[Federal Register: July 13, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 133)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Highway Administration
49 CFR Part 395
Global Positioning System (GPS) Technology; Extension of
AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of extension of deadline for submission of applications
to participate in the GPS technology pilot demonstration project.
SUMMARY: The FHWA is extending the deadline for motor carriers to
submit applications to participate in the agency's Global Positioning
System (GPS) technology pilot demonstration project. This project
allows qualified motor carriers that use GPS technology and related
safety management computer systems to enter into an agreement with the
FHWA to use such systems to record and monitor drivers' hours-of-
service, in lieu of requiring them to prepare handwritten records of
duty status. This project is intended to demonstrate that the motor
carrier industry can use this technology to improve compliance with the
hours-of-service requirements in a manner which promotes safety and
operational efficiency while reducing paperwork.
DATES: Applications must be received on or before December 31, 1999.
ADDRESSES: Written applications should be mailed to the Office of Motor
Carrier Research and Standards (HCS-10), Federal Highway
Administration, Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW.,
Washington, D.C. 20590.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Neill L. Thomas, Office of Motor
Carrier Research and Standards (HMCS-10), (202) 366-4009, or Mr.
Charles Medalen, Office of Chief Counsel (HCC-20), (202) 366-1354,
Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation, 400
Seventh Street, SW., Washington, D.C. 20590. Office hours are from 7:45
a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal
holidays. Application requests and specific questions regarding this
pilot demonstration project may also be directed to the contact
person(s) named in this notice or the Division Offices of the FHWA in
An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded by using a
computer modem and suitable communications software from the Government
Printing Office's Electronic Bulletin Board Service at (202) 512-1661.
Internet users may reach the Office of the Federal Register's home page
at: http://www.nara.gov/fedreg and the Government Printing Office's
database at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara.
On September 30, 1988, the FHWA published a final rule (53 FR
38666) to allow motor carriers to use certain automatic on-board
devices to record their drivers' duty status in lieu of the handwritten
records required by 49 CFR 395.8. This provision is now codified at 49
CFR 395.15. Many motor carriers employing this technology found that
their compliance with the hours-of-
service regulations improved. New technologies are emerging, however,
and the narrowly crafted on-board recorder provision is becoming
Before considering changes to the rule, the FHWA determined that it
would be prudent to demonstrate the effectiveness of more recent
technology for ensuring compliance with the hours-of-service
regulations. On April 6, 1998, the FHWA announced a pilot project that
would allow motor carriers to use GPS tracking systems and related
computer programs to monitor compliance with the hours-of-service
regulations. Drivers would be exempted from the requirement to maintain
paper logs (63 FR 16697). Werner Enterprises, Inc., was the first
carrier to enter into an agreement with the FHWA to use a GPS system
for this purpose. The FHWA believes GPS technology and many of the
complementary safety management computer systems currently available to
the motor carrier industry provide at least the same degree of
monitoring accuracy as 49 CFR 395.15. The FHWA also believes the
project will demonstrate that reduced paperwork and recordkeeping
requirements are consistent with highway safety, while providing
economic advantages to the motor carrier industry.
Reason for Extending the Application Deadline
The FHWA has received letters or telephone calls from 17 entities
that have expressed their desire to participate in the pilot program.
Development of the related safety management computer systems has been
slow. Those motor carriers that wish to participate in the pilot
demonstration project have been unable to purchase or develop the
requisite computer systems and software that complement the GPS
technology before the extended application deadline of June 30, 1999.
Two entities have informed us that they now have the requisite
software. Others will be coming on-line shortly. Therefore, to ensure
the best possible results for this pilot project, the agency is
extending the application period to December 31, 1999. Motor carriers
that wish to participate in the pilot demonstration project must have
GPS technology and complementary safety management computer systems
which meet all of the conditions specified in the April 6, 1998,
Authority: 5 U.S.C. 553(b); 23 U.S.C. 315; 49 U.S.C. 31133,
31136, and 31502; sec. 345, Pub. L. 104-59, 109 Stat. 568, 613; and
49 CFR 1.48.
Issued on: July 7, 1999.
Kenneth R. Wykle,
Federal Highway Administrator.
[FR Doc. 99-17804 Filed 7-12-99; 8:45 am]
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