[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 6 (Monday, January 10, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-444]


[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: January 10, 1994]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

49 CFR Parts 391, 392, and 396

[FHWA Docket No. MC-93-32]
RIN 2125-AD28

 

Removal of Obsolete and Redundant Regulations and Appendices

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: The FHWA is proposing to remove obsolete and redundant 
regulations and appendices from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations (FMCSRs). In addition, the FHWA is proposing minor 
technical changes in an effort to keep the FMCSRs current. The removal 
of obsolete and redundant regulations and appendices is one of the 
first actions taken by the FHWA following the Agency's Zero Base 
Regulatory Review public outreach sessions. The deletion of these 
regulations should result in the reduction of the paperwork burden on 
the industry without any reduction in safety benefits.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 11, 1994.

ADDRESSES: Submit written, signed comments to FHWA Docket No. MC-93-32, 
room 4232, HCC-10, Office of the Chief Counsel, Federal Highway 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20590. All 
comments received will be available for examination at the above 
address from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, 
except legal Federal holidays. Those desiring notification of receipt 
of comments must include a self-addressed, stamped postcard.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mr. William Blount, Office of Motor Carrier Standards, (202) 366-4009, 
or Mr. Charles E. Medalen, Office of Chief Counsel, (202) 366-1354, 
Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation, 400 
Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 7:45 
a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except legal Federal 
holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The primary focus of the FHWA's Motor Carrier Safety Program is to 
reduce commercial motor vehicle (CMV) accidents and the attendant 
fatalities, injuries, and property losses. To remain effective, 
regulations must reflect trends in State regulatory practices as well 
as technical and operational changes in the motor carrier industry. The 
motor carrier safety regulations were initially promulgated and 
enforced by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in 1937. In 1967 
the Department of Transportation (DOT) was created by the Department of 
Transportation Act of 1966, (Pub. L. 89-670, 80 Stat. 931) and the 
regulatory and enforcement authority for motor carrier safety was 
transferred to the DOT. Today this authority is vested in the FHWA.
    Over the years, the FMCSRs have been modified incrementally, 
usually by addition of new provisions and often because of 
congressional mandates. Some sections, however, no longer correspond to 
current practices in the motor carrier industry, and others have been 
superseded by State or local initiatives. In September 1992, the 
Federal Highway Administration began a comprehensive multi-year effort 
to re-create a body of safety rules and regulations that are (1) 
understandable, (2) enforceable, (3) capable of being implemented by 
industry, and above all, (4) consistent with highway safety. The effort 
has been termed ``Zero Base Regulatory Review.'' The review will not 
edit the current regulations, but will start with the basic questions 
of who, what, and how do we regulate and what is essential to improve 
motor carrier safety.
    Concurrent with the Zero Base effort, the FHWA participated in a 
governmentwide review of regulations designed to identify regulations 
that were no longer required or unnecessarily hindered economic growth. 
The FHWA's proposed deletions were incorporated into an NPRM published 
by the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) on May 20, 1992 
(57 FR 21362). On December 22, 1992, the OST published a final rule but 
declined to take final action on the FHWA proposals. 57 FR 60725.
    Docket comments submitted in response to the May 20 NPRM, and other 
comments received in conjunction with the FHWA's Zero Base review 
effort, were evaluated by the FHWA in preparing the current NPRM. The 
FHWA has identified several requirements that are obsolete or 
redundant, i.e., which are repeated by State law or covered in another 
part of the FMCSRs or which could be reissued as non-regulatory 
guidance.

Discussion

Criteria Used for Regulation Review

    The objectives of the FHWA's regulatory review were to (1) 
eliminate requirements not needed to carry out the regulatory program; 
(2) ensure that rules are clear and succinct; (3) reduce lengthy and 
excessively detailed regulations whenever possible; (4) eliminate 
redundancy; (5) eliminate excessive reporting requirements; and (6) 
reduce or eliminate paperwork burdens wherever possible, without 
compromising safety.

