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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, Philipp Helbing

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

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
15 May 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 92 (Monday, May 15, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22378-22379]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-09734]


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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; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that Daimler Trucks North America (Daimler) 
has requested 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 an exemption for Mr. Philipp Helbing, 
executive assistant for Daimler Trucks and Bus Division. Mr. Helbing 
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 June 14, 2017.

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: 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 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)).

III. Request for Exemption

    Daimler has applied for an exemption for Philipp Helbing from 49 
CFR 383.23, which prescribes licensing requirements for drivers 
operating CMVs in interstate or intrastate commerce. Mr. Helbing is 
unable to obtain a CDL in any of the U.S. 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. Helbing to operate CMVs in interstate 
or intrastate commerce to support Daimler field tests designed to meet 
future

[[Page 22379]]

vehicle safety and environmental requirements and to promote 
technological advancements in vehicle safety systems and emissions 
reductions. Mr. Helbing needs to drive Daimler vehicles on public roads 
to better understand ``real world'' environments in the U.S. market. 
According to Daimler, Mr. Helbing 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.
    Mr. Helbing 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. 
Helbing is familiar with the operation of CMVs worldwide. Daimler 
requests that the exemption cover the maximum allowable duration of 5 
years.

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); July 12, 2016 (81 FR 45217); July 25, 2016 (81 FR 48496)].

     Issued on: May 8, 2017.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2017-09734 Filed 5-12-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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