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Agency Information Collection Activities; New Information Collection Request: The Impact of Driver Compensation on Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Agency Information Collection Activities; New Information Collection Request: The Impact of Driver Compensation on Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety

G. Kelly Regal
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
February 4, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 23 (Wednesday, February 4, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 6159-6161]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-02136]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0325]


Agency Information Collection Activities; New Information 
Collection Request: The Impact of Driver Compensation on Commercial 
Motor Vehicle Safety

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

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: 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. The FMCSA requests approval of a new ICR titled, ``The 
Impact of Driver Compensation on Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety,'' to 
assess the current compensation practices of commercial vehicle drivers 
and the potential influence this may have on safe commercial vehicle 
operations.

DATES: Please send your comments by March 6, 2015. OMB must receive 
your comments by this date in order to act quickly on the ICR.

ADDRESSES: All comments should reference Federal Docket Management 
System (FDMS) Docket Number FMCSA-2014-0325. Interested persons are 
invited to submit written comments on the proposed information 
collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office 
of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the attention 
of the Desk Officer, Department of Transportation/Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Administration, and sent via electronic mail to 
oira_submission@omb.eop.gov, or faxed to (202) 395-6974, or mailed to 
the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management 
and Budget, Docket Library, Room 10102, 725 17th Street, NW., 
Washington, DC 20503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Theresa Hallquist, Analysis, 
Research and Technology Division, Department of Transportation, FMCSA, 
West Building 6th Floor, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 
20590. Telephone: 202-366-1064; email: theresa.hallquist@dot.gov. 
Office hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal Holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Title: The Impact of Driver Compensation on Commercial Motor 
Vehicle Safety.
    OMB Control Number: 21XX-00XX.
    Type of Request: New information collection.
    Respondents: Safety Managers, Operations Managers or Owner 
Operators of commercial motor carriers companies.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 2184.
    Estimated Time per Response: Minimum response = 0.27; Maximum 
response = 1.02 hours.
    Expiration Date: N/A. This is a new information collection.
    Frequency of Response: One questionnaire per participant.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 1343 hours (Group 1 is defined as 
very small and small carriers and Group 2 is defined as medium and 
large carriers. (1164 Group 1 respondents x 0.27 hours = 303 hours) + 
(1020 Group 2 respondents x 1.02 hours = 1,040 hours)).
    Background: The study will evaluate the relationship between 
property carrying motor carriers compensation methods and incidences of 
unsafe driving. In particular, the research team will determine if 
there is a potential relationship between method of driver compensation 
and safe driving behavior. This study will be conducted using an online 
questionnaire. Randomly selected non-passenger motor carriers will be 
notified by letter from the FMCSA that explains the study and elicits 
their participation. Participants will receive an email directing them 
to a Web site to complete the online questionnaire. This study will 
assist motor carriers and other stakeholders engaged in commercial 
vehicle safety by enabling them to make informed decisions regarding 
driver compensation as it relates to safe driving performance. The form 
MCSA-5887 will be used in an electronic format on the web to collect 
responses from study participants. The results of the study will be 
available to the public in 2015 and will be published on the FMCSA 
publications and reports Web site, www.fmcsa.dot.gov. No physical or 
psychological risks to individuals are anticipated as a result of the 
study, nor are risks to personally identifiable information.
    Comments From the Public: On August 29, 2014, FMCSA published a 
Federal Register notice (79 FR 51638) allowing for a 60-day comment 
period on this ICR. The Agency received forty-seven (47) unique public 
comments which have been reviewed and grouped by common themes. Note 
that there are 49 comments indicated for the notice. Two of these 
comments are duplicate postings. Some comments addressed multiple 
themes but are grouped here only by their primary theme. These themes 
and the FMCSA responses are included below. Formal comments were 
received from the following organizations: the American Trucking 
Associations; Road Safe America; the AFL-CIO Amalgamated Transit Union; 
the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department; and the Owner-Operator 
Independent Driver Association. The FMCSA has responded in kind to 
these organizations with formal and direct communication; however, in 
addition, these comments have been assessed for common themes and are 
reflected in the

[[Page 6160]]

