Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption; Isuzu North America Corporation (Isuzu), 5543-5544 [2019-02950]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 35 / Thursday, February 21, 2019 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2006–25290] Commercial Driver’s License Standards: Application for Exemption; Isuzu North America Corporation (Isuzu) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition; granting of application for exemption. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to approve Isuzu North America Corporation’s (Isuzu) application for an exemption from the Federal requirement to hold a U.S. commercial driver’s license (CDL) issued by one of the States. The exemption allows 12 Isuzu commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, who are citizens and residents of Japan and hold a Japanese commercial license, to testdrive Isuzu CMVs in the United States without a CDL issued by one of the States. Isuzu requested the exemption so that these driver-employees, as a team, can help to evaluate and test production and prototype Isuzu CMVs for sale in this country. FMCSA believes the knowledge and skills training and testing that drivers must undergo to obtain a Japanese commercial license ensures a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption. SUMMARY: This exemption is effective February 21, 2019 and expires February 21, 2024. ADDRESSES: Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12–140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The 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: Ms. Pearlie Robinson, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:08 Feb 20, 2019 Jkt 247001 Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; Telephone: 202–366–4325. 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 Viewing Comments and Documents To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, ‘‘FMCSA–2006–25290’’ in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box and click ‘‘Search.’’ Next, click the ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ button and choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. II. Legal Basis FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from certain Federal Motor Carrier Safety 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 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)) with the reason for the grant or denial, and, if granted, the specific person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the regulatory provision or provisions from which exemption is granted. The notice must also 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 381.300(b)). III. Request for Exemption Isuzu applied for an exemption from the CDL rules, specifically the licensing requirements for drivers operating CMVs in interstate or intrastate PO 00000 Frm 00140 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 5543 commerce (49 CFR 383.23). Isuzu requested the exemption for 12 driveremployees who are citizens and residents of Japan, and cannot apply for a CDL due to lack of residency in the United States. Isuzu explained that the exemption would allow a team of 12 employees (vehicle test engineers, technicians, mechanics and other employees) to test drive and evaluate production and prototype CMVs on U.S. highways under various environmental and climatic conditions. According to Isuzu, these drivers will not transport merchandise. Each driver holds a valid Japanese commercial license, and as explained by Isuzu in previous exemption requests, applicants for a Japanese commercial license must undergo a training program and pass knowledge and skills tests. A copy of Isuzu’s application for exemption is available for review in the docket for this notice. IV. Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety These Isuzu drivers are experienced CMV operators. In Japan, drivers must hold a conventional driver’s license for at least 3 years to be eligible for a commercial license. They must also pass both skills and knowledge tests. A driver granted a Japanese commercial license may legally operate any CMV allowed on the roads of Japan. Isuzu believes that these drivers will achieve a level of safety that equals or exceeds the level of safety that would be achieved without the exemption. V. Public Comments On October 19, 2018, FMCSA published notice of this application and requested public comments (83 FR 53151). Three individuals submitted comments, two opposing the exemption. Both said that Isuzu should hire U.S. drivers and voiced concerns over the effects of a perceived language barrier. The third comment was not relevant to the exemption. VI. FMCSA Response and Decision FMCSA has previously determined that the process for obtaining a Japanese commercial license is comparable to, or as effective as, the Federal CDL knowledge and skills requirements of 49 CFR part 383 as enforced by the States, and adequately assesses the driver’s ability to operate CMVs in the U.S. Since 2003, FMCSA has granted Isuzu drivers similar exemptions [October 16, 2003 (68 FR 59677); April 3, 2007 (72 FR 15933); April 5, 2007 (72 FR 16870); September 5, 2008 (73 FR 51878); January 5, 2009 (74 FR 334); July 24, 2009 (74 FR 36809)]. E:\FR\FM\21FEN1.SGM 21FEN1 5544 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 35 / Thursday, February 21, 2019 / Notices FMCSA believes that the operations of the 12 Isuzu driver-employees will ensure a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be achieved without the exemption. FMCSA’s decision to grant this exemption is based on the merits of the application and the considerable CMV driving experience of these drivers. In addition, FMCSA considers the rigorous skills and knowledge testing that drivers undergo to obtain a Japanese commercial license to be comparable to, or as effective as, the requirements of a U.S. CDL (49 CFR part 383). Therefore, FMCSA grants exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 383.23 to the following 12 individuals while employed by Isuzu, to enable them to operate CMVs in this country without a CDL for a period of 5 years: Naoto Morimoto, Kenji Sugawara, Ryota Hisamatsu, Takehiro Oshima, Yasuhiro Sakai, Hiroaki Takahashi, Kazunori Aizawa, Atsushi Fujiwara, Kazuya Takahashi, Koichi Ueno, Takahisa Chiba, and Takamasa Ono. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 VII. Terms and Conditions of the Exemption This exemption is subject to the following terms and conditions: (1) These drivers are subject to the drug and alcohol regulations, including testing, as provided in 49 CFR part 382, (2) these drivers are subject to the same driver disqualification rules under 49 CFR parts 383 and 391 that apply to other CMV drivers in the United States, (3) Isuzu shall notify FMCSA in writing if an exempted driver is convicted of a disqualifying offense described in sections 383.51 or 391.15 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR 350 et seq.), (4) these drivers must keep, at all times, a copy of the exemption with them in the CMV they are driving, and (5) Isuzu must notify FMCSA in writing of any accident, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, that involves an exempted driver. FMCSA will revoke this exemption if: (1) The Isuzu drivers fail to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption, (2) the exemption results in a lower level of safety than was maintained before it was granted, or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136. VIII. Preemption In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(d), as implemented by 49 CFR 381.600, during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation applicable to interstate or intrastate commerce that VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:08 Feb 20, 2019 Jkt 247001 conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a firm or person operating under the exemption. Issued on: February 13, 2019. Raymond P. Martinez, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2019–02950 Filed 2–20–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0137] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments. AGENCY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 30 individuals for an exemption from the hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. If granted, the exemptions would enable these hard of hearing and deaf individuals to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 25, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA– 2018–0135 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://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: 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(s) for this notice. 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 below for further information. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00141 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want acknowledgment that we received your comments, please include a selfaddressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments online. 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 http://www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL–14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at http://www.dot.gov/ privacy. Ms. Christine A. Hydock, Chief, Medical Programs Division, (202) 366–4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W64–224, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have questions regarding viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: I. Background Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption from the FMCSRs for a five-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 five-year period. FMCSA grants exemptions from the FMCSRs for a twoyear period to align with the maximum duration of a driver’s medical certification. The 30 individuals listed in this notice have requested an exemption from the hearing requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11). Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate the qualifications of each applicant to determine whether granting the exemption will achieve the required level of safety mandated by statute. The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding hearing found in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) states that a person is physically qualified to drive a E:\FR\FM\21FEN1.SGM 21FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 35 (Thursday, February 21, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 5543-5544]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-02950]



