[Federal Register Volume 66, Number 190 (Monday, October 1, 2001)]
[Pages 49996-49998]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 01-24433]



Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review: OMB 
Control No. 2126-NEW (Graduated Commercial Driver's License (CDL) 

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The FMCSA announces that the Information Collection Request 
(ICR) described in this notice is being sent to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The FMCSA is 
requesting OMB's approval for a new information collection as described 
below. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published a Federal 
Register notice offering a 60-day comment period on this information

[[Page 49997]]

collection on July 19, 1999 (64 FR 38699). At that time, the Office of 
Motor Carrier Safety was a part of the Federal Highway Administration 
(FHWA). Rulemaking, enforcement, and other activities of that former 
office are now being continued by the FMCSA. The comments that were 
received are addressed below. We are required to send ICRs to OMB under 
the Paperwork Reduction Act.

DATES: Please submit comments by October 31, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 Seventeenth Street NW., 
Washington, DC 20503, Attention: DOT Desk Officer. We particularly 
request your comments on whether the collection of information is 
necessary for the FMCSA to meet its goal of reducing truck crashes, 
including whether the information is useful to this goal; the accuracy 
of the estimate of the burden of the information collection; ways to 
enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collected; 
and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on 
respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology. OMB wants to receive comments 
within 30 days of publication of this notice in order to act on the ICR 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert Redmond (202) 366-9579, 
Office of Safety Programs, State Programs Division (MC-ESS), Federal 
Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., e.t., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Title: Graduated Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Survey.
    Background: The House Conference on the FY 1996 Department of 
Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriation Act (Public Law 104-
50, H. Rep. 104-286) directed the FHWA to contract with the 
Transportation Research Institute (TRI) of the American Trucking 
Associations Foundation, Inc. to perform applied research to address a 
number of highway safety issues, such as: driver fatigue and alertness; 
the application of emerging technologies to ensure safety, productivity 
and regulatory compliance; and commercial driving licensing, training 
and education. The amount allocated was to be not less than $4 million. 
A survey of industry opinion pertaining to a graduated CDL is one of 
these projects under the congressionally mandated cooperative agreement 
with the TRI.
    Section 4019 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century 
(Public Law 105-178) directed the Secretary of Transportation to 
identify the benefits and costs of a graduated CDL system as part of a 
review of the current CDL testing procedures and to identify methods to 
improve the testing and licensing standards. The trucking industry 
alone projects a need for 300,000 new and replacement drivers every 
year until the turn of the century. In addition to those newly entering 
the truck-driving field, others are constantly transitioning from one 
type of commercial motor vehicle operation to another. For example, 
moving from straight trucks to combinations, from tractor-semis to 
doubles or even triples, from hauling general commodities to motor 
vehicles or even hazardous materials, moving from school buses to 
transit buses or motor coaches, or moving back and forth between 
various trucks and buses.
    A graduated or provisional CDL program might go beyond today's CDL 
requirements to provide for safer introduction of new drivers into the 
industry and assure the measured progression of drivers, by proper 
training and supervision, into more complex driving jobs.
    Before considering the recommendation and development of a 
provisional CDL program, it is necessary to better identify the need 
for and quantify the potential benefits and costs of such a program. 
TRI, in cooperation with representatives of all segments of the truck 
and bus industries, will survey representatives of the motor carrier 
(truck and bus) industry, drivers, driver training schools, insurance 
companies, and driver licensing and law enforcement agencies, using 
approximately 15 short response questions with the ability to add 
narrative comments, about the need for, benefits of, potential 
acceptance of, institutional barriers to and practicality of a 
graduated commercial driver licensing system and the likely 
improvements in highway safety, employment opportunities and 
transportation efficiency. The questions for the written survey will be 
based on information gathered during previously conducted focus group 
sessions and will include the importance of certain elements in a 
graduated driver licensing program such as training, driving record, 
driving experience, age, testing and restrictions.
    Over the past two years the survey questionnaire was drafted and 
received extensive review and comments by FMCSA staff and the Technical 
Review Committee that are working on this study. This review/comments/
revision process was conducted several times until a questionnaire was 
developed that would accomplish the data collection goals of this 
    The study data will be compiled and statistically evaluated. The 
results of the evaluation and conclusions will be presented in a final 
report that will address the potential benefits, costs and feasibility 
of implementing a graduated or provisional CDL program. The results 
will be used by the FHWA in evaluating the potential for pilot testing 
the graduated CDL concept and developing a rulemaking based on the 
results of the pilot study.
    Comments Received: The comments that were received in response to 
the July 19, 1999, Federal Register notice are addressed as follows:
    Margaret O'Donnell: This comment was a request to participate in 
the survey and was not pertinent to the issue of whether or not there 
was a need to conduct the survey. Georgia Motor Trucking Association: 
This comment was in favor of conducting the survey as a way to gauge 
industry interest in and potential acceptance of a Graduated CDL.
    Bill Wetherald: This comment asked what the minimum age for a CDL 
would be under the Graduated CDL scenario and expressed concern over 
younger drivers. It did not specifically address the need for a survey.
    Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools: This comment 
addressed the Association's stand on younger drivers and was not 
pertinent to the issue of whether or not a survey was needed.
    Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety: The Advocates object to this 
information collection for the following reasons: 1) Because the survey 
is being administered by TRI; 2) because they feel FMCSA has prejudiced 
the outcome by mentioning a lower age limit for a CDL in the Federal 
Register Notice; and, 3) because they believe highway safety groups 
should be included in the survey population. Each of these concerns 
will be addressed individually.
    The Advocates claim that FMCSA was not legislatively directed to 
award the graduated CDL study to TRI. In fact, FMCSA was 
Congressionally directed during FY' 96 to contract with TRI to perform 
applied research for an amount not less than $4 million to address 
safety issues of concern such as driver fatigue and alertness; the 
application of emerging technologies to ensure safety; productivity and 
regulatory compliance; licensing; and commercial driver

