Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From the Entertainer Motorcoach Council
FMCSA requests public comment on an application for exemption from the Entertainer Motorcoach Council (EMC) to allow its members to operate certain vehicles that do not meet the emergency exit requirements in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The FMCSRs require buses with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds, manufactured on or after September 1, 1994, to meet the emergency exit requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 217, ``Bus Emergency exits and window retention and release'' in effect on the date of manufacture. FMVSS No. 217 requires side exits and at least one rear exit, but when the bus configuration precludes installation of an accessible rear exit, a roof exit is required in the rear half of the bus to provide a means of egress when the bus is overturned on either side. EMC believes that while certain ``Entertainer Coaches'' do not have a rear or roof exit, the emergency exit windows at the rear sides of the vehicle that open manually and provide openings large enough to admit unobstructed passage provide an equivalent level of safety.
Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; American Trucking Associations, Inc.
FMCSA announces that the American Trucking Associations, Inc. (ATA) has applied for an exemption from the Federal hours-of-service (HOS) regulations that prohibit commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers from driving a CMV if more than 8 consecutive hours have passed since the driver's last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of 30 minutes or more. ATA is requesting the exemption on behalf of all motor carriers that transport hazardous materials (HM) shipments requiring security plans under regulations of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). These plans normally require a driver to ``attend'' such cargo while the CMV is stopped, which would be an on- duty activity. This forces drivers to choose between FMCSA's off-duty rest break requirement and compliance with PHMSA's security plans, many of include an on-duty ``attendance'' requirement. ATA proposes that drivers transporting HM for motor carriers required to file security plans be allowed to count their on-duty ``attendance'' time for any HM cargo toward the required 30-minute rest break requirement, provided the drivers perform no other on-duty activity. The exemption would thus resemble Section 397.7, which requires drivers transporting certain explosives constantly to ``attend'' their load, while Section 395.1(q) allows them to count ``attendance'' time toward their rest break. FMCSA requests public comments on the request for exemption.