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Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Renewal of Exemption; Daimler Trucks North America (Daimler)

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking Topics:  Daimler AG, Sven Ennerst

Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Renewal of Exemption; Daimler Trucks North America (Daimler)

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
April 16, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 73 (Thursday, April 16, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 20561-20562]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-08726]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0032]


Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Renewal of 
Exemption; Daimler Trucks North America (Daimler)

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

ACTION: Notice of application for renewal of exemption; request for 
comments.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that Daimler Trucks North America (Daimler) 
has requested the renewal of an exemption from the requirement for a 
commercial driver's license (CDL) for one commercial motor vehicle 
(CMV) driver, Sven Ennerst, who holds a German commercial license. The 
renewal would allow Mr. Ennerst to continue to test-drive Daimler 
vehicles on U.S. roads to better understand product requirements for 
these systems in ``real world'' environments, and verify results. 
Daimler believes that German regulations ensure that holders of a 
German commercial license will likely achieve a level of safety equal 
to or greater than that of drivers who hold a U.S. CDL.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before May 18, 2015. Proposed 
effective dates of the exemption renewal are July 22, 2015 through July 
22, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket 
Management System Number FMCSA-2012-0032 by any of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the online instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and 
docket number. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and 
additional information on the exemption process, see the Public 
Participation heading below. Note that all comments received will be 
posted without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to www.regulations.gov at any time and in the box 
labeled ``SEARCH for'' enter FMCSA-2012-0032 and click on the tab 
labeled ``SEARCH.''
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits 
comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT 
posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information 
the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the 
system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
www.dot.gov/privacy.
    Public Participation: The Federal eRulemaking Portal is available 
24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You can get electronic 
submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the ``help'' section 
of the Federal eRulemaking Portal Web site. If you want us to notify 
you that we received your comments, please include a self-addressed, 
stamped envelope or postcard, or print the acknowledgement page that 
appears after submitting comments online.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Richard Clemente, FMCSA Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle 
Safety Standards; Telephone: 202-366-4325. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may renew an exemption 
from the CDL requirements of 49 CFR 383.23 for a maximum 2-year period 
if it finds ``such exemption would likely achieve a level of safety 
that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be 
achieved absent such exemption.'' The procedures for requesting an 
exemption (including renewals) are prescribed in 49 CFR part 381. The 
Agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment on the 
request.
    The Agency reviews the safety analyses and the public comments, and 
determines whether granting the exemption renewal 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 decision of 
the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 
381.315(b)) with the reason for granting or denying the exemption 
renewal, and, if granted, the specific person or class of persons 
receiving the exemption, and the regulatory provision or provisions 
from which exemption is granted. The notice must specify the effective 
period of the exemption (up to 2 years), and explain the terms and 
conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 
381.300(b)).

Daimler Application for Exemption Renewal

    Daimler has applied for a 2-year renewal of an exemption for one of 
its engineers from 49 CFR 383.23, which prescribes licensing 
requirements for drivers operating CMVs in interstate or intrastate 
commerce. This driver, Sven Ennerst, holds a valid German commercial 
license but is unable to obtain a CDL in any of the U.S. States due to 
residency requirements. A copy of the request for renewal, dated 
February 18, 2015, is in the docket identified at the beginning of this 
notice.
    FMCSA initially granted an exemption to Mr. Ennerst on July 22, 
2014 (79 FR 42626). This exemption was effective July 22, 2014 and 
expires July 22, 2015. Detailed information about the qualifications 
and experience of Mr. Ennerst was provided by Daimler in its original 
application, a copy of which is in the docket referenced above. Renewal 
of the exemption will enable Mr. Ennerst to operate CMVs in interstate 
or intrastate commerce to support Daimler field tests designed to meet 
future vehicle safety and environmental requirements and to develop 
improved safety and emission technologies. According to Daimler, Mr. 
Ennerst will typically drive for no more than 6 hours per day for 2 
consecutive days, and 10 percent of the test driving will be on two-
lane State highways, while 90 percent will be on interstate highways. 
The driving will consist of no more than 200 miles per day, for a total 
of 400 miles during a two-day period on a quarterly basis. He will in 
all cases be accompanied by a holder of a U.S. CDL who is familiar with 
the routes to be

[[Page 20562]]

traveled. Daimler requests that the exemption renewal cover a two-year 
period.
    Daimler has explained in prior exemption requests that the German 
knowledge and skills tests and training program ensure that Daimler's 
drivers operating under the exemption will achieve a level of safety 
that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety obtained by 
complying with the U.S. requirement for a CDL.

Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety

    FMCSA has previously determined that the process for obtaining a 
German commercial license is comparable to, or as effective as, the 
requirements of Part 383, and adequately assesses the driver's ability 
to operate CMVs in the U.S. In the past 2 years, FMCSA has published 
several similar Daimler exemption requests, most recently a notice 
granting a 2-year exemption to Daimler driver Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard (79 
FR 51641, August 29, 2014).

Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b)(4), FMCSA 
requests public comment on Daimler's request for a renewal of Mr. 
Ennerst's exemption from 49 CFR 383.23. The Agency will consider all 
comments received by close of business on May 18, 2015.
    FMCSA will review all comments received by this date and determine 
whether renewal of the exemption is consistent with the requirements of 
49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315. As indicated above, on prior occasions, 
the Agency determined that providing an exemption for other Daimler 
drivers does not compromise the level of safety that would exist if the 
exemption were not granted. These prior FMCSA decisions were based on 
careful consideration of the comments received, and on the merits of 
each driver's demonstrated knowledge and skills about the safe 
operation of CMVs.

    Issued on: April 8, 2015.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2015-08726 Filed 4-15-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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