[Federal Register: June 21, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 119)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[FMCSA Docket No. FMCSA-2003-14652]
Commercial Driver's License Standards; Isuzu Motors America, Inc.'s Exemption Application
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemption; request for comments.
SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew Isuzu Motors America,
Inc.'s (Isuzu), exemption from the Agency's requirement for drivers of
commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to hold a commercial driver's license
(CDL). Isuzu requested that its exemption for 19 Japanese engineers and
technicians be renewed to enable these individuals to continue test
driving CMVs in the United States for Isuzu. All of the individuals
hold a [[Page 35726]] valid Japanese CDL. FMCSA believes the knowledge and skills testing and
training program that drivers must undergo for a Japanese CDL ensures a
level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of
safety that would be obtained by complying with the U.S. requirement
for a CDL.
DATES: This decision is effective June 21, 2006. Comments must be
received on or before July 21, 2006.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to the DOT Docket Management System
(DMS), referencing Docket Number FMCSA-2003-14652, using any of the
- Web Site: http://dmses.dot.gov. Follow the instructions
for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.
- Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
- Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401,
Washington, DC 20590-0001.
- Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the
Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov.
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and
docket numbers for this notice. Note that all comments received will be
posted without change to http://dms.dot.gov, including any personal
information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading for further
Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or
comments received, go to http://dms.dot.gov at any time or Room PL-401
on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW.,
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday,
except Federal holidays. The DMS is available 24 hours each day, 365
days each year. 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
Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual
submitting the comment (or of the person signing the comment, if
submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.).
You may review the Department of Transportation's complete Privacy Act
Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR
19477; Apr. 11, 2000). This information is also available at http://dms.dot.gov.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, Driver and
Carrier Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and
Operations, MC-PSD, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 400
Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001. Telephone: 202-366-
4009. E-mail: MCPSD@dot.gov.
Under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA may renew an exemption
from the CDL requirements in 49 CFR 383.23 for a two-year period if it
finds "such exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is
equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent
such exemption." The procedures for requesting an exemption (including
renewals) are prescribed in 49 CFR part 381. FMCSA has evaluated
Isuzu's application for a renewal on its merits and decided to renew
the exemption for 19 of Isuzu's engineers and technicians for a two-
Isuzu Application for an Exemption Renewal
Isuzu Motors America, Inc. applied for the renewal of an exemption
from the commercial driver's licensing rules, specifically 49 CFR
383.23, which establishes licensing requirements for drivers operating
CMVs in interstate commerce. The exemption was originally granted on
October 16, 2003 (68 FR 59677). Isuzu Motors America, Inc. is seeking a
renewal of this exemption because the drivers it employs are citizens
and residents of Japan. As such they cannot apply for a CDL from a
State in the United States. A copy of the request for a renewal is in
the docket identified at the beginning of this notice.
The renewal of the exemption will enable the following drivers to
operate CMVs as part of a team of drivers to develop, design and/or
test engines for vehicles that will be manufactured, assembled, sold or
primarily used in the United States. These are 19 of the 31 drivers
included in the original exemption: Shiro Fukuda, Wataru Kumakura,
Takao Kudou, Takehito Yaguchi, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Toshiya Asari,
Yasuhito Tahara, Shigeru Takamatsu, Shintaro Moroi, Motoki Nishi,
Kazunori Iigou, Kazuyoshi Shimamura, Masaru Otsu, Satoru Amemiya,
Tsuyoshi Koyama, Fumio Oota, Nobuyuki Miyazaki, Masao Inoue, and
These drivers are a team of engineers and technicians, currently
employed by Isuzu Motors Limited in Japan, who operate CMVs in the
United States to test and evaluate production and prototype CMVs to be
sold for use on U.S. highways. They are experienced CMV operators with
valid Japanese-issued CDLs. Because each of the drivers was required to
satisfy strict regulations in Japan to obtain a CDL, and has extensive
CMV training and experience, Isuzu Motors America, Inc. believes that
the renewal of the exemption will continue to achieve a level of safety
equivalent to the level of safety that would be obtained absent the
exemption. Isuzu states in its application for exemption that none of
these drivers received any traffic citations or were involved in any
accidents from the time of the exemption on October 16, 2003, through
the date of its application for renewal.
Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety
Drivers applying to obtain a Japanese-issued CDL must take both a
knowledge test and skills test before a license to operate CMVs is
issued. Prior to taking the tests, drivers are required to hold a
conventional driver's license for at least three years. Therefore, the
process for obtaining a Japanese-issued CDL is considered to be
comparable to or as effective as the requirements of 49 CFR part 383
and adequately assesses the driver's ability to operate CMVs in the
Once a driver is granted a Japanese CDL, he or she is allowed to
drive any CMV currently allowed on Japanese roads. There are no limits
to types or weights of vehicles that may be operated by the drivers. It
is estimated that each driver would continue to drive approximately
5,000 miles per year on U.S. roads.
Request for Comments
In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(4) and 31136(e), FMCSA
requests public comments on Isuzu's request for a renewal of its
exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 383.23. The Agency requests
that interested parties with specific data concerning the safety
records of the drivers listed in this notice submit comments by July
21, 2006. FMCSA will review all comments received by this date and
determine whether the renewal of the exemption is consistent with the
requirements of 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e). Comments received after
the comment closing date will be filed in the public docket and [[Page 35727]]
will be considered to the extent practicable, but FMCSA may make its
final decision at any time after the close of the comment period.
FMCSA believes the requirements for a renewal of an exemption under
49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e) can be satisfied by initially granting the
renewal and then requesting and subsequently evaluating comments
submitted by interested parties. As indicated above, the Agency
previously published a notice of final disposition announcing its
decision to exempt these 19 Isuzu drivers from the CDL requirement in
49 CFR 383.23. The decision to renew the exemption for these drivers
was based on the merits of each driver's demonstrated knowledge and
skills about the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles, and only
after careful consideration of the comments submitted in response to
the April 30, 2003 (68 FR 23174) notice. The notice of application for
exemption indicated that detailed information about the qualifications
and experience of each of the drivers was provided in Isuzu's
application and that a copy of the application is in the docket. The
docket number is referenced at the beginning of this notice.
Interested parties or organizations possessing information that
would otherwise show that any, or all of these drivers, are not
currently achieving the requisite statutory level of safety should
immediately notify FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any adverse
information submitted and, if safety is being compromised or if the
continuation of the exemption is not consistent with 49 U.S.C.
31315(b)(4) and 31136(e), FMCSA will take immediate steps to revoke the
exemption of the driver(s) in question.
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 31136 and 31315; and 49 CFR 1.73.
Issued on: June 15, 2006.
David H. Hugel,
[FR Doc. E6-9684 Filed 6-20-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P