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Hours of Service of Drivers: U.S. Department of Defense (DOD); Application for Exemption

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Hours of Service of Drivers: U.S. Department of Defense (DOD); Application for Exemption

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
August 12, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 155 (Monday, August 12, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48927-48928]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-19396]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0275]


Hours of Service of Drivers: U.S. Department of Defense (DOD); 
Application for Exemption

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 it has received an application from the 
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Military Surface Deployment and 
Distribution Command (SDDC) for an exemption from the minimum 30-minute 
rest break provision of the Agency's hours-of-service (HOS) regulations 
for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The exemption would enable 
SDDC's contract motor carriers and their employee-drivers engaged in 
the transportation of weapons, munitions, and sensitive/classified 
cargo to have the same regulatory flexibility that Sec.  395.1(q) 
provides for drivers transporting explosives. The exempted drivers 
would be allowed to use 30 minutes or more of attendance time to meet 
the HOS rest break requirements, provided they do not perform any other 
work during the break. FMCSA requests public comment on SDDC's 
application for exemption.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 11, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket 
Management System Number FMCSA-2013-0275 by any of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: //www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the online instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     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. 
E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and 
docket number. 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 www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to www.regulations.gov, and follow the online 
instructions for accessing the dockets, or go to the street address 
listed above.
    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 a 
Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 
2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).
    Public Participation: The Federal eRulemaking Portal is 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 Federal eRulemaking Portal 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. Comments received

[[Page 48928]]

after the comment closing date will be included in the docket, and we 
will consider late comments to the extent practicable.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Pearlie Robinson, FMCSA Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division; Office of Bus and Truck Standards and 
Operations; Telephone: 202-366-4325. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    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)).

Request for Exemption

    On December 27, 2011 (76 FR 81133), FMCSA published a final rule 
amending its hours of service (HOS) regulations for drivers of 
property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The final rule 
adopted several changes to the HOS regulations including a new 
provision requiring drivers to take a rest break during the work day 
under certain circumstances. Drivers may drive only if no more than 8 
hours have passed since the end of the driver's last off-duty period of 
at least 30 minutes.
    FMCSA did not specify when drivers must take the break, but the 
rule requires that they wait no longer than 8 hours after the last off-
duty period of 30 minutes or more to take that break. Drivers who 
already take shorter breaks during the work day could comply with the 
rule by taking one of the shorter breaks and extending it to 30 
minutes. The new requirement took effect on July 1, 2013.
    The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) 
manages the motor carrier industry contracts for the Department of 
Defense (DOD). Certain motor carriers under contract to the SDDC 
provide protective services while transporting weapons, munitions, and 
sensitive/classified cargo.
    SDDC requests a limited exemption from the HOS regulation 
pertaining to rest breaks [49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii)] to allow SDDC-
contracted drivers providing dual driver-protective services to be 
treated the same as drivers transporting explosives, as provided in 
Sec.  395.1(q). Section 395.1(q) states that operators of CMVs carrying 
Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 explosives subject to the requirement for a 
minimum 30-minute rest break in Sec.  395.3(a)(3)(ii) may use 30 
minutes or more of ``attendance time'' to meet the requirement for a 
rest break. SDDC believes that shipments moved under the requested 
exemption would achieve a level of safety and security that is at least 
equivalent to what would be obtained by following the normal break 
requirements in Sec.  395.3(a)(3)(ii).
    SDDC states that it requires continuous attendance and surveillance 
of such shipments until they reach their final destination. SDDC states 
that it has instituted several technical and administrative controls to 
ensure the efficient transportation of cargo requiring protective 
services, controls that would remain in effect under the requested 
exemption. They include the following:
     Conducting review of carrier compliance requirements and 
procedures for moving hazardous cargo.
     Evaluating carrier authority to operate on United States 
roadways.
     Evaluating carrier compliance with the Federal Motor 
Carrier Safety Administration's Compliance Safety Accountability 
program Safety Measurement System standards.
     Providing over-the-road vehicle surveillance.
     Inspecting carrier facilities and corporate headquarters 
for compliance with DOD and DOT standards.
    Further details regarding SDDC's safety controls can be found in 
its application for exemption. The application can be accessed in the 
docket identified at the beginning of this notice. SDDC asserts that 
granting the exemption would allow driver teams to manage their en-
route rest periods efficiently and also perform mandated shipment 
security surveillance, resulting in both safe driving performance and 
greater security of cargo during long-distance trips.
    SDDC anticipates no safety impacts from this exemption and believes 
that its contract employee drivers should be allowed to follow the 
requirements in Sec.  395.1(q) when transporting shipments of sensitive 
DOD cargo. SDDC believes that shipments made under the requested 
exemption would achieve a level of safety and security that is at least 
equivalent to that which would be obtained by following the normal 
break requirement in Sec.  395.3(a)(3)(ii).
    SDDC indicated that 40 contract carriers with 1,942 power units and 
3,000 drivers would be covered by the exemption. The proposed exemption 
would be effective for 2 years, the maximum period allowed by Sec.  
381.300.

Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b)(4), FMCSA 
requests public comment on SDDC's application for an exemption from 
certain provisions of 49 CFR part 395. The Agency will consider all 
comments received by close of business on September 11, 2013. Comments 
will be available for examination in the docket at the location listed 
under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The Agency will consider to 
the extent practicable comments received in the public docket after the 
closing date of the comment period.

    Issued on: August 2, 2013.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2013-19396 Filed 8-9-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P



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