Entry-Level Driver Training: United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS); Application for Exemption, 67337-67339 [2019-26183]

Download as PDF khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 236 / Monday, December 9, 2019 / Notices Flight Bags (EFB), Flight Information Services-Broadcast (FIS-B), or similar digital products. Commenters cited costs, aging aircraft, and lack of infrastructure as reasons to retain the broadcast. FAA air traffic controllers (ATC) will continue to advise pilots of hazardous weather that may affect operations within 150 nautical miles of their sector or area of jurisdiction. Hazardous weather information includes Airmen’s Meteorological Information (AIRMET), Significant Meteorological Information (SIGMET), Convective SIGMET (WST), Urgent Pilot Reports (UUA), and Center Weather Advisories (CWA). ATC will also direct pilots to contact a Flight Service Specialist through an air-toground radio frequency if they need additional information. A number of commenters, including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), cited safety concerns with the removal of this service because pilots may unexpectedly encounter hazardous weather and have no other means to obtain the information. In addition, AOPA surveys indicated that a small segment of pilots rely on HIWAS to satisfy their need for adverse weather information while en route. The FAA instituted FIS–B as a replacement for this legacy system that provides a range of aeronautical information products and often in a graphical format, which is not available via HIWAS. For pilots who choose not to equip their aircraft with this new technology, as noted earlier, a Flight Service Specialist is still available over a radio outlet. A Safety Risk Management Panel was held on February 26, 2019 to review this proposal and address the concerns raised by stakeholders.1 The panel consisted of representatives throughout the FAA and industry, including AOPA. The panel reviewed all comments noted above and the participants were unanimous in their opinion that removing the legacy service would not add any additional risk to the National Airspace System. To the extent that AOPA expressed concerns that FAA should update its guidance material to address the discontinuance of HIWAS, the FAA notes that all FAA documents, exams, and orders will be updated to reflect this change. The FAA published articles and safety team emails to inform pilots of this change and will issue Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) for every outlet where the service is to be discontinued 1 The SRMP was held after the close of the comment period to address concerns raised by commenters. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:22 Dec 06, 2019 Jkt 250001 prior to removal from the charts and other publications. Final Decision In accordance with the above, the FAA will discontinue the Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory Service in the contiguous United States, effective January 8, 2020. As part of FAA efforts to modernize and streamline service delivery, the agency will discontinue the Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory Service. The FAA will issue Notices to Airmen (NOTAM) and conduct outreach to inform pilots that the service is no longer available. Issued in Washington, DC, on: December 3, 2019. Steven Villanueva, Flight Service Director, Federal Aviation Administration. [FR Doc. 2019–26386 Filed 12–6–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0139] Entry-Level Driver Training: United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS); Application for Exemption Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition; denial of exemption. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to deny United Parcel Service, Inc.’s (UPS) application for exemption from two provisions in the entry-level driver training (ELDT) final rule published on December 8, 2016. UPS requests a five-year exemption from the following provisions in the ELDT final rule: The requirement that a driver training instructor hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and have two years’ experience driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), as set forth in the definitions of ‘‘behind-the-wheel (BTW) instructor’’ and ‘‘theory instructor;’’ and the requirement to register each training location in order to obtain a unique Training Provider Registry (TPR) number applicable to that location. FMCSA has analyzed the exemption application and the public comments and determined that the applicant has not demonstrated that it would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent the requested exemptions. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67337 Mr. Richard Clemente, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Telephone: 202–366–4325; Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services at (202) 366– 9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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–2019–0139 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 (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 provide an opportunity for public comment on the request. The Agency reviews the 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 Agency’s decision 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 specify the effective period (up to 5 years) and explain its terms and conditions. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)). III. Request for Exemption United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) seeks an exemption from the following E:\FR\FM\09DEN1.SGM 09DEN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 67338 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 236 / Monday, December 9, 2019 / Notices two provisions in the entry-level driver training (ELDT) final rule: (1) The requirement in 49 CFR 380.713 that a driver training instructor hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and have two years’ experience driving a CMV, as set forth in the definitions of ‘‘behind-the-wheel (BTW) instructor’’ and ‘‘theory instructor’’ in 49 CFR 380.605; and (2) the requirement in 49 CFR 380.703(a)(7) that training providers with multiple training locations must register each training location in order to receive a unique Training Provider Registry (TPR) number applicable to that location. UPS states that its driver training school (DTS) trains its employees to become driver instructors. Their DTS instructors have, on average, 20 years of UPS experience, hold a CDL of the same or higher class, and have all endorsements necessary to operate a CMV for which training is provided; have completed the DTS instructor certification program; have maintained their DTS certification through quarterly additional