Hours of Service of Drivers: U.S. Department of Defense (DOD); Application for Renewal of Exemption
Hours of Service of Drivers: U.S. Department of Defense (DOD); Application for Renewal of Exemption
Daphne Y. Jefferson
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
20 October 2017
[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 202 (Friday, October 20, 2017)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-22832]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0275]
Hours of Service of Drivers: U.S. Department of Defense (DOD);
Application for Renewal of Exemption
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemption; request for comments.
SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew the U.S. Department of
Defense (DOD) Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's
(SDDC) exemption from the minimum 30-minute rest break provision of the
Agency's hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for commercial motor
vehicle (CMV) drivers contracted by SDDC for special activities. SDDC
currently holds an exemption valid through October 27, 2018. The
exemption renewal is for five years and allows SDDC contracted-drivers
to use 30 minutes or more of attendance time to meet the HOS rest break
requirements, provided they do not perform any other work during the
break. The terms and conditions of the current exemption remain in
place for the five-year period.
DATES: The renewed exemption is effective through October 21, 2023.
Comments must be received on or before November 20, 2017.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket
Management System Number FMCSA-2013-0275 by any of the following
Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow
the online instructions for submitting comments.
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
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-2013-0275 and click on the tab
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
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: 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.
I. Public Participation and Request for Comments
FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and
If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this
notice (FMCSA-2013-0275), indicate the specific section of this
document to which the comment applies, and provide a reason for
suggestions or recommendations. You may submit your comments and
material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only
one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a
mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of
your document so the Agency can contact you if it has questions
regarding your submission.
To submit your comment online, go to www.regulations.gov and put
the docket number, ``FMCSA-2013-0275'' in the ``Keyword'' box, and
click ``Search.'' When the new screen appears, click on ``Comment
Now!'' button and type your comment into the text box in the following
screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual
or on behalf of a third party and then submit. If you submit your
comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no
larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic
filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they
reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard
or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received
during the comment period and may continue this exemption or not based
on your comments.
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)).
On December 27, 2011 (76 FR 81133), FMCSA published a final rule
amending its HOS regulations for drivers of property-carrying CMVs. The
final rule adopted several changes to the HOS regulations including a
new provision requiring drivers to take a rest break of at least 30
minutes during the work day under certain circumstances.
FMCSA did not specify when drivers must take the break, but the
rule requires that they wait no longer than 8 hours after the last off-
duty period of 30 minutes or more to take it if they want to drive a
CMV. Drivers who already take shorter breaks during the work day could
comply with the rule by extending one of those breaks to 30 minutes.
The new requirement took effect on July 1, 2013.
IV. Application for Renewal Exemption
The SDDC manages the motor carrier industry contracts for the DOD.
Certain motor carriers under contract to the SDDC provide protective
services while transporting weapons, munitions, and sensitive/
SDDC's initial exemption application for relief from the HOS rest
break requirement was submitted in 2013; a copy of the application is
in the docket identified at the beginning of this notice. That
application describes fully the nature of the operations of SDDC's
contracted drivers. FMCSA published a notice granting the exemption
request on October 28, 2013 (effective October 22), and made it valid
through October 21, 2015 (78 FR 64265). The Agency renewed the
exemption on October 7, 2015 (80 FR 60740), with an expiration date of
October 21, 2017. However, section 5206(b)(2)(A) of the Fixing
America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act extended any HOS exemption
in effect on the date of enactment of that Act for a period of 5 years
from the date the exemption was granted. Because section 1003 of the
FAST Act made the provisions of Division A (which includes section
5206) retroactively effective to October 1, 2015, the original SDDC
exemption, valid through October 21, 2015, was extended by operation of
law for 5 years from the date it was granted, in other words through
October 21, 2018.
