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Applications for Exemption

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking

Applications for Exemption

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
June 24, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 121 (Wednesday, June 24, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Page 36401]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-15514]



[[Page 36401]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket Nos. FMCSA-2013-0047, FMCSA-2014-0034]


Applications for Exemption

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition; denial of applications for 
exemption.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to deny the applications for 
exemption from its regulations submitted by David Muresan, Payne & 
Dolan, Inc., Zenith Tech, Inc., and Northeast Asphalt, Inc. FMCSA has 
analyzed the applications for exemption and public comments received on 
each, and rendered its decisions based upon the merits of each 
application.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Docket

    You may read the applications for exemption, background documents, 
public comments and the Agency's letters of final determination in the 
dockets of these applications by going to www.regulations.gov, or to 
Room W12-140, DOT Building, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC, 
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays.

Background

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e) to grant 
exemptions from certain parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations (FMCSRs) (49 CFR part 350 et seq.). The Agency is required 
to publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register 
[49 CFR 381.315(a)]. FMCSA 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. FMCSA reviews the 
applications for exemption, safety analyses and 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 with the reasons 
for denying or granting the application [49 CFR 381.315(b) and (c)].

David Muresan [Docket FMCSA-2013-0047]

    David Muresan is a long-haul CMV driver who believes the hours-of-
service (HOS) rules (49 CFR part 395) of the FMCSRs require him to 
drive when he is sleepy. He believes that he could operate more safely 
if he could decide when he needs sleep. Mr. Muresan proposes that he be 
exempt from all the HOS rules and be subject to certain rules he has 
designed. The HOS rules generally require CMV drivers transporting 
property to obtain at least 10 consecutive hours off duty between 
workdays. Mr. Muresan proposes that he be permitted to operate at any 
time that he has accumulated 10 hours off duty by any number of breaks 
of any length he chooses. Mr. Muresan also proposes that 24 consecutive 
hours at his residence would permit him to return to ``reset'' his 
driving ``clock;'' current rules require a minimum of 34 consecutive 
hours for such a restart. Mr. Muresan claims that, under his proposed 
rules, he would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to or 
greater than the level of safety that would be obtained in the absence 
of the exemption. However, he does not provide data or explain how he 
reaches this conclusion. Mr. Muresan wants to determine when he is 
sufficiently rested to resume driving, but, as FMCSA has indicated in 
its HOS rulemakings, research indicates that individuals are not 
necessarily good judges of whether or not they are rested.
    On December 17, 2013, FMCSA published notice of this application 
(78 FR 76392). None of the three comments received were supportive of 
the application. FMCSA concludes that Mr. Muresan has failed to explain 
how he would ensure that he can achieve a level of safety that is 
equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be 
obtained by complying with the HOS rules. A copy of the denial letter 
dated April 7, 2015, is included in the docket number referenced above.

Payne and Dolan, Inc., Zenith Tech, and Northeast Asphalt, Inc. [Docket 
FMCSA-2014-0034]

    These three construction companies applied jointly for an exemption 
from Sec.  395.3(a)(3)(ii), barring operation of a CMV by a driver if 8 
hours have passed since the end of the driver's last off duty or 
sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes. Their drivers operate CMVs 
in support of nighttime road repair and maintenance operations. The 
drivers deliver equipment and materials to work zones, spending an 
average of 2 hours per day behind the wheel operating a CMV. The 
companies state that their deliveries are often time sensitive; they 
cite asphalt as a material that must be delivered before its initial 
temperature drops appreciably. The companies allege that the mandatory 
30-minute break unduly constrains their ability to deliver as 
circumstances dictate. They also state that the limited amount of time 
their CMV drivers spend behind the wheel, as well as their frequent 
breaks of less than 30 minutes, make them less susceptible to fatigue 
than CMV drivers who spend most of their workday behind the wheel.
    On August 6, 2014, FMCSA published notice of this application (79 
FR 45865). Comments in favor of the application and containing 
identical text were submitted by 438 individuals affiliated with the 
applicants; a comment in opposition to the application was also 
submitted. The FMCSA has reviewed the application and the public 
comments and determined that it would not be appropriate to grant the 
exemption. The Agency believes that minimal effort would be needed for 
these drivers to extend one of their frequent short breaks to 30 
minutes. Absent a break of at least 30 minutes, FMCSA concludes that it 
would be unlikely that these drivers would achieve a level of safety 
that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved 
without the exemption [49 CFR 381.305(a)]. A copy of the denial letter 
dated January 26, 2015, is included in the docket number referenced 
above.

    Issued on: June 16, 2015.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2015-15514 Filed 6-23-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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