training; and are employed by UPS as supervisors or managers. The DTS conducts an 8-week program designed to train supervisors and managers in UPS’ long-haul operations to deliver driver training to drivers at UPS worksites. All UPS driver instructors must recertify every 90 days to demonstrate the same skill level shown for their original DTS certification. UPS states that, were it to comply with these instructor qualification requirements, it would not be able to use at least 25% of its current certified driver instructors, because they do not have the requisite two years of CMV driving experience. According to UPS, in the next two years that number would likely increase to 50% due to its changing workforce. UPS expects an increase in growth through volume demand, as well as an aging workforce that will lead to retiring CDL drivers and certified driver instructors. Without an exemption from the ELDT instructor requirements, UPS’s inability to use its current driver instructors will impede substantially its ability to meet the demand for new drivers. UPS adds that the exemption is needed to meet contractual requirements, as under its collective bargaining agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Teamsters), six current UPS employees must be provided with a promotion opportunity for every new hire. Secondly, UPS requests an exemption from the requirement in 49 CFR 380.703(a)(7), that training providers with multiple training locations must register each training location to receive VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:22 Dec 06, 2019 Jkt 250001 a unique TPR number applicable to that location. UPS states that new driver training may occur at as many as 1,800 separate locations a year. In each location, instructors who have been trained pursuant to UPS’ DTS program will use a common FMCSR-compliant curriculum developed at a corporate level. UPS’s Director of Driver Training is responsible for UPS’s firm-wide training program, and UPS is operating a single training program in multiple locations. UPS states that this exemption is necessary due to the significant administrative burden that would result if it had to register every UPS location at which a new driver could be trained. Having separate TPR numbers for multiple locations offering essentially the same training could create internal confusion for UPS, drivers, and the Agency. UPS estimates that the cost to register these locations would be ‘‘substantial’’ and that it would incur additional costs to keep track of the various registrations, file updates, and new driver registrations. IV. Public Comments On June 19, 2019, FMCSA published notice of the UPS application for exemption and requested public comment [84 FR 28623]. The Agency received 112 comments, 58 supporting the exemptions and 51 opposing them. Three other commenters had no position either for or against the application and provided no substantive comments. Four organizations opposed the exemptions: The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA); the Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA); Trucker Nation; and the United States Transportation Alliance. OOIDA strongly opposed both portions of the UPS request, stating that ‘‘the ELDT rule sets forth a process for registering training providers that will hold schools and instructors accountable for their performance. If these standards are maintained and enforced, highway safety will unquestionably improve. OOIDA further opposed exempting UPS from the requirement to separately register each training location for a unique TPR number, commenting: ‘‘The Agency also saw no rationale under which motor carrier-operated training schools should be permitted to opt out of the TPR registration requirements based on their size or safety record.’’ CVTA does not believe that UPS should be exempted from the current two-year instructor requirements, nor does it believe that the company should be exempted from registering each individual location where it provides PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 training. While CVTA agrees that the skills needed to effectively teach, versus the skills acquired by driving for two years, are different, they believe the regulation should be uniformly followed by anyone training pre-CDL students. It is CVTA’s belief that, by granting the exemptions, the FMCSA would be setting a bad precedent, and opening the floodgates for exemption requests from other training providers. TruckerNation also opposed both portions of the exemption request, stating that the concerns raised by UPS have been addressed through negotiated rulemaking and the public comment process. TruckerNation asserted that approving this exemption request would contradict the sound decisions previously made in the ELDT final rule and ultimately undermine the goals of ELDT. Fifty-eight individuals supported the UPS application. Most supported only the first part of the exemption request— i.e., the requirement in 49 CFR 380.713 that a driver training instructor hold a CDL and have two years’ CMV driving experience and, as set forth in the definitions of BTW instructor and theory instructor in 49 CFR 380.605. Most of these commenters cited the excellence of the UPS training program and the company’s overall safety record. Many commenters also noted that UPS requires continuous instructor recertification throughout the year, regardless of how long they have held a CDL. V. Method To Ensure an Equivalent Level of Safety UPS states that its ‘‘train the trainer’’ program within its DTS will assure an equivalent level of safety. According to UPS, its DTS produces highly skilled instructors who know how to drive tractor-trailers and how to teach others to operate tractor-trailers in a safe manner. UPS believes that graduates of its DTS training program are better prepared to impart knowledge and skills to new drivers than someone who has had two years of CMV driving experience. According to UPS, experience over time has shown that their instructors produce expertly trained, safe entry-level drivers. All DTS certified driver instructors are recertified every 90 days and UPS conducts periodic (minimum annual) internal quality assessments of the DTS program. As to the training provider registration requirements, UPS assures that the registration requirements will be fulfilled by a single registration for UPS’ driver training program, managed by UPS, if the exemption were granted. E:\FR\FM\09DEN1.SGM 09DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 236 / Monday, December 9, 2019 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES In support of UPS’s request for exemption from the requirement to register each training location separately, the company cites the uniformity of its driver instructor training and the fact that ‘‘a common FMCSR-compliant curriculum has been developed at the corporate level.’’ On that basis, UPS concludes that the objectives of location-specific registration would be satisfied by a single UPS registration. VI. FMCSA Response and Decision FMCSA has evaluated the UPS application and the public comments submitted and hereby denies the requested exemptions. The UPS application does not provide an analysis of the safety impacts the requested exemptions from the ELDT regulations may cause, as required by 49 CFR 381.310(c)(4), and does not explain how the exemptions would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by complying with the current regulations, as required by 49 CFR 381.310(c)(5). The requirement that a driver training instructor hold a CDL, and have either two years’ experience driving a CMV of the same or higher class, or two years’ experience as a BTW CMV instructor, is necessary to establish a sufficient minimum qualification standard for BTW instructors. In the Agency’s judgment, the rigorous instructor training provided by UPS, while laudable, is not a substitute for CMV driving experience. UPS therefore fails to provide an alternative to the instructor requirements likely to ensure an equivalent level of safety, and the request for exemption is hereby denied. The Agency also denies UPS’s request for an exemption from the requirement, as set forth in 49 CFR 380.703(a)(7), that training providers with more than one campus or training location must electronically register each training location to receive a unique TPR number applicable to that location. Qualified training providers are a cornerstone of meaningful ELDT. FMCSA’s ability to readily identify the separate physical locations at which ELDT occurs is a reasonable prerequisite to effective oversight of UPS’s training operations. The Agency needs to know the training location where an individual received ELDT, for example, so that if State-administered skills or knowledge test pass/fail rates appear to be outside the norm for drivers trained at a specific location, FMCSA can follow-up appropriately. In addition, UPS did not explain how a single UPS representative can be directly VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:22 Dec 06, 2019 Jkt 250001 responsible for managing and administering ELDT at all 1,800 locations. It is reasonable to require that the individual actually administering the ELDT program at a given location attest, under penalty of perjury, to compliance with specific training requirements. Further, UPS does not indicate whether the same type of ELDT is conducted at each of its 1,800 locations—e.g., do some locations offer only BTW training or only knowledge training? Is specialized knowledge training, such as on hazardous materials, offered at every UPS training location? The types of ELDT offered at each training location is ‘‘key information’’ as defined in 380.719(a)(3)(i), and is necessary for effective regulatory oversight. For example, the extent of training offered at a specific location may impact how FMCSA allocates its audit or investigation resources. UPS’s application does not explain how dispensing with the location-specific TPR registration requirement would likely achieve an equivalent level of safety. Therefore, the UPS request for exemption from the TPR registration requirement is hereby denied. Issued on: November 26, 2019. Jim Mullen, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. 2019–26183 Filed 12–6–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900–NEW] Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Environmental Hazards Registry (EHR) Worksheet (VA Form 10–10176) Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, this notice announces that the Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, will submit the collection of information abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The PRA submission describes the nature of the information collection and its expected cost and burden, and it includes the actual data collection instrument. DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before January 8, 2020. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67339 Submit written comments on the collection of information through www.Regulations.gov, or to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attn: VA Desk Officer; 725 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20503 or sent through electronic mail to oira_submission@ omb.eop.gov. Please refer to ‘‘OMB Control No. 2900–NEW’’ in any correspondence. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Danny S. Green, Office of Quality, Performance and Risk (OQPR), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20420, (202) 421–1354 or email danny.green2@va.gov Please refer to ‘‘OMB Control No. 2900–NEW’’ in any correspondence. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501–21. Title: Environmental Hazards Registry (EHR) Worksheet (VA Form 10–10176) OMB Control Number: 2900–NEW. Type of Review: New collection. Abstract: Legal authority for this data collection is found under the following Congressional mandates that authorize the collection of data that will allow measurement and evaluation of the Department of Veterans Affairs Programs, the goal of which is improved health care for Veterans. • Agent Orange Registry: Public Laws 102–4, 102–585 Section 703,100–687 and 38 United States Code (U.S.C.) 527, 38 U.S.C. 1116. • Gulf War Registry: Public Laws 102–585, 103–446 and 38 U.S.C. 1117. • Ionizing Radiation: Public Laws 102–585 Section 703, 100–687 and 38 U.S.C. 527, 38 U.S.C. 1116. The new Environmental Health Registry (EHR) Worksheet, VA Form 10– 10176, supersedes VA Form 10–9009 (June 2005), VA Form 10–9009A (March 2010) and VA Form 10–0020A (June 2005). Post Deployment Health Services (PDHS) plans to have this form electronically accessible to Environmental Health Coordinators and Clinicians once the EHR is in place. Until then, PDHS requests to consolidate 3 existing forms into one comprehensive form. Currently, VA is exploring the performance of limited registry examinations via telemedicine, in order to reduce Veterans’ need to travel and potentially reduce waiting times for exams. The form information would be the same, and otherwise the process to collect and put data into the registry database will not change. Once the exam template is available, it can be used to import information more seamlessly into the Veteran patient record. ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\09DEN1.SGM 09DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 236 (Monday, December 9, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67337-67339]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-26183]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2019-0139]


