Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance; Periodic Inspection of Commercial Motor Vehicles; Acceptance of Mexico's NOM-068-SCT-2-2014 Inspection Program
The FMCSA announces its acceptance of the Norma Oficial Mexicana ((NOM) or Official Mexican Standard) concerning the periodic inspection (PI) of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The Agency has reviewed NOM-068-SCT-2-2014 (NOM 68) and determined that it should be added to the list of programs which are comparable to, or as effective as, the Federal PI requirements contained in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). FMCSA's acceptance of NOM 68 means that Mexico-domiciled motor carriers operating in the United States must ensure that their CMVs are inspected annually as required by the Secretar[iacute]a de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT). The motor carrier must retain a copy of the inspection report and a sticker/decal must be affixed to the vehicle in order to satisfy the PI requirements in the United States. These motor carriers will no longer have the option of relying on their employees to conduct inspections of the CMVs the carrier controls, using commercial garages for such inspections, or passing a roadside inspection based on criteria published by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) to comply with the periodic inspection requirements at 49 CFR part 396.
Lease and Interchange of Vehicles; Motor Carriers of Passengers
FMCSA extends the compliance date by which motor carriers of passengers operating CMVs under a lease or interchange agreement are subject to the FMCSA final rule published May 27, 2015, for one year, to January 1, 2018. The Agency received numerous petitions for reconsideration of the final rule and based upon a review of the petitions, determined that the compliance date should be extended to provide sufficient time to address the issues raised by the petitioners. The Agency is adding a temporary section to its regulations to inform the public of this extension. There will no longer be a need for the section on the compliance date after January 1, 2018, thus the temporary section will be in effect only from March 16, 2016 through January 1, 2018.
Potential Benefits and Feasibility of Voluntary Compliance; Public Listening Sessions
FMCSA announces two public listening sessions, on April 1 and 25, 2016, to solicit information on the potential benefits and feasibility of voluntary compliance and ways to credit carriers and drivers who initiate and establish programs that promote safety beyond the standards established in FMCSA regulations. The recently enacted Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act mandates that the FMCSA Administrator allow recognition for a motor carrier that installs advanced safety equipment, enhanced driver fitness measures, fleet safety management tools, technologies, and programs and other standards for use by motor carriers to receive recognition, including credit or an improved Safety Measurement System (SMS) percentile. FMCSA is soliciting comments to develop a process for identifying and reviewing these opportunities to provide credit to those carriers and drivers who go above and beyond the regulatory requirements. The listening sessions are intended to provide interested parties with an opportunity to share their views on this topic with Agency representatives, along with any data or analysis they may have. All comments will be transcribed and placed in the docket referenced above for FMCSA's consideration. The entire proceedings of both meetings will be webcast.
Commercial Driver's License Requirements of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act and the Military Commercial Driver's License Act of 2012
FMCSA proposes amendments to its Commercial Driver's License (CDL) regulations that would ease the transition of military personnel into civilian careers in the truck and bus industry by simplifying the process of getting a commercial learner's permit (CLP) or CDL. This rulemaking would extend the time period for applying for a skills test waiver from 90 days to 1 year after leaving a military position requiring the operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). This rulemaking also would allow States to accept applications and administer the written and skills tests for a CLP or CDL from active duty military personnel who are stationed in that State. States that choose to accept such applications would be required to transmit the test results electronically to the State of domicile of the military personnel. The State of domicile would be required to issue the CDL or CLP on the basis of those results.
Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association
FMCSA requests public comment on an application for exemption from the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA) to allow GLTPA motor carriers in Wisconsin to use cargo securement methods that do not comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for securing shortwood logs transported lengthwise in crib- type vehicles that have been modified or manufactured without front structures, rear structures, or which have a center-mounted crane for loading and unloading. The GLTPA and the Wisconsin State Patrol Motor Carrier Enforcement Section partnered to conduct cargo securement testing on stacks of shortwood logs in a crib-type vehicle using different tiedown configurations. Based on this testing, GLTPA believes that the alternative cargo securement methods for securing shortwood logs loaded lengthwise proposed in its application will maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption. The GLTPA is requesting this temporary exemption in advance of petitioning FMCSA to conduct a rulemaking to amend 49 CFR 393.116.
Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Renewal of Illumination Fireworks, LLC and ACE Pyro, LLC Exemptions From the 14-Hour Rule During Independence Day Celebrations
FMCSA announces that it has received an application from Illumination Fireworks, LLC and ACE Pyro, LLC (applicants) for a renewal of their exemption from the requirement that drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) must not drive following the 14th hour after coming on duty. The applicants requested the exemption for the period of June 28-July 8, for the next five years (2016-2020) inclusive. The applicants were previously granted an exemption for drivers of 50 CMVs during the Independence Day period of June 28, 2015- July 8, 2015. The exemption would apply solely to the operation of drivers of 50 CMVs employed by the applicants in conjunction with staging fireworks shows celebrating Independence Day during the proposed periods. During these periods, the CMV drivers employed by the applicants would be allowed to exclude off-duty and sleeper-berth time of any length from the calculation of the 14 hours. These drivers would not be allowed to drive after accumulating a total of 14 hours of on- duty time, following 10 consecutive hours off duty, and would continue to be subject to the 11-hour driving time limit, and the 60- and 70- hour on-duty limits. The applicants maintain that the terms and conditions of the limited exemption would ensure a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety achieved without the exemption.
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes
FMCSA announces its decision to renew the exemptions of 99 individuals from its rule prohibiting persons with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) from operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. FMCSA has statutory authority to exempt individuals from this rule if the exemptions granted will not compromise safety. The Agency has concluded that granting these exemption renewals will provide a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level of safety maintained without the exemptions for these CMV drivers.
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes Mellitus
FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 74 individuals for exemption 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 CMVs in interstate commerce.
Hours of Service of Drivers: National Star Route Mail Contractors Association; Application for Exemption
FMCSA announces that it has denied the National Star Route Mail Contractors Association (NSRMCA) application to exempt its contract carrier members from the ``14-hour rule'' of the Agency's hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. NSRMCA requested that a driver of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) transporting U.S. mail be allowed to follow an alternative HOS regimen consisting of no more than 10 hours of driving following 8 consecutive hours off duty; the driver would also be prohibited from driving after having been on duty for 15 non- consecutive hours following 8 consecutive hours off duty. FMCSA reviewed NSRMCA's application and the public comments received, and denied the application because available information did not allow the Agency to conclude that the proposed exemption would achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained absent the exemption.
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision
FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 30 individuals for exemption from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. They are unable to meet the vision requirement in one eye for various reasons. The exemptions will enable these individuals to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce without meeting the prescribed vision requirement in one eye. If granted, the exemptions would enable these individuals to qualify as drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce.
Hours of Service of Drivers: Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association; Application for Exemption
FMCSA announces that it has received an application from the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) seeking exemption from two provisions of the Agency's hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. SC&RA asks that motor carriers and drivers operating mobile cranes with a rated lifting capacity of greater than 30 tons be exempted from the 30-minute break requirement and the 14-hour rule. SC&RA believes that these two HOS rules uniquely affect the operational efficiency of these crane operations and unnecessarily place the driver and public at risk. FMCSA requests public comment on SC&RA's application for exemption.
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes Mellitus
FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 68 individuals for exemption 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 CMVs in interstate commerce.