[[Page 49998]]

training and education. The Graduated CDL survey fulfills part of this 
    The Advocates claim that FMCSA has prejudiced the outcome of the 
survey by mentioning lowering the age for a commercial drivers license 
in the Federal Register notice. The survey was designed to eliminate 
any bias as to the age when drivers should be granted a commercial 
drivers license. The survey asks two questions about age; one being the 
minimum age at which an applicant should be eligible to receive a 
graduated CDL and the second being the minimum age at which the holder 
of a graduated CDL should be eligible to graduate to an unrestricted 
CDL. Respondents are asked to fill in a blank with the age for both 
questions. The survey design has been carefully reviewed by the FMCSA 
Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR) and the Technical 
Review Committee (TRC) for the study to ensure that there are no 
conflicts of interest concerning any of the survey questions, including 
those about age. Both the COTR and the TRC will be closely involved in 
the data analysis and final report to further insure no conflict of 
interest regarding any of the factors involved in a Graduated CDL.
    Lastly, the Advocates object to the fact that no public safety 
groups are included in the survey population. In fact, Advocates is one 
of five public safety groups that are to be included in the survey 
    E. Robert Barr: This comment addresses implementation of a 
Graduated CDL with regards to younger drivers and their training. It 
does not specifically address the need to conduct the survey and 
therefore is not pertinent to this submittal.
    Driver Training & Development Alliance: This comment is in support 
of conducting a survey on the concept of a Graduated CDL as a first 
step in the process of determining the viability of such a system.
    Tri-Bell Industries: This comment is in favor of a Graduated CDL 
program for reasons of supplying the industry with better-trained 
drivers. However, it does not specifically address whether or not a 
survey should be conducted, and therefore is not pertinent to this 
information collection.
    International Brotherhood of Teamsters: The IBT objects to the 
conduct of the survey because they have not been given the opportunity 
to review the survey instrument or survey plan. The intent of this 
first notice was simply to ask whether or not an information collection 
should take place. Once a survey package is submitted to OMB, notice 
will be published giving IBT an opportunity to comment on the survey 
plan and instrument.
    American Automobile Association: This comment supports conduct of 
the Graduated CDL survey as a ``first step in exploring the benefits of 
a graduated CDL system as a highway safety measure.''
    Insurance Institute For Highway Safety: This comment requests that 
additional parties be added to the survey population--namely nonprofit 
safety groups and knowledgeable university researchers. The survey plan 
for the Graduated CDL survey does in fact include the following highway 
safety groups in its survey population: AAA; Insurance Institute for 
Highway Safety; National Safety Council; Advocates for Highway and Auto 
Safety; and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways. This survey is 
intended to gauge the need for, and potential acceptance of, a 
Graduated CDL by the motor carrier industry. The survey population has 
been expanded to include those who would be directly affected by a 
Graduated CDL--law enforcement, licensing agencies, driver training 
schools, insurance companies and associations representing highway 
safety concerns. However, since the intent of the survey is expressly 
stated for the motor carrier industry and safety-related groups, we do 
not believe, as the Insurance Institute does, that ``knowledgeable 
university researchers'' should also be included in the survey 
    At such time as the FMCSA determines that designing a pilot test of 
a Graduated CDL scenario is needed, such notice will be appropriate for 
university researchers to comment on the design of that study.
    California Department of Motor Vehicles: This comment supports a 
survey to ``determine the need and feasibility of a graduated 
commercial driver license (CDL).''
    Respondents: The respondents to the planned survey will include 
approximately 2,000 selected representatives of the motor carrier 
(truck and bus) industry, drivers, driver training schools, insurance 
companies, and driver licensing and law enforcement agencies.
    Average Burden Per Response: The estimated average burden per 
response is 15 minutes. This includes the time needed for reading the 
survey instructions, searching existing data sources, completing the 
survey instrument and returning the information by mail or transmission 
by facsimile.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden: The estimated total annual burden is 
500 hours.
    Frequency: The survey will be conducted once.

    Authority: The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. 
Chapter 35, as amended; and 49 CFR 1.73.

    Issued on: September 25, 2001.
Stephen E. Barber,
Associate Administrator for Enforcement and Program Delivery.
[FR Doc. 01-24433 Filed 9-28-01; 8:45 am]