[[Page 5543]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2006-25290]


Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption; 
Isuzu North America Corporation (Isuzu)

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

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

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to approve Isuzu North America 
Corporation's (Isuzu) application for an exemption from the Federal 
requirement to hold a U.S. commercial driver's license (CDL) issued by 
one of the States. The exemption allows 12 Isuzu commercial motor 
vehicle (CMV) drivers, who are citizens and residents of Japan and hold 
a Japanese commercial license, to test-drive Isuzu CMVs in the United 
States without a CDL issued by one of the States. Isuzu requested the 
exemption so that these driver-employees, as a team, can help to 
evaluate and test production and prototype Isuzu CMVs for sale in this 
country. FMCSA believes the knowledge and skills training and testing 
that drivers must undergo to obtain a Japanese commercial license 
ensures a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the 
level of safety achieved without the exemption.

DATES: This exemption is effective February 21, 2019 and expires 
February 21, 2024.

ADDRESSES: Docket: For access to the docket to read background 
documents or comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit 
Room W12-140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays. The 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: Ms. Pearlie Robinson, FMCSA Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle 
Safety Standards; Telephone: 202-366-4325. 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

Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble 
as being available in the docket, go to www.regulations.gov and insert 
the docket number, ``FMCSA-2006-25290'' in the ``Keyword'' box and 
click ``Search.'' Next, click the ``Open Docket Folder'' button and 
choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the 
internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket 
Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West 
Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

II. Legal Basis

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from certain Federal Motor Carrier Safety 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 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)) with the reason for the grant or denial, and, if granted, 
the specific person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and 
the regulatory provision or provisions from which exemption is granted. 
The notice must also 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 381.300(b)).