Section-by-Section Analysis

Part 391--Qualifications of Drivers
    The primary function of part 391 is to ensure that operators of 
CMVs meet minimum physical standards and possess the knowledge, skills, 
and abilities to operate CMVs safely. The FHWA has reviewed the 
regulations in part 391 and has determined that all requirements 
pertaining to the written examination and record of violations are 
unnecessary, for the reasons set forth below.
    Written examination. The written examination tests prospective 
drivers on the rules and requirements established by the FMCSRs. 
However, the examination is an instructional tool only and a person's 
qualification is not affected by his or her performance on the 
examination. Carriers are not obligated to take applicants' scores into 
consideration when making hiring decisions, so the Federal requirement 
is of only marginal usefulness. Carriers may continue to give the test, 
but the FHWA will no longer require them to do so. Moreover, drivers 
who are subject to the Commercial Driver's License (CDL) requirements 
must pass a knowledge test to obtain a CDL, so for CDL holders the 
written exam is both redundant and ineffectual. Therefore, the written 
examination (contained in appendix C) and all related qualification and 
recordkeeping requirements would be removed. The sections to be removed 
or amended by this proposal include Secs. 391.11(b)(11); 391.35; 
391.37; 391.51(c)(5); 391.51(d)(3); 391.61; 391.67(a); 391.67(c); 
391.69(b); 391.71(a) and appendix C to subchapter B.
    List of violations. The objective of the record of violations is to 
notify the employing motor carrier of all of a driver's moving 
violations of motor vehicle traffic laws. This information is to be 
used by the carrier to ensure that its drivers have not been 
disqualified to drive a CMV.
    The CDL regulations require CMV drivers to notify their current 
employers within 30 days of any conviction for a non-parking violation 
in any kind of vehicle (not only a CMV). If the conviction occurred in 
a jurisdiction other than the one that issued the CDL, the driver must 
also report it to the issuing jurisdiction within 30 days (49 CFR 
383.31). Therefore, the provisions in Sec. 391.27 for motor carriers to 
require their drivers to prepare and furnish a list of all traffic 
violations during the preceding 12 months at least once every year, and 
to maintain the record of violations in driver qualification files for 
three years, are unnecessary and redundant. Furthermore, it is a common 
practice for motor carriers or their insurance providers to obtain from 
the State licensing agency the motor vehicle records on each of their 
drivers once or more per year, although this is not required. The FHWA 
is therefore proposing to delete Sec. 391.27 and all related 
qualification and recordkeeping requirements. The sections to be 
removed or amended by this proposal include Secs. 391.11(b)(8); 391.27; 
391.51(b)(4); 391.51(h)(3); 391.63(a)(4); 391.67(a).
    Miscellaneous. The FHWA is also proposing minor technical 
corrections to Sec. 391.51(b)(2) and Sec. 391.51(g). These corrections 
will bring the regulation into conformance with organizational changes 
of the regional offices of the Federal Highway Administration, and will 
correctly identify the new title of the Regional Director of Motor 
Carriers.
    Drivers operating in Hawaii. The limited exemption in 
Sec. 391.69(a) for drivers operating in the State of Hawaii is 
obsolete. Section 391.69(a) states that ``drivers who will reach the 
age of 21 no later than April 1, 1976, may continue to drive within the 
State of Hawaii.'' Since this date has passed, the provision should be 
removed.
Part 392--Driving of Motor Vehicles
    The FHWA has identified regulations within part 392, Driving of 
Motor Vehicles, that are redundant of State and local laws. The 
regulations in part 392 are designed to reduce Commercial Motor Vehicle 
accidents by requiring that every motor vehicle be operated in 
accordance with State and local laws and ordinances, or FHWA 
regulations, whichever imposes the higher standard of care. The driving 
regulations and rules of the road in part 392 resemble traffic laws and 
ordinances. Basic rules of the road for trucks and buses are more 
appropriately monitored and enforced by State and local authorities 
under their own laws than by Federal regulators. In order to reduce 
duplication of enforcement requirements, many of the rules contained in 
part 392 should be removed. The FHWA is proposing to remove the 
sections discussed below:

Section 392.9a Corrective lenses to be worn.
    The FHWA is proposing to remove this section because it is 
duplicated by State driver licensing laws. State laws routinely require 
drivers who need glasses or contact lenses to wear them while driving. 
In addition, the requirement that wearers of contact lenses carry an 
extra set of them while driving does nothing to improve safety since a 
spare lens could not be inserted before bringing the vehicle to a stop.

Section 392.12 Drawbridges; stopping of buses.
Section 392.18 slow moving vehicles; hazard warning signal flashers.
Section 392.21 Stopped vehicles not to interfere with other traffic.
    The FHWA is proposing to remove these sections because they are 
unenforceable by FHWA field staff and are more appropriately addressed 
by State and local ordinances. In most, if not all, cases, State and 
local laws provide that drivers are required to observe traffic signs. 
State and local enforcement officers are responsible for maintaining 
proper traffic flow and handling slow moving and stepped vehicles.

Section 392.30 Lighted lamps; moving vehicles.
Section 392.31 Lighted lamps; stopped or parked vehicles.
Section 392.32 Upper and lower head-lamp beams.
    The FHWA is proposing to remove these sections because they are 
duplicated by State laws and can only be enforced by State or local 
agencies. In addition, the requirements for lighting devices are 
addressed in part 393 of the FMCSRs.

