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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)

T.F. Scott Darling, III
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
July 30, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 146 (Thursday, July 30, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45576-45577]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-18676]


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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 final disposition; granting of application for 
renewal of exemption.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to grant Daimler Trucks North 
America's (Daimler) application for renewal of an exemption from the 
requirement for a commercial driver's license (CDL) for one of its 
commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, Sven Ennerst. Mr. Ennerst has 
operated safely under this one-year exemption since July 22, 2014. The 
renewal allows Mr. Ennerst, a Daimler engineering executive who holds a 
German commercial driver's license, to continue to test-drive Daimler 
CMVs on U.S. roads to improve Daimler's understanding of product 
requirements in ``real world'' environments. FMCSA has concluded that 
this exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is 
equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved if Mr. 
Ennerst were required to obtain a U.S. CDL.

DATES: This exemption is renewed effective July 22, 2015 and will 
expire July 22, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert Schultz, FMCSA Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division; Office of

[[Page 45577]]

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 that ``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 and standards for 
exemptions are prescribed in part 381 of the Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) (49 CFR part 350 et seq.). The Agency must 
provide an opportunity for public comment on the request. 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 manufactures CMVs in the U.S. for sale in this country. 
From time to time, it applies to FMCSA for CDL exemptions allowing 
individual Daimler employees to operate CMVs on U.S. roads. The 
employees are engineering executives who design and test advanced CMV 
safety and emissions technology. They reside in Germany but come to the 
U.S. three or four times a year to test drive prototype Daimler CMVs in 
the ``real world'' environment of U.S. roads. Under 49 CFR 383.23, 
operators of CMVs are required to hold a CDL issued by a State. Daimler 
employees are residents of Germany and cannot obtain a CDL in the U.S. 
because they are not residents of a State. They are duly licensed to 
operate CMVs in Germany, have years of experience driving CMVs in 
Europe, and maintain exemplary records of driving safety. Daimler has 
explained in prior exemption applications that the German knowledge and 
skills tests and training program that these drivers have undergone are 
comparable to the CDL licensing programs of the States. Daimler asserts 
that its CMV drivers operating under the exemption in the U.S. will 
achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the 
level of safety would be obtained by complying with the U.S. 
requirement for a CDL. Previous exemptions require a U.S. CDL-holder to 
accompany the Daimler employee operating a CMV. Daimler's prior 
applications and this Agency's analysis of them are in the docket of 
this matter referenced above. Most recently, on March 20, 2015, the 
Agency granted a similar exemption to Daimler driver Martin Zeilinger 
(80 FR 16511).
    On July 22, 2014, FMCSA granted Daimler and its driver Sven Ennerst 
a one-year exemption from Sec.  383.23 (79 FR 42626). The exemption 
will expire July 22, 2015. Mr. Ennerst is a Daimler engineering 
executive and holds a valid German commercial driver's license. 
Daimler's original application outlines Mr. Ennerst's CMV driving 
qualifications and experience, and is in the docket.

Daimler Application for Renewal

    By letter dated February 18, 2015, Daimler applied for renewal of 
this exemption for Sven Ennerst for the two-year period beginning July 
22, 2015. A copy of the request for renewal is in the docket. Daimler 
states that Mr. Ennerst typically drives CMVs no more than 200 miles 
per day over a two-day period, and that only 10 percent of his driving 
is on two-lane State highways. The rest of his driving is on interstate 
highways.

Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety

    As in each of Daimler's exemption requests, FMCSA carefully 
considered the merits of this application and the driver's demonstrated 
knowledge and skill in CMV operations. The Agency has received no 
information indicating that the terms and conditions of Mr. Ennerst's 
2014 exemption have not been satisfied fully. 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.

Public Comment

    On April 16, 2015, FMCSA published notice of this application and 
provided a period of 60 days for public comment (80 FR 20561). No 
comments were received.

FMCSA Decision

    Based upon the merits of this application, including Mr. Ennerst's 
extensive CMV driving experience, safety record, and successful 
completion of the training and testing requisite to a German CDL, FMCSA 
has concluded that exemption would likely achieve a level of safety 
that is equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved 
absent such exemption. Consequently, the Agency renews the exemption 
from the CDL requirement of Sec.  383.23 previously granted to Daimler 
and Mr. Ennerst. Mr. Ennerst may drive CMVs in this country without a 
U.S. State-issued CDL for two additional years unless this exemption is 
revoked earlier by the FMCSA.

Terms and Conditions

    The exemption remains subject to the same terms and conditions 
originally imposed by FMCSA: (1) Daimler and the driver must comply 
with all other applicable provisions of the FMCSRs, (2) the driver must 
be in possession of this exemption document and a valid German CDL, (3) 
the driver must be employed by and operate the CMV within the scope of 
his duties for Daimler, (4) Daimler must notify FMCSA within 5 business 
days in writing of any accident, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, involving 
this driver, and (5) Daimler must notify FMCSA in writing if this 
driver is convicted of a disqualifying offense under Sec.  383.51 or 
Sec.  391.15 of the FMCSRs. The exemption will be revoked if: (1) Mr. 
Ennerst fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; 
(2) the exemption results in a lower level of safety than was 
maintained before it was granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption 
would be inconsistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31315 
and 31136. The exemption expires on July 22, 2017.

    Issued on: July 20, 2015.
T.F. Scott Darling, III,
Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2015-18676 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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