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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, Wolfgang Bernhard

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

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
28 March 2016


[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 59 (Monday, March 28, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17242-17243]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-06953]



[[Page 17242]]

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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 application for exemption renewal; request for 
comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that Daimler Trucks North America (Daimler) 
has requested a renewal of an exemption for one commercial motor 
vehicle (CMV) driver from the Federal requirement to hold a U.S. 
commercial driver's license (CDL). Daimler requests a five-year 
exemption for Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, head of the Daimler Trucks and Bus 
Division, who will test drive CMVs for Daimler within the United 
States. Dr. Bernhard holds a valid German commercial license and wants 
to test drive Daimler vehicles on U.S. roads to better understand 
product requirements in ``real world'' environments, and verify 
results. Daimler believes the requirements for a German commercial 
license ensure that operation under the exemption will likely achieve a 
level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that would be 
obtained in the absence of the exemption.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 27, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2012-0032 using any of the 
following methods:
     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., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number 
for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without 
change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
    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: For information concerning this 
notice, contact Ms. Pearlie Robinson, FMCSA Driver and Carrier 
Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety 
Standards; Telephone: 202-366-4325. 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 and Request for Comments

    FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and 
related materials.

Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
notice (FMCSA-2012-0032), 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-2012-0032'' 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 grant or not grant this application 
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)).
    Section 5206(a)(2) of the ``Fixing America's Surface Transportation 
Act,'' (FAST Act), effective October 1, 2015, permits exemptions for no 
longer than five years from their dates of inception, instead of the 
current two years. This statutory provision will be codified in 49 CFR 
part 381 in a forthcoming rulemaking.

III. Request for Exemption

    Daimler requests a renewal of its exemption from 49 CFR 383.23, 
which prescribes licensing requirements for drivers operating CMVs in 
interstate or intrastate commerce, for the next five years for the 
chief executive of its Truck and Bus Division. Section 5206(a)(2) of 
the ``Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act,'' (FAST Act), 
effective October 1, 2015, permits exemptions for no longer than five 
years

[[Page 17243]]

from their dates of inception. This driver, Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, 
holds a valid German commercial license but is unable to obtain a CDL 
in any of the U.S. States due to residency requirements. A copy of the 
request for renewal, dated February 22 and 23, 2016, is in the docket 
identified at the beginning of this notice.
    FMCSA initially granted an exemption to Dr. Bernhard on August 29, 
2014 (79 FR 51641). This exemption was effective August 29, 2014, and 
expires August 29, 2016. Detailed information about the qualifications 
and experience of Dr. Bernhard was provided by Daimler in its original 
application, a copy of which is in the docket. Renewal of the exemption 
will enable Dr. Bernhard to operate CMVs in interstate or intrastate 
commerce to support Daimler field tests designed to meet future vehicle 
safety and environmental requirements and to promote technological 
advancements in vehicle safety systems and emissions reductions. Dr. 
Bernhard needs to drive Daimler vehicles on public roads to better 
understand ``real world'' environments in the U.S. market. According to 
Daimler, Dr. Bernhard will typically drive for no more than 6 hours per 
day for 2 consecutive days, and that 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.
    Daimler has explained in prior exemption requests that the German 
knowledge and skills tests and training program ensure that Daimler's 
drivers operating under the exemption will achieve a level of safety 
that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety obtained by 
complying with the U.S. requirement for a CDL. Furthermore, according 
to Daimler, Dr. Bernhard 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)].

    Issued on: March 21, 2016.
 Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2016-06953 Filed 3-25-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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