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.
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
§ 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
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
- 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
, 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
, and follow the
online instructions for accessing the
dockets, or go to the street address listed
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
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 selfaddressed,
stamped envelope or
postcard, or print the acknowledgement
page that appears after submitting
comments online. Comments received after the comment closing date will be
included in the docket, and we will
consider late comments to the extent
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.
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
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
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
§ 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 § 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 § 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
- 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
- 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
§ 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 § 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 § 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
Issued on: August 2, 2013.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2013–19396 Filed 8–9–13; 8:45 am]
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