[Federal Register: January 18, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 11)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
49 CFR Parts 383 and 384
[Docket No. FMCSA-2005-21603]
Commercial Driver's License Standards; School Bus Endorsement
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: FMCSA adopts as final and without change its interim
regulations which implement section 4140 of the Safe, Accountable,
Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users
(SAFETEA-LU). The regulations specify that: A driver who passed FMCSA-
approved knowledge and skills tests for a Commercial Driver's License
(CDL) school bus endorsement before September 30, 2002, has met the
requirements for a school bus endorsement; the compliance date for
States to administer knowledge and skills tests to all school bus
drivers is extended to September 30, 2006; and the expiration date for
allowing States to waive the driving skills test is also extended to
September 30, 2006.
DATES: Effective Date: February 17, 2006.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Dominick Spataro, (202) 366-2995,
Chief, Commercial Driver's License Division (MC-ESL), Office of Safety
Programs, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 400 Seventh
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590; or e-mail
email@example.com. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Copies of This Final Rule and the Interim Final Rule
Copies are available for viewing or downloading through the
Internet at: The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Docket
Management System (DMS) using the URL, http://dms.dot.gov, and typing
the last 5 digits of docket number FMCSA-2005-21603; the Federal
Register Web page at http://www.gpoaccess.gov; or the FMCSA's Rules and
Regulations Web site at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations. If
you do not have access to the Internet, you may contact the person
The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (CMVSA), Public Law
99-570, 100 Stat. 3207-170 (October 27, 1986), codified with amendments
in 49 U.S.C. chapter 313, forms the statutory foundation of the CDL
program. The CMVSA required the Secretary of Transportation to issue
regulations establishing minimum standards which States must meet when
licensing drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), as defined in 49
U.S.C. 31301.\1\ Section 12005 of CMVSA required, among other things,
that the regulations include minimum standards for written and driving
tests for an individual driving a CMV (49 U.S.C. 31305). The minimum
testing and fitness standards for obtaining a CDL are in title 49 of
the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 383.
\1\ As pertinent to this rule, a CMV is a motor vehicle used inc
ommerce that is designd to transpot at least 16 passengers,
including the driver. 49 U.S.C. 31301(4)(B).
Section 214 of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999
(MCSIA), Public Law 106-159, 113 Stat. 1748 at 1766 (December 9, 1999),
required a special CDL endorsement for drivers of school buses,
including: (1) A driving skills test in a school bus; and (2) proper
safety procedures for loading and unloading children, using emergency
exits and traversing highway rail grade crossings, 49 U.S.C. 31305
note. These regulations are found in 49 CFR 383.123.
As we stated in the interim rule, recent changes in the law
necessitated revisions to the testing requirements for drivers of
Section 4140(a) of SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144,
at 1746 (August 10, 2005), directed the Secretary of Transportation to
recognize any driver who passes a test approved by FMCSA as meeting the
knowledge test requirement for a school bus endorsement under 49 CFR
383.123. Because 383.123 requires a driver to pass both knowledge and
skills tests, FMCSA interpreted section 4140(a) of SAFETEA-LU as
requiring recognition of any driver who passes both approved knowledge
and skills tests. Thus, section 4140(a) of SAFETEA-LU eliminates the
need for States to retest drivers who passed agency-approved knowledge
and skills tests before September 30, 2002.
Section 4140(b) of SAFETEA-LU gave the States an additional year in
which to fully implement Sec. 383.123 for all school bus drivers.
Thus, the compliance date in 49 CFR 384.301 was extended to September
30, 2006. FMCSA interpreted section 4140(b) of SAFETEA-LU as also
extending the sunset date in Sec. 383.123(b) from September 30, 2005,
to September 30, 2006, because that subsection permits States to waive
the driving skills test requirement for currently-licensed school bus
drivers who meet certain conditions.
Interim Final Rule (IFR) and IFR Comments
On September 28, 2005, FMCSA published an IFR (70 FR 56589)
implementing section 4140 of SAFETEA-LU and making the interim
regulations effective that same day. Because section 4140 of SAFETEA-LU
required the regulatory changes to be in effect before October 1, 2005,
FMCSA issued the IFR without prior notice and prior opportunity for
public comment. However, we invited the public to submit comments on
the IFR, and the comment period ended on October 28, 2005.
