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Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption; CRST Expedited (CRST)

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking Topics:  CRST

Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption; CRST Expedited (CRST)

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
9 August 2018


[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 154 (Thursday, August 9, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 39495-39496]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-17063]



[[Page 39495]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0480]


Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption; 
CRST Expedited (CRST)

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

ACTION: Notice of application for renewal of exemption; request for 
comments.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that it has received an application from CRST 
Expedited (CRST) for a renewal of its exemption 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 operates it on public roads or highways. 
The exemption renewal would allow CLP holders who have passed the 
skills test but not yet received the CDL document to drive a CRST 
commercial motor vehicle (CMV) accompanied by a CDL holder who is not 
necessarily in the passenger seat, provided the driver has 
documentation of passing the skills test. CRST currently holds an 
exemption for the period September 23, 2016 through September 24, 2018. 
FMCSA requests public comment on CRST's application for exemption.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 10, 2018.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Number FMCSA-2015-0480 by 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 Federal Docket Management System 
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: Ms. Pearlie Robinson, FMCSA Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle 
Safety Standards; Telephone: (202) 366-4225. 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-2015-0480), 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 comments online, go to www.regulations.gov and put 
the docket number, ``FMCSA-2015-0480'' 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. An option to upload a 
file is provided. 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 certain parts of 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 safety analyses and public comments submitted, 
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 reasons for denying or granting the application 
and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving 
the exemption, and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is 
granted. The notice must also specify the effective period and explain 
the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed 
(49 CFR 381.300(b)).

III. Request for Exemption Renewal

    CRST's initial exemption application from the provisions of 49 CFR 
383.25(a)(1) was submitted in 2015; a copy is in the docket identified 
at the beginning of this notice. That 2015 application describes fully 
the nature of CRST's operations and CMV drivers. The exemption was 
granted on September 23, 2016 (81 FR 65696). CRST now requests a 
renewal of the exemption.
    The current exemption excuses CRST 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. CRST's 2015 
application argued that the existing requirement is inefficient and

[[Page 39496]]

unproductive, as the company must incur added expense to send the 
driver to his or her home State to collect a CDL document. Under the 
rule, the driver is not only unable to utilize newly acquired driving 
skills, but must also forego compensation before obtaining a CDL. CRST 
believes that FMCSA should renew the exemption for an additional 5-year 
period because it results in safer drivers. It allows CRST 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.

IV. Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety

    CRST states that the exemption does not negatively affect safety 
outcomes. Instead, the exemption allows drivers trained out-of-State to 
obtain on-the-job experience in CRST's comprehensive training program 
while avoiding significant delays and skill degradation. The exemption 
creates immediate economic and safety benefits for both the CLP holders 
and CRST--drivers earn an income as part of a team operation while 
improving their driver skills and gaining valuable experience.
    CRST indicated in its renewal application that data show that 
drivers utilizing the exemption demonstrated better safety outcomes 
than non-exempt drivers. Through the end of 2016, CRST reported zero 
accidents to FMCSA involving drivers utilizing the exemption.
    In the June 12, 2017, Federal Register, FMCSA granted the renewal 
of a similar exemption from 49 CFR 383.25(a)(1) to C.R. England, Inc. 
(C.R. England) for a five-year period. Under the terms and conditions 
of that exemption, a CLP holder who has documentation of passing the 
CDL skills test may drive a CMV for C.R. England without being 
accompanied by a CDL holder in the front seat. The Agency believed that 
C.R. England's request for exemption would achieve a level of safety 
that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved 
without the exemption (82 FR 26975).
    A copy of CRST's application for exemption renewal is available for 
review in the docket for this notice.

    Issued on: August 2, 2018.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2018-17063 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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