Commercial Driver's License Standards; Application for Exemption; Volvo Trucks North America, Inc
The FMCSA announces that Volvo Trucks North America, Inc. (Volvo) has applied for an exemption from the Federal requirement that drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) have a commercial driver's license (CDL). Volvo requests that the exemption cover three Swedish engineers who will test-drive CMVs for Volvo within the United States. Each of the three Volvo employees currently holds a Swedish CDL. Volvo states that it requests the exemption to support Volvo field tests on future air-quality standards and to evaluate the performance of Volvo vehicles in ``real world'' environments.
Requirements for Intermodal Equipment Providers and Motor Carriers and Drivers Operating Intermodal Equipment
FMCSA proposes regulations for entities offering intermodal chassis to motor carriers for transportation of intermodal containers in interstate commerce. As mandated by section 4118 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), this rulemaking would require intermodal equipment providers (IEPs) to register and file with FMCSA an Intermodal Equipment Provider Identification Report (Form MCS-150C); display the USDOT Number, or other unique identifier, on each intermodal container chassis offered for transportation in interstate commerce; establish a systematic inspection, repair, and maintenance program to ensure the safe operating condition of each intermodal container chassis; maintain documentation of the program; and provide a means to effectively respond to driver and motor carrier reports about intermodal container chassis mechanical defects and deficiencies. The proposed regulations would for the first time make IEPs subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The agency is also proposing additional inspection requirements for motor carriers and drivers operating intermodal equipment. The intent of this rulemaking is to ensure that intermodal equipment used to transport intermodal containers is safe and systematically maintained. Improved maintenance is expected to result in fewer out-of-service orders and highway breakdowns involving intermodal chassis and improved efficiency of the Nation's intermodal transportation system. To whatever extent inadequately maintained intermodal chassis are responsible for, or contribute to, crashes, this proposal would also help to ensure that commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operations are safer.
New Entrant Safety Assurance Process
FMCSA proposes changes to the New Entrant Safety Assurance Process that would raise the standard of compliance for passing the new entrant safety audit. The agency has identified 11 regulations that it believes are essential elements of basic safety management controls necessary to operate in interstate commerce and proposes that failure to comply with any one of the 11 regulations would result in automatic failure of the audit. Under this proposal, carriers would also be subject to the current safety audit evaluation criteria in Appendix A of part 385. Additionally, if a roadside inspection discloses certain violations, the new entrant would be subject to expedited actions to correct these deficiencies. The agency proposes to eliminate Form MCS- 150ASafety Certification for Application for USDOT Number. The agency also intends to check compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and certain household goods-related requirements in the new entrant safety audit, if they apply to the new entrant's operation. However, failure to comply with these requirements would not impact the outcome of the safety audit. These changes would not impose additional operational requirements on any new entrant carrier. All new entrants would continue to receive educational information on how to comply with the safety regulations and be given an opportunity to correct any deficiencies found. FMCSA recognizes many new entrants are small businesses that are unaware of these requirements and continue to need the agency's assistance. Finally, FMCSA would make clarifying changes to some of the existing new entrant regulations and establish a separate new entrant application procedure and safety oversight program for non-North America-domiciled motor carriers. FMCSA believes this proposal would improve its ability to identify at-risk new entrant carriers and ensure deficiencies in basic safety management controls are corrected before the new entrant is granted permanent registration.
Solicitation of Applications for Fiscal Year (FY) 2007, Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Operator Safety Training Grant Opportunity
FMCSA announces that it has published an opportunity to apply for FY 2007 CMV Operator Safety Training Grant Opportunity funding on the grants.gov Web site (http://www.grants.gov). Section 4134 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy For Users (SAFETEA-LU) establishes the CMV Operator Safety Training Grant Opportunity program. The legislation requires grant recipients to train drivers and future drivers in the safe operation of CMVs, as defined in Section 31301 of Title 49, United States Code. Priority will be given to regional or multi-state educational or nonprofit associations serving economically distressed regions of the United States. Eligible awardees also can include State governments, local governments, and accredited post-secondary educational institutions (public or private) such as colleges, universities, vocational-technical schools and truck driver training schools. To apply for funding, applicants must be registered with grants.gov. Registration with grants.gov may take two to five days before the system will allow you to apply for grants using the grants.gov Web site (http://www.grants.gov/applicants/getregistered.jsp). Submit application in accordance with the instructions provided. Applications for grant funding must be submitted electronically to the FMCSA through the grants.gov Web site. The CFDA number for MCSAP is 20.235.
Notice of Request for Comments on Renewal of a Currently Approved Information Collection: Financial Responsibility for Motor Carriers of Passengers and Motor Carriers of Property
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FMCSA announces its plan to submit the Information Collection Request (ICR) described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. This information collection renewal will be used to ensure that motor carriers of property and passengers maintain the appropriate levels of financial responsibility to operate on public highways. The Agency published a Federal Register notice allowing for a 60-day comment period on the ICR in August 2006 (71 FR 48967, Aug. 22, 2006). FMCSA did not receive any comments in response to this notice.
Minimum Levels of Financial Responsibility for Motor Carriers; Petitions for Rulemaking
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announces it is considering whether to amend its financial responsibility requirements for motor carriers in response to two petitions for rulemaking. The Government of Canada (Canada) petitioned FMCSA to amend these requirements to permit, as acceptable evidence of financial responsibility, a policy of insurance issued by a Canadian insurance company legally authorized to issue such policies in the Province or Territory of Canada where the motor carrier has its principal place of business. Canada believes the FMCSA's current regulations place Canada-domiciled motor carriers operating in the United States at a competitive disadvantage with U.S.-domiciled carriers. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) petitioned FMCSA to make revisions to the MCS-90 and MCS-90B endorsements to clarify that language in the endorsements imposing liability for negligence occurring ``on any route or in any territory authorized to be served by the insured or elsewhere'' does not include liability connected with transportation within Mexico. FMCSA seeks input from the public in the form of data or other information in response to several questions posed in the ANPRM to assist the Agency in evaluating these proposals.
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes
FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 66 individuals for exemptions from the prohibition against persons with insulin- treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. If granted, the exemptions would enable these individuals with ITDM to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Request for Comments; Notice of Intent To Survey Motor Carriers Operating Small Passenger-Carrying Commercial Motor Vehicles
The FMCSA invites comments about its plan to request the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval of a new information collection (IC). FMCSA intends to sponsor this new information collection by use of a research contractor to conduct a survey of motor carriers who operate small passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The data collected would assist FMCSA with outreach initiatives to these motor carriers of passengers, some of which will be brought within the scope of FMCSA safety regulation by recent statutory changes. This notice is required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Establishment of the Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Advisory Committee
The FMCSA announces establishment of the Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Advisory Committee. Section 4135 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) requires creation of a ``task force'' to study and address current impediments and foreseeable challenges to the CDL Program's effectiveness and measures needed to realize the full safety potential of the Program. The FMCSA is chartering an advisory committee under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) to satisfy this SAFETEA-LU requirement. This Notice provides background and details about the purpose and functions of the CDL Advisory Committee, in accordance with FACA, and discusses the issues the CDL Advisory Committee will study and address. The Secretary of Transportation will appoint to the CDL Advisory Committee 15 individuals, representing stakeholders. The CDL Advisory Committee will begin work by the end of calendar year 2006.