compliance with vehicle 
maintenance requirements. Examples of such requirements include: (i) 
Preventative maintenance intervals, (ii) preventative maintenance 
inspections with adequately trained/equipped mechanics, and (iii) 
adequacy of motor carriers' maintenance facilities. [However, the 
results of the survey will be used only to explore what areas of 
rulemaking and/or other areas, such as policy guidance and training, 
might be useful in the future; the results of the survey will not be 
used for rulemaking, per se.]
    3. Gather information to assist in establishing minimum standards 
for inspection intervals, mechanic qualifications and training, and 
certification of maintenance facilities.
    FMCSA is authorized to conduct this research under 49 U.S.C. 31108, 
Motor Carrier Research and Technology Program. Under section 
31108(a)(3)(C), FMCSA may fund research, development, and technology 
projects that improve the safety and efficiency of commercial motor 
vehicle operations through technological innovation and improvement. 
This information collection supports the U.S. Department of 
Transportation (USDOT) strategic goal of Safety.
    Under contract to FMCSA, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute 
(VTTI) at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VT) 
will use online surveys to obtain the data required to address the 
study objectives. The information collection will be administered in 
two phases:
    Phase I: Online Recruitment Survey. This voluntary, seven-question 
survey will screen carriers and verify their eligibility for Phase II 
participation. To be eligible for Phase II participation, carriers must 
fall into one of two groups: (a) The Recommended Practices (RP) Group, 
which includes carriers with the lowest Vehicle Maintenance and Crash 
Indicator Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASIC) 
percentiles (i.e., less than or equal to the 33rd percentile); or (b) 
the Intervention Effects (IE) Group, which includes carriers that have 
experienced Federal or State interventions in the last 24 months due to 
vehicle maintenance violations. The BASICs are Unsafe Driving, Crash 
Indicator, Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance, Vehicle Maintenance, 
Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance, and 
Driver Fitness. More information on the SMS methodology can be found at 
https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Documents/SMSMethodology.pdf.
    Phase II: Carrier Maintenance Management Survey. This voluntary, 
106-question survey will include questions about demographics; 
maintenance practices, intervals, personnel, and facilities; and State 
and Federal inspections, among other things. The Phase II survey will 
employ branch logic; as such, carriers will be prompted to complete 
different sections based on their survey group (and for one section, 
carrier size). Consequently, no participating carrier will be asked to 
complete all 106 questions.
    In the Phase II survey, carriers (of all sizes) in the RP Group 
will be asked to provide additional information about maintenance 
personnel and facilities (e.g., mechanic training levels, tools 
required for adequate inspection, and certification of facilities) and 
vehicle maintenance issues that may impact safety. Information from the 
RP Group will seek to address Objective 1, relating to development of 
an operational definition of ``systematic maintenance,'' Objective 2, 
and Objective 3, relating to establishment of minimum standards for 
inspection intervals, mechanic qualifications and training, and 
certification of maintenance facilities.
    Carriers in the IE Group will be asked to complete the section on 
intervention effects, which includes questions about

[[Page 60948]]

the status of active interventions or investigations; results of closed 
interventions or investigations; interactions with State versus Federal 
agencies; intervention activities experienced; the accuracy of 
violations leading to interventions; actions taken in response to 
interventions; changes in carrier vehicle maintenance practices as a 
result of an intervention; significant benefits of interventions; and 
ways the intervention process could be improved. Information provided 
by the IE Group will address the portion of Objective 2 regarding 
sufficiency of regulations and where interventions need to be improved 
to facilitate complying with these regulations.
    Survey responses will be summarized and reported using plots, 
tables, content analysis, and calculated summary statistics. Plots and 
tables will provide a visual comparison of multiple choice and checkbox 
survey responses for successful carriers (i.e., carriers in the RP 
Group) and those receiving interventions in the last 24 months (i.e., 
carriers in the IE Group). These methods will also allow researchers to 
summarize responses by carrier operation type (i.e., truck or bus) and 
size. Bar charts will be used to plot responses to many survey 
questions. Some survey responses may be summarized with tables with 
rows for each of the carrier operation types (truck or bus) and each 
carrier-size subgroup. To explore and summarize responses to open-ended 
survey questions, researchers will use content analysis methods. An 
illustration of an open-ended question in the survey is ``List examples 
of critical safety-related maintenance activities for trailer vehicle 
milestones.'' The goal of content analysis of open-ended questions will 
be to identify common answers.
    The results of this information collection will be documented in a 
technical report to be delivered to and published by FMCSA. In 
addition, the results will be used to create a ``recommended best 
practices'' report that will outline minimum standards for inspection 
intervals, mechanic qualifications and training, and certification of 
maintenance facilities. Finally, VTTI is required under the contract 
with FMCSA to compile and analyze the collected information and develop 
a public-use data set.
    This ICR is for a one-time data collection. If this data collection 
does not take place, the truck and bus industry will continue to 
operate with the uncertainty of what constitutes a ``systematic 
maintenance'' program, as currently worded in section 396.3(a). This 
term's ambiguous definition makes it difficult for Federal and State 
inspectors to evaluate the effectiveness of a carrier's maintenance 
program or its compliance with this provision. Furthermore, this 
uncertainty may make it difficult for carriers to ascertain and 
therefore comply with the regulation's intent.
    On July 16, 2018, FMCSA published a 60-day Federal Register notice 
(83 FR 32950). The Agency received four comments. One anonymous comment 
was unrelated to the ICR. Both the American Bus Association and the 
American Trucking Associations voiced support for the ICR in their 
comment letters. The National School Transportation Association also 
voiced support for the ICR, but it requested that the survey instrument 
include questions to identify the type of commercial motor vehicles 
operated by the respondent. In response, the Agency reviewed and 
revised three survey questions to better differentiate between various 
types of passenger-carrying CMVs.
    Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of 
this information collection, including: (1) Whether the proposed 
collection is necessary for FMCSA to perform its functions; (2) the 
accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways for FMCSA to enhance the 
quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) 
ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of 
the collected information.

    Issued under the authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.87 on: November 
20, 2018.
G. Kelly Regal,
Associate Administrator for Office of Research and Information 
Technology.
[FR Doc. 2018-25839 Filed 11-26-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P