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Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; American Trucking Associations, Inc.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking Topics:  American Trucking Association

Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; American Trucking Associations, Inc.

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
May 1, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 84 (Friday, May 1, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 25004-25005]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-10200]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0012]


Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; American 
Trucking Associations, Inc.

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

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

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SUMMARY: 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.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before June 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket 
Management System Number FMCSA-2015-0012 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-2015-0012 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: Thomas L. Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver 
and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle 
Safety Standards; Telephone: 614-942-6477; Email: MCPSD@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. FMCSA 
must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register 
(49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public an opportunity 
to inspect the information relevant to the application, including any 
safety analyses that have been conducted. 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 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 the grant or denial, 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 also 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)).

[[Page 25005]]

Request for Exemption

    Under 49 CFR 172.800-804, administered by PHMSA, carriers of 
certain security-sensitive HM must develop special plans that account 
for personnel, cargo, and en route security. Although not mandatory, 
``constant attendance'' of the cargo is included by most carriers in 
their security plans.
    ``Constant attendance'' on a CMV is considered ``on duty time,'' as 
defined in 49 CFR 395.2. However, CMV drivers are subject to rest break 
requirements in Section 395.3(a)(3)(ii), which prohibit them 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. 
Drivers who are required by their carrier's HM security plan to 
maintain constant on-duty attendance on the CMV whenever stopped, 
cannot also comply with the off-duty rest break requirement of Section 
395.3(a)(3)(ii).
    Section 397.5 requires drivers transporting cargo classified as 
Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (explosive) materials to attend the cargo at 
all times. There is no regulatory conflict for these drivers, however, 
because Section 395.1(q) specifically allows them to count up to 30 
minutes of their on-duty attendance time toward the rest break 
requirement, provided that they perform no other on-duty activities 
during that period.
    ATA initially asked FMCSA ``to clarify that drivers can exercise 
constant attendance over a vehicle without having to remain on duty.'' 
After discussion with Agency officials, however, ATA agreed that its 
request should be treated as an exemption application. All 
correspondence on this issue has been placed in the docket listed at 
the beginning of this notice. The exemption request has been filed on 
behalf of all carriers whose drivers transport HM loads requiring 
placarding under 49 CFR part 172, subpart F, or select agents and 
toxins identified in Section 172.800(b)(13) that do not require 
placarding, and who have filed security plans requiring constant 
attendance of HM in accordance with Sections 172.800-804. The HM load 
being transported would not itself have to come under the provisions of 
Sections 172.800-804, because it would be too difficult for drivers and 
enforcement officials to determine at roadside whether Sections 
182.800-804 applied to any individual load. Only drivers operating 
under the authority of carriers that have filed security plans under 
Sections 172.800-804 and who are transporting loads that require 
placarding or contain a select agent or toxin identified in Section 
172.800(b)(13) would be eligible for this exemption. Drivers operating 
under this exemption could count up to 30 minutes of their on-duty 
attendance time toward a required rest break, provided that they 
perform no other on-duty activities during the rest-break period.
    The driver would be required to annotate the record of duty status 
(``log book'') to show the time claimed as a rest break was on-duty 
time because he/she was required to follow the carrier's security plan, 
which in turn required ``attendance'' on an HM load.
    It should be noted that a carrier or driver would have no reason to 
claim to be operating under this exemption unless it was necessary to 
do so to avoid a regulatory conflict. While under the exemption, if 
granted, the driver's rest-break time would be on-duty and count 
against the 60 or 70-hour on-duty limit. A rest break taken without 
using this exemption would be off-duty and not be included in the 60/70 
hour limit.
    ATA contends that allowing these drivers to count up to 30 minutes 
of their attendance time toward a required rest break, provided they 
perform no other on-duty activities during the break, would likely 
achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level 
that would be achieved by the current regulation because the attendance 
duty would be unlikely to contribute to driver fatigue. ATA further 
contends that allowing these drivers to count up to 30 minutes of their 
attendance time toward a required rest break would provide security 
benefits superior to the current practices.

Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(4) and 31136(e), FMCSA 
requests public comment on ATA's application for an exemption from the 
rest-break requirements of Section 395.3(a)(3)(ii). The Agency will 
consider all comments received by close of business on June 1, 2015.
    Comments will be available for examination in the docket at the 
location listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. To the 
extent practicable, the Agency will consider comments received in the 
public docket after the closing date of the comment period.

     Issued on: April 22, 2015.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2015-10200 Filed 4-30-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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