agency's responses below along with the entirety of the public 
comments. The full analysis of the public comments and their subsequent 
responses are illustrated in a document titled, 
FMCSA_Response_To_FRN2014-0325, which can be accessed and viewed in the 
supplemental section for this notice.
    The FMSCA responses to the public comments are as follows:
    Theme: Total compensation influences driver safety.
    FMCSA Response: There could be many factors that influence safe 
driving performance. Fatigue, as you point out is most certainly one of 
them as past research has shown. Although this research will focus on 
possible relationships between the various methods of compensating 
truck drivers and unsafe driving practices, data will be collected on 
total compensation allowing this variable to be assessed for influence 
on safe driving performance as well.
    Theme: Hourly pay is the best method of compensation to influence 
safe driving behavior.
    FMCSA Response: The proposed study will assess any relationship 
between all of the collected compensation methods and safe driving 
behavior. The study will address hourly pay as well as others to 
determine if a relationship between compensation method and unsafe 
driver behaviors exists.
    Theme: Pay by the mile/load compensation methods lead to unsafe 
driving behavior.
    FMCSA Response: The goal of the proposed study is to evaluate all 
compensation methods including pay by the mile or load, but the study 
will not focus on or emphasize one method over another and determine if 
there is any relationship to safe driving behavior.
    Theme: Driver experience, integrity, selection and training are 
factors in safe driving performance.
    FMCSA Response: Driver experience may very well be a relevant 
factor in safe driving performance. The proposed study will solicit 
driver total driving experience as a variable; however, the goal will 
be to assess that factor as it relates to method of compensation. The 
FMCSA may consider specifically studying driver experience, selection 
and training in future research efforts.
    Theme: Drivers should be compensated for ``on-duty not driving 
time'' to reduce fatigue.
    FMCSA Response: This study will solicit information on all of the 
variations in compensation methods for a commercial driver, including 
for on-duty not driving time such as standing, waiting, loading and 
unloading. The goal of this study is to understand all of the elements 
of compensation and determine if there are any common factors that 
influence safe driving performance. Fatigue has been shown to be a 
factor in driver performance and has been linked to crash causation 
through other studies conducted in recent years.
    Theme: Fatigue influences driver safety performance.
    FMCSA Response: Public comments make several points about the Hours 
of Service rules that suggest they enable drivers to drive while 
fatigued. Past studies have shown that fatigue has played a factor in 
crashes. The proposed study does not assess the influence of the Hours 
of Service regulation with regards to safety but will use recent 
violations related to safe driving such as speeding as a measure of 
safe driving behavior.
    Theme: Drivers of non-commercial vehicles should be trained on safe 
interaction with commercial vehicles and should have hours of service 
regulations imposed on their driving behavior.
    FMCSA Response: FMCSA acknowledges the influence that the motoring 
public has on the roadways with regards to integration with commercial 
motor vehicles. To that end, FMCSA is actively engaged in outreach and 
education campaigns such as The No-Zone and Ticketing Aggressive Cars 
and Trucks (TACT) on a national and state level to increase the 
awareness of the public. Given that FMCSA's authority does not extend 
to regulation of the general public, the agency cannot regulate their 
behaviors.
    Theme: The FMCSA should focus its efforts on issues directly 
related to its core mission (to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities 
involving large trucks and buses) and not engage its resources with the 
business relationship between motor carriers and drivers.
    FMCSA Response: The FMCSA strives to pursue its mission using a 
strategic approach that not only includes enhancing and enforcing the 
Federal Motor Carrier Regulations but also reducing the number and 
severity of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes and enhancing the 
efficiency of CMV operations by conducting systematic studies directed 
toward fuller scientific discovery, knowledge, or understanding (FMCSA 
Analysis, Research and Technology Mission Statement). Conducting 
research to understand the nature of an industry or entity and the 
means by which it conducts its business and operations is at the heart 
of any safety-conscious work environment including the motor carrier 
industry. The proposed study is within the FMCSA's mission and is in 
the best interests of public safety and the motor carrier industry.
    Theme: The proposed study implies the FMCSA has a predisposition to 
eliminating all forms of pay except hourly.
    FMCSA Response: This study is designed to capture information on 
all methods of pay across the motor carrier industry independent of the 
type of operation and assess its potential relationship to safe driver 
behavior. This research is being conducted to determine whether there 
is a statistical relationship between method of driver compensation and 
safety.
    Theme: The proposed ICR needs to consider additional influential 
variables related to safety performance.
    FMCSA Response: The FMCSA acknowledges that many factors may affect 
safe driving performance such as driver experience, training, type of 
operation, as well as geographic location and so on. This study will 
focus on how compensation of any method or combination affects driver 
safety performance. Future research efforts may focus on other areas of 
carrier operations or driver performance.
    Theme: The FMCSA needs to improve the quality of investigative 
activities to foster safety through compliance.
    FMCSA Response: The proposed study does not address investigative 
activities and their relationship to safe driving behavior but may be 
considered for future research. The FMCSA is continuously improving its 
approach and quality of field activities through policy and training 
efforts.
    Theme: Passenger carrier companies and drivers and the impact of 
overtime exemptions should be included in the proposed research.
    FMCSA Response: The Motorcoach industry is a unique operating 
environment with a differing set of variables that may influence the 
research. The FMCSA recognizes the value of understanding the potential 
effects that compensation may have on safety as well as many other 
industry issues. The proposed study is focused on non-passenger 
commercial operations but will address overtime as a component of 
compensation packages. Future research efforts may be designed to 
include passenger carrier operations and their unique operational 
characteristics.
    Theme: The proposed research should include driver's insights on 
how compensation impacts safety performance. Further, the study should 
be concerned with truthful reporting

[[Page 6161]]

and the quality of information from respondents.
    FMCSA Response: The proposed study will use current data from the 
FMCSA safety data systems collected from carrier investigations and 
roadside activities. This data is driver specific and will be used to 
compare safety performance to compensation methods. In the case where a 
motor carrier has only one method of pay, a direct relationship can be 
considered. However, in the case where multiple methods of pay are used 
by a single carrier, then the survey questionnaire will expand to 
solicit individual driver compensation characteristics and safety 
history. In this way, the research considers drivers and their 
contribution to the safety. Truthful reporting is always a concern in 
any research effort. The goal is to remove as much opinion and focus on 
verifiable, quantitative data. The FMCSA recognizes the need to 
validate collected information and will use all means available to 
cross-reference data where possible.
    Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of 
this information collection, including: (1) Whether the proposed 
collection is necessary for the FMCSA to perform its functions; (2) the 
accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways for the FMCSA to enhance the 
quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) 
ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of 
the collected information.

    Issued under the authority of 49 CFR 1.87 on: January 23, 2015.
G. Kelly Regal,
Associate Administrator for Office of Research and Information 
Technology and Chief Information Officer.
[FR Doc. 2015-02136 Filed 2-3-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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