Entry-Level Driver Training: United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS); 
Application for Exemption

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition; denial of exemption.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to deny United Parcel Service, 
Inc.'s (UPS) application for exemption from two provisions in the 
entry-level driver training (ELDT) final rule published on December 8, 
2016. UPS requests a five-year exemption from the following provisions 
in the ELDT final rule: The requirement that a driver training 
instructor hold a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and have two years' 
experience driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), as set forth in 
the definitions of ``behind-the-wheel (BTW) instructor'' and ``theory 
instructor;'' and the requirement to register each training location in 
order to obtain a unique Training Provider Registry (TPR) number 
applicable to that location. FMCSA has analyzed the exemption 
application and the public comments and determined that the applicant 
has not demonstrated that it would likely achieve a level of safety 
that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be 
achieved absent the requested exemptions.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Richard Clemente, FMCSA Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division; Telephone: 202-366-4325; Email: 
[email protected]. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material 
to the docket, contact Docket Services at (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-2019-0139 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 
(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 provide an opportunity for public comment on the 
request.
    The Agency reviews the 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 
Agency's decision 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 specify the effective period (up to 5 years) 
and explain its terms and conditions. The exemption may be renewed (49 
CFR 381.300(b)).

III. Request for Exemption

    United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) seeks an exemption from the 
following

[[Page 67338]]

