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Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption; C.R. England

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking Topics:  C.R. England

Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption; C.R. England

Daphne Y. Jefferson
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
20 October 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 202 (Friday, October 20, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48889-48891]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-22841]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0406]


Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption; 
C.R. England

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 re-affirm renewal of an 
exemption granted to C.R. England from the regulation that requires a 
commercial learner's permit (CLP) holder to be accompanied by a 
commercial driver's license (CDL) holder with the proper CDL class and 
endorsements, seated in the front seat of the vehicle while the CLP 
holder performs behind-the-wheel training on public roads or highways. 
Under this exemption, a CLP holder who has documentation of passing the 
CDL skills test may drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for C.R. 
England without being accompanied by a CDL holder in the front seat of 
the vehicle. The exemption enables CLP holders to drive as part of a 
team like other C.R. England team drivers. FMCSA has analyzed the 
public comments in response to the exemption renewal and has determined 
that the renewed exemption, subject to the terms and conditions 
imposed, will likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, 
or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such 
exemption.

[[Page 48890]]


DATES: The exemption is effective from June 13, 2017, through June 12, 
2022.

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.

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

Request for Exemption Renewal

    C.R. England's initial exemption application from the provisions of 
49 CFR 383.25(a)(1) was submitted in 2014; a copy is in the docket 
identified at the beginning of this notice. The 2014 application 
described fully the nature of the C.R. England operations and CMV 
drivers. The exemption was granted on June 11, 2015 (80 FR 33329) and 
renewed for 5 years on June 12, 2017 (82 FR 26975).
    The exemption excuses C.R. England from the requirement that a 
driver accompanying a CLP holder must be physically present at all 
times in the front seat of a CMV, on the condition that the CLP holder 
has successfully passed an approved CDL skills test. C.R. England's 
2014 application argued that the existing requirement is inefficient 
and unproductive, as the company must incur added expense to send the 
driver to his or her home State to collect a CDL document. C.R. England 
believed that FMCSA should renew the exemption for an additional 5-year 
period because it results in safer drivers. It allows C.R. England to 
foster a more productive and efficient training environment by allowing 
CLP holders to hone their recently acquired driving skills through on-
the-job training and to begin earning an income right away, producing 
immediate benefits for the driver, the carrier, and the economy as a 
whole.

Public Comments

    In response to the notice renewing the exemption, the Agency 
received six docket comments from truck drivers, driver-trainers, and 
other individuals, all opposing that decision. These respondents do not 
believe that it is safe for a CLP holder to operate a CMV without the 
supervision of a CDL driver-trainer in the front seat of the vehicle.

FMCSA Response and Decision

    The premise of respondents opposing the exemption is that CLP 
holders lack experience and are safer drivers when observed by a CDL 
driver-trainer who is on duty and in the front seat of the vehicle. The 
fact is that CLP holders who have passed the CDL skills test are 
qualified and eligible to obtain a CDL. If these CLP holders had 
obtained their CLPs and training in their State of domicile, they could 
immediately receive their CDL at the State driver licensing agency and 
begin driving a CMV without any on-board supervision. There is no 
evidence that having a CDL holder accompany a CLP holder who has passed 
the skills test improves safety. Because these drivers have passed the 
CDL skills test, the only thing necessary to obtain the CDL is to visit 
the Department of Motor Vehicles in their State of domicile.
    C.R. England's overall safety performance is reflected in its 
``satisfactory'' safety rating. The exemption is restricted to C.R. 
England's CLP holders who have documentation that they have passed the 
CDL skills test. The exemption will enable these drivers to operate a 
CMV as a team driver without requiring the accompanying CDL holder be 
on duty and in the front seat while the vehicle is moving. FMCSA 
therefore reaffirms its decision to renew the exemption because it will 
likely enable C.R. England drivers to achieve a level of safety 
equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without 
the exemption (49 CFR 381.305(a)).

Terms and Conditions of the Exemption

Period of the Exemption

    This exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 383.25(a)(1) is 
effective during the period from June 13, 2017 through June 12, 2022.

Extent of the Exemption

    The exemption is contingent upon C.R. England maintaining USDOT 
registration, minimum levels of public liability insurance, and not 
being subject to any ``imminent hazard'' or other out-of- service (OOS) 
order issued by FMCSA. Each driver covered by the exemption must 
maintain a valid driver's license and CLP with the required 
endorsements, not be subject to any OOS order or suspension of driving 
privileges, and meet all physical qualifications required by 49 CFR 
part 391.

Preemption

    During the period this exemption is in effect, no State may enforce 
any law or regulation that conflicts with or is inconsistent with the 
exemption with respect to a person or entity operating under the 
exemption (49 U.S.C. 31315(d)).

FMCSA Accident Notification

    C.R. England must notify FMCSA within 5 business days of any 
accidents (as defined by 49 CFR 390.5) involving the operation of any 
of its CMVs while utilizing this exemption. The notification must be by 
email to MCPSD@DOT.GOV, and include the following information:
    a. Exemption Identifier: ``C.R. England''
    b. Date of the accident,
    c. City or town, and State, in which the accident occurred, or 
which is closest to the scene of the accident,
    d. Driver's name and driver's license number,
    e. Vehicle number and State license number,
    f. Number of individuals suffering physical injury,
    g. Number of fatalities,
    h. The police-reported cause of the accident,
    i. Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws, 
or motor carrier safety regulations, and
    j. The total driving time and the total on-duty time of the CMV 
driver at the time of the accident.

Termination

    The FMCSA does not believe the CLP-holders covered by the exemption 
will experience any deterioration of their safety record. However, 
should this

[[Page 48891]]

occur, FMCSA will take all steps necessary to protect the public 
interest, including revocation of the exemption. The FMCSA will 
immediately revoke the exemption for failure to comply with its terms 
and conditions.

    Issued on: September 29, 2017.
Daphne Y. Jefferson,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2017-22841 Filed 10-19-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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