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Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From Van Hool N.V. and Coach USA

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Buses Topics:  Van Hool, Coach USA

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From Van Hool N.V. and Coach USA

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
August 6, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 151 (Tuesday, August 6, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47817-47818]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-18919]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0314]


Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application 
for an Exemption From Van Hool N.V. and Coach USA

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

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

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SUMMARY: FMCSA requests public comment on an application for exemption 
from Van Hool N.V. and Coach USA (Van Hool/Coach USA) to allow the use 
of double deck motorcoaches constructed with a sleeper berth that has 
an exit that does not meet the minimum dimensional requirements 
specified in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). 
Section 393.76(c)(1) of the FMCSRs requires sleeper berths installed 
(1) on or after January 1, 1963 to have an exit that is a doorway or 
opening that is at least 18 inches high and 36 inches wide and (2) 
before January 1, 1963, to have sufficient area to contain an ellipse 
having a major axis of 24 inches and a minor axis of 16 inches. Because 
of the limited available locations to place the sleeper berth within 
the confines of the motorcoach, Van Hool/Coach USA is requesting an 
exemption that would allow the use of sleeper berths that comply with 
the pre-January 1, 1963, exit dimension requirements instead of the 
post-January 1, 1963, requirements. Van Hool/Coach USA believes that 
the reduced exit area of the sleeper berth will maintain a level of 
safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level of safety 
achieved without the exemption.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 5, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT DMS Docket Number 
FMCSA-2013-yyyy by any of the following methods:
     Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments on the Federal electronic docket 
site.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, 
DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: Ground Floor, Room W12-140, DOT Building, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, 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 this notice. 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 http://www.regulations.gov, including 
any personal information provided. Please see the ``Privacy Act'' 
heading for further information.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or to Room W12-140, 
DOT Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

[[Page 47818]]

    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19476) or you may visit http://www.regulations.gov.
    Public participation: The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is 
generally 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 http://www.regulations.gov Web site and also at 
the DOT's http://docketsinfo.dot.gov 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. Luke W. Loy, Vehicle and Roadside 
Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, 
MC-PSV, (202) 366-0676; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Section 4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century 
(TEA- 21) [Pub. L. 105-178, June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 401] amended 49 
U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e) to provide authority to grant exemptions from 
the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). On August 20, 
2004, FMCSA published a final rule (69 FR 51589) implementing section 
4007. Under this rule, FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption 
request in the Federal Register [49 CFR 381.315(a)]. The Agency must 
provide the public with 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)]. If the Agency denies the request, it must state the reason 
for doing so. If the decision is to grant the exemption, the notice 
must specify the person or class of persons receiving the exemption and 
the regulatory provision or provisions from which an exemption is 
granted. The notice must also specify the effective period of the 
exemption (up to 2 years) and explain the terms and conditions of the 
exemption. The exemption may be renewed [49 CFR 381.315(c) and 49 CFR 
381.300(b)].

Background

Van Hool/Coach USA Application for Exemption

    On May 15, 2013, Van Hool/Coach USA applied for an exemption from 
49 CFR 393.76(c)(1) to allow the use of a sleeper berth exit which 
meets the requirements of those sleeper berths installed before January 
1, 1963. A copy of the application is included in the docket referenced 
at the beginning of this notice.
    Section 393.76(c)(1) of the FMCSRs requires that for sleeper berths 
installed after January 1, 1963, the exit must be a doorway or opening 
at least 18 inches high and 36 inches wide.
    In its application, Van Hool/Coach USA states:

Van Hool and Coach USA are making this request because we jointly 
developed a double deck motorcoach with sleeper berths for 
passengers (hereafter referred to as sleeper coach) where in order 
to meet the driver hours of service requirements for the routes 
planned for this sleeper coach, a sleeper berth must be provided for 
a 2nd driver. The designed sleeper berth compartment in the sleeper 
motor coach meets and exceeds the minimum dimensional requirements 
for the actual sleeper berth, however due to the limited available 
locations to place the sleeper berth within the confines of the 
motorcoach, it is requested that the entry/exit to the sleeper berth 
be allowed to meet the dimensional requirements for those sleeper 
berths manufactured/installed before January 1, 1963 The entry/exit 
of the sleeper berth (as currently designed) has a maximum area of 
606 square inches, which is sufficient area to contain an ellipse 
having a major axis of 24 inches and a minor axis of 16 inches, 
which was the requirement for sleeper berths installed prior to 
January 1, 1963.

    Van Hool/Coach USA states that whereas the pre-January 1, 1963, 
exit dimension requirements accommodated all type of commercial motor 
vehicles including the sleeper coach, the current language of Section 
393.76(c)(1) ``is designed to fit sleeper berths in trucks'' and does 
``not take into account the limited space available on a motorcoach for 
utilization of a sleeper berth.''
    Van Hool/Coach USA notes that without the proposed temporary 
exemption, it will not be able to fully utilize the operation of the 
sleeper coach on routes that require a second driver, because the 
sleeper berth exit does not meet the requirements for a sleeper berth 
installed on or after January 1, 1963.

Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests 
public comment from all interested persons on Van Hool/Coach USA's 
application for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.76(c)(1). All comments 
received before the close of business on the comment closing date 
indicated at the beginning of this notice will be considered and will 
be available for examination in the docket at the location listed under 
the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Comments received after the 
comment closing date will be filed in the public docket and will be 
considered to the extent practicable. In addition to late comments, 
FMCSA will also continue to file, in the public docket, relevant 
information that becomes available after the comment closing date. 
Interested persons should continue to examine the public docket for new 
material.

    Issued on: July 29, 2013.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2013-18919 Filed 8-5-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P



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