two provisions in the entry-level driver training (ELDT) final rule: 
(1) The requirement in 49 CFR 380.713 that a driver training instructor 
hold a commercial driver's license (CDL) and have two years' experience 
driving a CMV, as set forth in the definitions of ``behind-the-wheel 
(BTW) instructor'' and ``theory instructor'' in 49 CFR 380.605; and (2) 
the requirement in 49 CFR 380.703(a)(7) that training providers with 
multiple training locations must register each training location in 
order to receive a unique Training Provider Registry (TPR) number 
applicable to that location.
    UPS states that its driver training school (DTS) trains its 
employees to become driver instructors. Their DTS instructors have, on 
average, 20 years of UPS experience, hold a CDL of the same or higher 
class, and have all endorsements necessary to operate a CMV for which 
training is provided; have completed the DTS instructor certification 
program; have maintained their DTS certification through quarterly 
additional training; and are employed by UPS as supervisors or 
managers. The DTS conducts an 8-week program designed to train 
supervisors and managers in UPS' long-haul operations to deliver driver 
training to drivers at UPS worksites. All UPS driver instructors must 
recertify every 90 days to demonstrate the same skill level shown for 
their original DTS certification.
    UPS states that, were it to comply with these instructor 
qualification requirements, it would not be able to use at least 25% of 
its current certified driver instructors, because they do not have the 
requisite two years of CMV driving experience. According to UPS, in the 
next two years that number would likely increase to 50% due to its 
changing workforce. UPS expects an increase in growth through volume 
demand, as well as an aging workforce that will lead to retiring CDL 
drivers and certified driver instructors. Without an exemption from the 
ELDT instructor requirements, UPS's inability to use its current driver 
instructors will impede substantially its ability to meet the demand 
for new drivers. UPS adds that the exemption is needed to meet 
contractual requirements, as under its collective bargaining agreement 
with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Teamsters), six 
current UPS employees must be provided with a promotion opportunity for 
every new hire.
    Secondly, UPS requests an exemption from the requirement in 49 CFR 
380.703(a)(7), that training providers with multiple training locations 
must register each training location to receive a unique TPR number 
applicable to that location. UPS states that new driver training may 
occur at as many as 1,800 separate locations a year. In each location, 
instructors who have been trained pursuant to UPS' DTS program will use 
a common FMCSR-compliant curriculum developed at a corporate level. 
UPS's Director of Driver Training is responsible for UPS's firm-wide 
training program, and UPS is operating a single training program in 
multiple locations. UPS states that this exemption is necessary due to 
the significant administrative burden that would result if it had to 
register every UPS location at which a new driver could be trained. 
Having separate TPR numbers for multiple locations offering essentially 
the same training could create internal confusion for UPS, drivers, and 
the Agency. UPS estimates that the cost to register these locations 
would be ``substantial'' and that it would incur additional costs to 
keep track of the various registrations, file updates, and new driver 
registrations.

IV. Public Comments

    On June 19, 2019, FMCSA published notice of the UPS application for 
exemption and requested public comment [84 FR 28623]. The Agency 
received 112 comments, 58 supporting the exemptions and 51 opposing 
them. Three other commenters had no position either for or against the 
application and provided no substantive comments. Four organizations 
opposed the exemptions: The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers 
Association (OOIDA); the Commercial Vehicle Training Association 
(CVTA); Trucker Nation; and the United States Transportation Alliance.
    OOIDA strongly opposed both portions of the UPS request, stating 
that ``the ELDT rule sets forth a process for registering training 
providers that will hold schools and instructors accountable for their 
performance. If these standards are maintained and enforced, highway 
safety will unquestionably improve. OOIDA further opposed exempting UPS 
from the requirement to separately register each training location for 
a unique TPR number, commenting: ``The Agency also saw no rationale 
under which motor carrier-operated training schools should be permitted 
to opt out of the TPR registration requirements based on their size or 
safety record.''
    CVTA does not believe that UPS should be exempted from the current 
two-year instructor requirements, nor does it believe that the company 
should be exempted from registering each individual location where it 
provides training. While CVTA agrees that the skills needed to 
effectively teach, versus the skills acquired by driving for two years, 
are different, they believe the regulation should be uniformly followed 
by anyone training pre-CDL students. It is CVTA's belief that, by 
granting the exemptions, the FMCSA would be setting a bad precedent, 
and opening the floodgates for exemption requests from other training 
providers.
    TruckerNation also opposed both portions of the exemption request, 
stating that the concerns raised by UPS have been addressed through 
negotiated rulemaking and the public comment process. TruckerNation 
asserted that approving this exemption request would contradict the 
sound decisions previously made in the ELDT final rule and ultimately 
undermine the goals of ELDT.
    Fifty-eight individuals supported the UPS application. Most 
supported only the first part of the exemption request--i.e., the 
requirement in 49 CFR 380.713 that a driver training instructor hold a 
CDL and have two years' CMV driving experience and, as set forth in the 
definitions of BTW instructor and theory instructor in 49 CFR 380.605. 
Most of these commenters cited the excellence of the UPS training 
program and the company's overall safety record. Many commenters also 
noted that UPS requires continuous instructor recertification 
throughout the year, regardless of how long they have held a CDL.

