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


American Government Topics:  Daimler AG, Sven Ennerst

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

Randi F. Hutchinson
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
17 August 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 158 (Thursday, August 17, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 39152-39153]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-17392]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0032]


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

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition; granting of application for 
renewal of exemption.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to grant Daimler Trucks North 
America's (Daimler) application for renewal of an exemption from the 
requirement for a commercial driver's license (CDL) for one of its 
commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, Sven Ennerst. Mr. Ennerst has 
operated safely under this exemption since July 22, 2014. The renewal 
allows Mr. Ennerst, a Daimler engineering executive who holds a German 
commercial license, to continue to test-drive Daimler CMVs on U.S. 
roads to improve Daimler's understanding of product requirements in 
``real world'' environments. FMCSA has concluded that this exemption 
would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater 
than the level that would be achieved if Mr. Ennerst were required to 
obtain a U.S. CDL.

DATES: This exemption is renewed effective July 22, 2017 and will 
expire July 22, 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. If you 
have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact 
Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Public Participation

Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble 
as being available in the docket, go to www.regulations.gov and insert 
the docket number, ``FMCSA-2012-0032 in the ``Keyword'' box and click 
``Search.'' Next, click the ``Open Docket Folder'' button and choose 
the document to review. If you do not have access to the Internet, you 
may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility 
in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West

[[Page 39153]]

Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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. Daimler Application for Exemption Renewal

    Daimler has applied for a renewal of an exemption for one of its 
engineers from 49 CFR 383.23, which prescribes licensing requirements 
for drivers operating CMVs in interstate or intrastate commerce. This 
driver, Sven Ennerst, 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 15, 
2017, is in the docket identified at the beginning of this notice.
    Effective July 22, 2015, FMCSA renewed for 2 years Mr. Ennerst's 
previous 1-year exemption (80 FR 45576, July 30, 2015). That exemption 
expired on July 22, 2017. Detailed information about the qualifications 
and experience of Mr. Ennerst was provided by Daimler in its original 
application, a copy of which is in the docket referenced above. Renewal 
of the exemption will enable Mr. Ennerst to operate CMVs in interstate 
or intrastate commerce to support Daimler field tests designed to meet 
future vehicle safety and environmental requirements and to develop 
improved safety and emission technologies. According to Daimler, Mr. 
Ennerst will typically drive for no more than 6 hours per day for 2 
consecutive days, and 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 requests that the exemption cover 
the maximum allowable duration of 5 years.
    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.

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)].

V. Public Comments

    On May 15, 2017, FMCSA published notice of this application and 
requested public comments (82 FR 22371). No comments were submitted.

VI. FMCSA Decision

    Based upon the merits of this application, including Mr. Ennerst's 
extensive driving experience and safety record, FMCSA has concluded 
that the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is 
equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved absent 
such exemption, in accordance with Sec.  381.305(a).

VII. Terms and Conditions for the Exemption

    FMCSA grants Daimler and Sven Ennerst an exemption from the CDL 
requirement in 49 CFR 383.23 to allow Mr. Ennerst to drive CMVs in this 
country without a U.S. State-issued CDL, subject to the following terms 
and conditions: (1) The driver and carrier must comply with all other 
applicable provisions of the FMCSRs (49 CFR parts 350-399); (2) the 
driver must be in possession of the exemption document and a valid 
German commercial license; (3) the driver must be employed by and 
operate the CMV within the scope of his duties for Daimler; (4) at all 
times while operating a CMV under this exemption, the driver must be 
accompanied by a holder of a U.S. CDL who is familiar with the routes 
traveled; (5) Daimler must notify FMCSA in writing within 5 business 
days of any accident, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, involving this 
driver; and (6) Daimler must notify FMCSA in writing if this driver is 
convicted of a disqualifying offense under Sec.  383.51 or Sec.  391.15 
of the FMCSRs.
    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), the exemption will 
be valid for 5 years unless revoked earlier by the FMCSA. The exemption 
will be revoked if: (1) Mr. Ennerst fails to comply with the terms and 
conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption results in a lower level 
of safety than was maintained before it was granted; or (3) 
continuation of the exemption would be inconsistent with the goals and 
objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136.

VIII. Preemption

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(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 or intrastate 
commerce that conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption 
with respect to a firm or person operating under the exemption.

    Issued on: August 5, 2017.
Randi F. Hutchinson,
Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2017-17392 Filed 8-16-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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