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

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking Topics:  Daimler AG, Kai Zeuner

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

Daphne Y. Jefferson
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
23 May 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 98 (Tuesday, May 23, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 23705-23706]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-10554]



[[Page 23705]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0032]


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

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition; grant of application for 
exemption.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to grant an exemption to Daimler 
Trucks North America (Daimler) for one of its commercial motor vehicle 
(CMV) drivers. Daimler requested a 5-year exemption from the Federal 
requirement to hold a U.S. commercial driver's license (CDL) for Mr. 
Kai Zeuner, a project engineer for the Daimler Trucks and Bus Division. 
Mr. Zeuner holds a valid German commercial license and wants 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 the requirements for a German 
commercial license ensure that holders of the license will likely 
achieve a level of safety equal to or greater than that of drivers who 
hold a U.S. State-issued CDL.

DATES: This exemption is effective May 23, 2017 and expires May 23, 
2022.

ADDRESSES: 
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12-140 
on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The on-line FDMS is available 24 hours each 
day, 365 days each year.
    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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver 
and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle 
Safety Standards; Telephone: 614-942-6477. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. If you 
have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact 
Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Public Participation

Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble 
as being available in the docket, go to www.regulations.gov and insert 
the docket number, ``FMCSA-2012-0032 in the ``Keyword'' box and click 
``Search.'' Next, click the ``Open Docket Folder'' button and choose 
the document to review. If you do not have access to the Internet, you 
may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility 
in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

II. Legal Basis

    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 5 years), and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The 
exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).

Request for Exemption

    On behalf of Mr. Kai Zeuner, Daimler has applied for a 5-year 
exemption from 49 CFR 383.23, which prescribes licensing requirements 
for drivers operating CMVs in interstate or intrastate commerce. Mr. 
Zeuner is unable to obtain a CDL in any of the States due to his lack 
of residency in the United States. A copy of the application is in 
Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0032.
    The exemption would allow Mr. Zeuner 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. Mr. Zeuner needs to drive 
Daimler vehicles on public roads to better understand ``real world'' 
environments in the U.S. market. According to Daimler, Mr. Zeuner 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 traveled.
    Mr. Zeuner would be required to comply with all applicable Federal 
Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) (49 CFR parts 350-399) except 
the CDL provisions described in this notice.
    Mr. Zeuner holds a valid German commercial license, and as 
explained by Daimler in its exemption request, the requirements for 
that license ensure that the same level of safety is met or exceeded as 
if this driver had a U.S. CDL. Furthermore, according to Daimler, Mr. 
Zeuner is familiar with the operation of CMVs worldwide.

IV. 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. Since 2012, FMCSA has granted Daimler 
drivers similar exemptions [May 25, 2012 (77 FR 31422); July 22, 2014 
(79 FR 42626); March 27, 2015 (80 FR 16511); October 5, 2015 (80 FR 
60220); December 7, 2015 (80 FR 76059); December 21, 2015 (80 FR 
79410)].

V. Public Comments

    On January 6, 2017, FMCSA published notice of this application and 
requested public comments (82 FR 1782). Two comments were submitted, 
which neither opposed nor supported the requested exemption.

VI. FMCSA Decision

    Based upon the merits of this application, including Mr. Zeuner's

[[Page 23706]]

extensive driving experience and safety record, FMCSA has concluded 
that the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is 
equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved absent 
such exemption, in accordance with Sec.  381.305(a).

VII. Terms and Conditions for the Exemption

    FMCSA grants Daimler and Kai Zeuner an exemption from the CDL 
requirement in 49 CFR 383.23 to allow Mr. Zeuner to drive CMVs in this 
country without a U.S. State-issued CDL, subject to the following terms 
and conditions: (1) The driver and carrier must comply with all other 
applicable provisions of the FMCSRs (49 CFR parts 350-399); (2) the 
driver must be in possession of the exemption document and a valid 
German commercial license; (3) the driver must be employed by and 
operate the CMV within the scope of his duties for Daimler; (4) at all 
times while operating a CMV under this exemption, the driver must be 
accompanied by a holder of a U.S. CDL who is familiar with the routes 
traveled; (5) Daimler must notify FMCSA in writing within 5 business 
days of any accident, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, involving this 
driver; and (6) 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.
    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), the exemption will 
be valid for 5 years unless revoked earlier by the FMCSA. The exemption 
will be revoked if: (1) Mr. Zeuner 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.

VIII. Preemption

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(d), as implemented by 49 CFR 
381.600, during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall 
enforce any law or regulation applicable to interstate or intrastate 
commerce that conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption 
with respect to a firm or person operating under the exemption.

    Issued on: May 17, 2017.
 Daphne Y. Jefferson,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2017-10554 Filed 5-22-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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