III. Request for Exemption

    Isuzu applied for an exemption from the CDL rules, specifically the 
licensing requirements for drivers operating CMVs in interstate or 
intrastate commerce (49 CFR 383.23). Isuzu requested the exemption for 
12 driver-employees who are citizens and residents of Japan, and cannot 
apply for a CDL due to lack of residency in the United States. Isuzu 
explained that the exemption would allow a team of 12 employees 
(vehicle test engineers, technicians, mechanics and other employees) to 
test drive and evaluate production and prototype CMVs on U.S. highways 
under various environmental and climatic conditions. According to 
Isuzu, these drivers will not transport merchandise. Each driver holds 
a valid Japanese commercial license, and as explained by Isuzu in 
previous exemption requests, applicants for a Japanese commercial 
license must undergo a training program and pass knowledge and skills 
tests. A copy of Isuzu's application for exemption is available for 
review in the docket for this notice.

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

    These Isuzu drivers are experienced CMV operators. In Japan, 
drivers must hold a conventional driver's license for at least 3 years 
to be eligible for a commercial license. They must also pass both 
skills and knowledge tests. A driver granted a Japanese commercial 
license may legally operate any CMV allowed on the roads of Japan. 
Isuzu believes that these drivers will achieve a level of safety that 
equals or exceeds the level of safety that would be achieved without 
the exemption.

V. Public Comments

    On October 19, 2018, FMCSA published notice of this application and 
requested public comments (83 FR 53151). Three individuals submitted 
comments, two opposing the exemption. Both said that Isuzu should hire 
U.S. drivers and voiced concerns over the effects of a perceived 
language barrier. The third comment was not relevant to the exemption.

VI. FMCSA Response and Decision

    FMCSA has previously determined that the process for obtaining a 
Japanese commercial license is comparable to, or as effective as, the 
Federal CDL knowledge and skills requirements of 49 CFR part 383 as 
enforced by the States, and adequately assesses the driver's ability to 
operate CMVs in the U.S. Since 2003, FMCSA has granted Isuzu drivers 
similar exemptions [October 16, 2003 (68 FR 59677); April 3, 2007 (72 
FR 15933); April 5, 2007 (72 FR 16870); September 5, 2008 (73 FR 
51878); January 5, 2009 (74 FR 334); July 24, 2009 (74 FR 36809)].

[[Page 5544]]

    FMCSA believes that the operations of the 12 Isuzu driver-employees 
will ensure a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, 
the level of safety that would be achieved without the exemption. 
FMCSA's decision to grant this exemption is based on the merits of the 
application and the considerable CMV driving experience of these 
drivers. In addition, FMCSA considers the rigorous skills and knowledge 
testing that drivers undergo to obtain a Japanese commercial license to 
be comparable to, or as effective as, the requirements of a U.S. CDL 
(49 CFR part 383). Therefore, FMCSA grants exemption from the 
requirements of 49 CFR 383.23 to the following 12 individuals while 
employed by Isuzu, to enable them to operate CMVs in this country 
without a CDL for a period of 5 years: Naoto Morimoto, Kenji Sugawara, 
Ryota Hisamatsu, Takehiro Oshima, Yasuhiro Sakai, Hiroaki Takahashi, 
Kazunori Aizawa, Atsushi Fujiwara, Kazuya Takahashi, Koichi Ueno, 
Takahisa Chiba, and Takamasa Ono.

VII. Terms and Conditions of the Exemption

    This exemption is subject to the following terms and conditions: 
(1) These drivers are subject to the drug and alcohol regulations, 
including testing, as provided in 49 CFR part 382, (2) these drivers 
are subject to the same driver disqualification rules under 49 CFR 
parts 383 and 391 that apply to other CMV drivers in the United States, 
(3) Isuzu shall notify FMCSA in writing if an exempted driver is 
convicted of a disqualifying offense described in sections 383.51 or 
391.15 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR 350 et 
seq.), (4) these drivers must keep, at all times, a copy of the 
exemption with them in the CMV they are driving, and (5) Isuzu must 
notify FMCSA in writing of any accident, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, 
that involves an exempted driver.
    FMCSA will revoke this exemption if: (1) The Isuzu drivers fail to 
comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption, (2) the 
exemption results in a lower level of safety than was maintained before 
it was granted, or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be 
consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136.

VIII. Preemption

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(d), as implemented by 49 CFR 
381.600, during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall 
enforce any law or regulation applicable to interstate or intrastate 
commerce that conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption 
with respect to a firm or person operating under the exemption.

    Issued on: February 13, 2019.
Raymond P. Martinez,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2019-02950 Filed 2-20-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P