We received comments on the IFR from: the Ohio State Highway
Patrol; American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO; and Mr. Lev Vozchikov
of Limited Mobility School Bus Co. The commenters agreed with FMCSA's
decision not to require retesting of those drivers who had passed
knowledge and skills tests approved by the Agency for a CDL school bus
endorsement before September 30, 2002. The Ohio State Highway Patrol
said the decision will save Ohio and other States millions of dollars.
The AFL-CIO teachers' union said the decision was a positive step. Mr.
Vozchikov said FMCSA acted in accordance with the legislation.
Rulemaking Analyses and Notices
Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and DOT
Regulatory Policies and Procedures
FMCSA determined this final rule is not a significant regulatory
action as defined in Executive Order 12866, and is not significant
under DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures, because it does not
impose new costs on the States. This rule implements congressionally-
mandated changes which clarify acceptance of approved knowledge and
skills tests administered to school bus drivers prior to September 30,
2002 for CDL school bus [[Page 2898]] endorsements; extend compliance dates for CDL school bus drivers
obtaining a school bus endorsement on their CDL; and, give States an
additional year to finish administering such knowledge and skills tests
to all school bus drivers.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires an
agency to review regulations to assess their impact on small entities
unless the agency determines that a rule is not expected to have a
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
Since this rule does not impose any additional costs or burdens on
school bus companies or local governments, and no adverse comments were
received, we certify that this rule will not have a significant
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
FMCSA determined that the requirements of Title II of the Unfunded
Mandates Reform Act of 1995 do not apply to this rule. This rule does
not include a Federal mandate likely to result in expenditures by
State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the
private sector, of $120.7 million or more annually.
Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)
This action meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2)
of Executive Order 12988, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity,
and reduce burden.
Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)
FMCSA analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of
Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule
does not create an environmental risk to the health or safety of
Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)
This rule does not effect a taking of private property or otherwise
have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental
Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property
Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)
FMCSA analyzed this final rule under the principles and criteria of
Executive Order 13132. As discussed earlier in the Background section,
Congress initially mandated establishment of CDL school bus
endorsements in the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999
(MCSIA). In section 4140 of SAFETEA-LU, Congress mandated that FMCSA-
approved tests given before September 30, 2002, be accepted as meeting
the requirement for a school bus endorsement, and that States be given
an additional year to meet the school bus endorsement requirement of
MCSIA. This action merely clarifies procedures and extends compliance
dates for CDL school bus drivers obtaining a school bus endorsement on
their CDL. Thus, there are no new Federalism impacts associated with
this final rule.
Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)
The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding
intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do
not apply to this program.
Paperwork Reduction Act
The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)
requires Federal agencies to obtain approval from the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they
conduct, sponsor, or require through regulations. FMCSA reviewed this
rule and determined it does not change any of the existing information
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
FMCSA reviewed this final rule for the purpose of the NEPA (42
U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and determined that it is categorically excluded
from the requirement to prepare an environmental document under
Appendix 2, paragraph 6.s(6) of FMCSA's Environmental Order 5610.1C,
published March 1, 2004 (69 FR 9680). That exclusion relates to actions
taken under regulations which concern requirements for States to give
knowledge and skills tests to all qualified applicants for commercial
driver's licenses. On that basis, we determined this rule does not have
any effect on the quality of the environment.
FMCSA also analyzed this rule under the Clean Air Act, as amended
(CAA) section 176(c), (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) and the Environmental
Protection Agency's implementing regulations. Under 40 CFR
93.153(c)(2), approval of this action is exempt from the CAA's General
conformity requirement since it involves rulemaking and policy
development and issuance. This rule will not result in any emissions
increase or result in emissions that are above the general conformity
rule's minimal emission threshold levels. Further, it is unlikely this
rule will increase total CMV mileage, or will change the routing of
CMVs, how CMVs operate, or the CMV fleet-mix of motor carriers. This
action merely clarifies procedures and extends compliance dates for CDL
school bus operators obtaining a school bus endorsement on their CDL.
Executive Order 13211 (Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use)
FMCSA analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions
Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply,
Distribution, or Use. This rule is not a significant regulatory action
under Executive Order 12866, and is not likely to have a significant
adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.
List of Subjects
49 CFR Part 383
Administrative practice and procedure, Highway safety, and Motor carriers.
49 CFR Part 384
Administrative practice and procedure, Highway safety, and Motor carriers.
The Final Rule
Accordingly, the interim regulations published September 28, 2005
at 70 FR 56589, amending Parts 383 and 384 of Subchapter B, Chapter III
of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, are adopted without further
Issued on: January 10, 2006.
Annette M. Sandberg,
[FR Doc. 06-413 Filed 1-17-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P