V. Method To Ensure an Equivalent Level of Safety

    UPS states that its ``train the trainer'' program within its DTS 
will assure an equivalent level of safety. According to UPS, its DTS 
produces highly skilled instructors who know how to drive tractor-
trailers and how to teach others to operate tractor-trailers in a safe 
manner. UPS believes that graduates of its DTS training program are 
better prepared to impart knowledge and skills to new drivers than 
someone who has had two years of CMV driving experience. According to 
UPS, experience over time has shown that their instructors produce 
expertly trained, safe entry-level drivers. All DTS certified driver 
instructors are re-certified every 90 days and UPS conducts periodic 
(minimum annual) internal quality assessments of the DTS program. As to 
the training provider registration requirements, UPS assures that the 
registration requirements will be fulfilled by a single registration 
for UPS' driver training program, managed by UPS, if the exemption were 
granted.

[[Page 67339]]

    In support of UPS's request for exemption from the requirement to 
register each training location separately, the company cites the 
uniformity of its driver instructor training and the fact that ``a 
common FMCSR-compliant curriculum has been developed at the corporate 
level.'' On that basis, UPS concludes that the objectives of location-
specific registration would be satisfied by a single UPS registration.

VI. FMCSA Response and Decision

    FMCSA has evaluated the UPS application and the public comments 
submitted and hereby denies the requested exemptions. The UPS 
application does not provide an analysis of the safety impacts the 
requested exemptions from the ELDT regulations may cause, as required 
by 49 CFR 381.310(c)(4), and does not explain how the exemptions would 
likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the 
level that would be achieved by complying with the current regulations, 
as required by 49 CFR 381.310(c)(5).
    The requirement that a driver training instructor hold a CDL, and 
have either two years' experience driving a CMV of the same or higher 
class, or two years' experience as a BTW CMV instructor, is necessary 
to establish a sufficient minimum qualification standard for BTW 
instructors. In the Agency's judgment, the rigorous instructor training 
provided by UPS, while laudable, is not a substitute for CMV driving 
experience. UPS therefore fails to provide an alternative to the 
instructor requirements likely to ensure an equivalent level of safety, 
and the request for exemption is hereby denied.
    The Agency also denies UPS's request for an exemption from the 
requirement, as set forth in 49 CFR 380.703(a)(7), that training 
providers with more than one campus or training location must 
electronically register each training location to receive a unique TPR 
number applicable to that location. Qualified training providers are a 
cornerstone of meaningful ELDT. FMCSA's ability to readily identify the 
separate physical locations at which ELDT occurs is a reasonable 
prerequisite to effective oversight of UPS's training operations. The 
Agency needs to know the training location where an individual received 
ELDT, for example, so that if State-administered skills or knowledge 
test pass/fail rates appear to be outside the norm for drivers trained 
at a specific location, FMCSA can follow-up appropriately. In addition, 
UPS did not explain how a single UPS representative can be directly 
responsible for managing and administering ELDT at all 1,800 locations. 
It is reasonable to require that the individual actually administering 
the ELDT program at a given location attest, under penalty of perjury, 
to compliance with specific training requirements. Further, UPS does 
not indicate whether the same type of ELDT is conducted at each of its 
1,800 locations--e.g., do some locations offer only BTW training or 
only knowledge training? Is specialized knowledge training, such as on 
hazardous materials, offered at every UPS training location? The types 
of ELDT offered at each training location is ``key information'' as 
defined in 380.719(a)(3)(i), and is necessary for effective regulatory 
oversight. For example, the extent of training offered at a specific 
location may impact how FMCSA allocates its audit or investigation 
resources. UPS's application does not explain how dispensing with the 
location-specific TPR registration requirement would likely achieve an 
equivalent level of safety. Therefore, the UPS request for exemption 
from the TPR registration requirement is hereby denied.

    Issued on: November 26, 2019.
Jim Mullen,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2019-26183 Filed 12-6-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P