Section 392.40 All accidents.
Section 392.41 Striking unattended vehicle.
    The FHWA is proposing to remove these two sections because they 
duplicate State ordinances.

Section 392.61 Driving by unauthorized person.
Section 392.62 Bus driver; distraction.
Section 392.65 Sleeper berth; transfer to or from.
Section 392.69 Sleeper berth, occupation.
    The FHWA is proposing to remove Secs. 392.61 and 392.69 because the 
FHWA believes that these situations should be governed by company 
policy or a labor management agreement. Section 392.62 duplicates State 
and local regulations and should be removed. Section 392.65 is proposed 
to be removed because it is obsolete. There are very few truck tractors 
still in use that require entry into the sleeper berth from outside the 
vehicle.
Part 396--Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance
    Part 396 places the responsibility upon the motor carrier to insure 
that its vehicles are properly maintained. The FHWA is proposing to 
remove Sec. 396.3(b)(4) because it is redundant. Section 396.3(b)(3) 
already requires motor carriers to maintain for vehicles controlled for 
30 consecutive days or more a record of inspection, repairs and 
maintenance indicating their date and nature. Since the lubrication 
record required by Sec. 396.3(b)(4) is a maintenance record, the 
requirement is duplicative and should be removed.

Appendix A to Subchapter B

    Appendix A to subchapter B includes all interpretations that were 
issued by the FHWA up to the publication of a collection of 
interpretations on November 23, 1977 (42 FR 60078). A new compilation 
of interpretations was recently published in the Federal Register on 
November 17, 1993 (58 FR 60734). Therefore, appendix A is redundant and 
obsolete, and the FHWA is proposing it be removed.

Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

    All comments received before the close of business on the comment 
closing date indicated above will be considered and will be available 
for examination in the docket at the above address. Comments received 
after the comment closing date will be filed in the docket and will be 
considered to the extent practicable, but the FHWA may issue a final 
rule at any time after the close of the comment period. In addition to 
late comments, the FHWA will also continue to file relevant information 
in the docket as it becomes available after the comment closing date, 
and interested persons should continue to examine the docket for new 
material.

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and DOT 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    This proposed rule would remove obsolete and redundant regulations 
from the FMCSRs. The FHWA has determined that this document is not a 
significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866 or a 
significant regulation under the regulatory policies and procedures of 
the DOT. It is anticipated that the economic impact of this rulemaking 
will be minimal. Therefore, a full regulatory evaluation is not 
required.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-
612), the FHWA has evaluated the effects of this proposal on small 
entities. This action would lessen the regulatory burden on small and 
large entities subject to the FMCSRs by removing recordkeeping 
requirements associated with the written examination and record of 
violations. Based on the evaluation of this proposal, the FHWA 
certifies that this action will not have a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities.

Executive Order 12612 (Federalism Assessment)

    This action has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and 
criteria contained in Executive Order 12612, and it has been determined 
that this proposed rule does not have sufficient federalism 
implications to warrant the preparation of a full Federalism 
Assessment.

Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.217, Motor 
Carrier Safety. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 
regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and 
activities apply to this program.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rulemaking action does not contain a collection of information 
requirement for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, 44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The agency has analyzed this action for the purpose of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and has determined that this action 
would not have any effect on the quality of the environment.

Regulation Identification Number

    A regulation identification number (RIN) is assigned to each 
regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. 
The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda 
in April and October of each year. The RIN contained in the heading of 
this document can be used to cross reference this action with the 
Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Parts 391, 392, and 396

    Highway safety, Highways and roads, Motor carriers, and Motor 
vehicle safety.

    Issued on: January 3, 1994.
Rodney E. Slater,
Federal Highway Administrator.
    In consideration of the foregoing, the FHWA proposes to amend title 
49, Code of Federal Regulations, chapter III, subchapter B, parts 391, 
392, 396, and appendices A and C to subchapter B as set forth below:

PART 391--QUALIFICATIONS OF DRIVERS [AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for part 391 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. app. 2505; 49 U.S.C. 504 and 3102; 49 CFR 
1.48.


Sec. 391.11  [Amended]

    2. Section 391.11 is amended by removing paragraphs (b)(8) and 
(b)(11), and redesignating paragraphs (b)(9), (10) and (12) as 
paragraphs (b)(8), (9) and (10).