The SDDC requests renewal of a limited exemption from the HOS
regulation pertaining to rest breaks [49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii)] to allow
SDDC-contracted drivers providing dual driver-protective services to be
treated the same as drivers transporting explosives. As provided in
Sec. 395.1(q), operators of CMVs carrying Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3
explosives subject to the requirement for a minimum 30-minute rest
break in Section 395.3(a)(3)(ii) may use 30 minutes or more of
``attendance time'' to meet the requirement for a rest break.
V. Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety
SDDC states that it requires continuous attendance and surveillance
of such shipments until they reach their final destination. SDDC states
that it has
instituted several technical and administrative controls to ensure the
efficient transportation of cargo requiring protective services,
controls that would remain in effect under the requested exemption.
They include the following:
Conducting review of carrier compliance requirements and
procedures for moving hazardous cargo.
Evaluating carrier authority to operate on United States
Evaluating carrier compliance with the Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Administration's Compliance Safety Accountability
Program Safety Measurement System standards.
Providing over-the-road vehicle surveillance.
Inspecting carrier facilities and corporate headquarters
for compliance with DOD and DOT standards.
Further details regarding SDDC's safety controls can be found in
its initial application for exemption. The application can be accessed
in the docket identified at the beginning of this notice. SDDC asserts
that granting the exemption would allow driver teams to manage their en
route rest periods efficiently and also perform mandated shipment
security surveillance, resulting in both safe driving performance and
greater security of cargo during long-distance trips.
SDDC anticipates no safety impacts from this exemption and believes
that its contract employee drivers should be allowed to follow the
requirements in Sec. 395.1(q) when transporting shipments of sensitive
DOD cargo. SDDC believes that shipments made under the requested
exemption would achieve a level of safety and security that is at least
equivalent to that which would be obtained by following the normal
break requirement in Sec. 395.3(a)(3)(ii).
SDDC indicated that approximately 1,942 power units and 3,000
drivers would be covered by the exemption. The renewed exemption is
effective for 5 years, the maximum period allowed by Sec. 381.300.
VI. Terms of the Exemption
1. Drivers authorized by SDDC to utilize the exemption renewal,
must have a copy of the exemption document in their possession while
operating under the terms of the exemption. The exemption document must
be presented to law enforcement officials upon request.
2. All motor carriers operating under this exemption must have a
``Satisfactory'' safety rating with FMCSA, or be ``unrated;'' motor
carriers with ``Conditional'' or ``Unsatisfactory'' FMCSA safety
ratings are prohibited from using this exemption.
Period of the Exemption
The exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii) is
effective from 12:01 a.m., October 22, 2018, through 11:59 p.m.,
October 21, 2023.
Extent of the Exemption
The exemption is restricted to SDDC's contract driver-employees
transporting security-sensitive materials. This exemption is limited to
the provisions of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii) and allows contract driver-
employees transporting security-sensitive materials to be treated the
same as drivers transporting explosives, as provided in Section
395.1(q). These drivers are required to comply with all other
applicable provisions of the FMCSRs.
In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31313(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 commerce that
conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a
firm or person operating under the exemption. States may, but are not
required to, adopt the same exemption with respect to operations in
FMCSA Accident Notification
SDDC 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. Name of the Exemption: ``SDDC'',
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 State, number, and class,
e. Co-Driver's name and driver's license State, number, and class,
f. Vehicle company number and power unit license plate State and
g. Number of individuals suffering physical injury,
h. Number of fatalities,
i. The police-reported cause of the accident,
j. Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws,
or motor carrier safety regulations, and
k. The total driving time and the total on-duty time of the CMV
driver at the time of the accident.
In addition, if there are any injuries or fatalities, the carrier must
forward the police accident report to MCPSD@DOT.GOV as soon as
The FMCSA does not believe the drivers covered by this exemption
will experience any deterioration of their safety record. However,
should this occur, FMCSA will take all steps necessary to protect the
public interest, including revocation or restriction of the exemption.
The FMCSA will immediately revoke or restrict the exemption for failure
to comply with its terms and conditions.
Issued on: October 16, 2017.
Daphne Y. Jefferson,
[FR Doc. 2017-22832 Filed 10-19-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
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