Secs. 391.27, 391.35, and 391.37  [Removed and Reserved]

    3. Sections 391.27, 391.35, and 391.37 are removed and reserved.


Sec. 391.51  [Amended]

    4. Section 391.51 is amended as follows:
    a. In paragraph (b)(2), by removing ``The Regional Federal Highway 
Administrator's letter'' and inserting in lieu thereof the words ``The 
letter from the Regional Director of Motor Carriers'';
    b. By removing paragraph (b)(4) and redesignating paragraph (b)(5) 
as paragraph (b)(4), and by adding the word ``and'' at the end of 
paragraph (b)(3);
    c. In paragraph (c)(4), by removing ``; and'' and inserting in lieu 
thereof a period, and by removing paragraph (c)(5);
    d. By removing paragraph (d)(3) and redesignating paragraph (d)(4) 
as paragraph (d)(3), and by adding the word ``and'' at the end of 
paragraph (d)(2);
    e. In paragraph (g), by removing the words ``Director, Regional 
Motor Carrier Safety Office'' and ``Directors of Regional Motor Carrier 
Safety Offices'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``Regional Director of 
Motor Carriers'' and ``Regional Directors of Motor Carriers'', 
respectively; and
    f. By removing paragraph (h)(3) and redesignating paragraph (h)(4) 
as paragraph (h)(3).
    5. Section 391.61 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 391.61  Drivers who were regularly employed before January 1, 
1971.

    The provisions of Sec. 391.21 (relating to applications for 
employment), Sec. 391.23 (relating to investigations and inquiries), 
and Sec. 391.31 (relating to road tests) do not apply to a driver who 
has been a regularly employed driver (as defined in Sec. 390.5 of this 
subchapter) of a motor carrier for a continuous period which began 
before January 1, 1971, as long as he/she continues to be a regularly 
employed driver of that motor carrier. Such a driver is qualified to 
drive a motor vehicle if he/she fulfills the requirements of paragraphs 
(b)(1) through (b)(8) of Sec. 391.11 (relating to qualifications of 
drivers).


Sec. 391.63  [Amended]

    6. Section 391.63 is amended by removing paragraph (a)(4), and 
paragraph (a)(3) is amended by removing ``; or'' and inserting in lieu 
thereof a period.
    7. Section 391.67 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 391.67  Drivers of articulated (combination) farm vehicles.

    The following rules in this part do not apply to a farm vehicle 
driver (as defined in Sec. 390.5) who is 18 years of age or older and 
who drives an articulated motor vehicle:
    (a) Paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(9), and (b)(10) of Sec. 391.11 (relating 
to driver qualifications in general).
    (b) Subpart C (relating to disclosure of, investigation into, and 
inquiries about the background, character, and driving record of, 
drivers).
    (c) Subpart D (relating to road tests).
    (d) So much of Secs. 391.41 and 391.45 as require a driver to be 
medically examined and to have a medical examiner's certificate on his 
person before January 1, 1973.
    (e) Subpart F (relating to maintenance of files and records).
    8. Section 391.69 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 391.69  Drivers operating in Hawaii.

    The provisions of Sec. 391.21 (relating to applications for 
employment), Sec. 391.23 (relating to investigations and inquiries), 
and Sec. 391.31 (relating to road tests) do not apply to a driver who 
has been a regularly employed driver (as defined in Sec. 390.5 of this 
subchapter) of a motor carrier for a continuous period which began 
before January 1, 1971, as long as he/she continues to be a regularly 
employed driver of that motor carrier. Such a driver is qualified to 
drive a motor vehicle if he/she fulfills the requirements of paragraphs 
(b)(1) through (b)(8) of Sec. 391.11 (relating to qualifications of 
drivers).


Sec. 391.71  [Amended]

    9. In Sec. 391.71 paragraph (a) introductory text is amended by 
removing the words ``and Sec. 391.35 (relating to written 
examination)'' and inserting the word ``and'' before the reference to 
``Sec. 391.31.''

PART 392--DRIVING OF MOTOR VEHICLES

    10. The authority citation for part 392 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. app. 2505; 49 U.S.C. 3102; 49 CFR 1.48.


Secs. 392.9a, 392.12, 392.18, 392.21, 392.30, 392.31, 392.32, 392.40, 
392.41, 392.61, 392.62, 392.65, and 392.69  [Removed and Reserved]

    11. Sections 392.9a, 392.12, 392.18, 392.21, 392.30, 392.31, 
392.32, 392.40, 392.41, 392.61, 392.62, 392.65, and 392.69 are removed 
and reserved.

PART 396--INSPECTION, REPAIR, AND MAINTENANCE

    12. The authority citation for part 396 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. app. 2509; 49 U.S.C. 3102; 49 CFR 1.48.


Sec. 396.3  [Amended]

    13. Section 396.3 is amended by removing paragraph (b)(4) and 
redesignating paragraph (b)(5) as paragraph (b)(4), and by adding the 
word ``and'' at the end of paragraph (b)(3).


Appendices A and C  [Removed and Reserved]

    14. In chapter III, suchapter B, appendices A and C are removed and 
reserved.

[FR Doc. 94-444 Filed 1-7-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-M