[Federal Register: July 24, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 141)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[Docket No. FMCSA-2006-25290]
Commercial Driver's License Standards; Isuzu Motors America,
Inc.'s Exemption Application
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of final disposition; granting of application for
SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to approve Isuzu North America
Corporation's (Isuzu) application for an exemption for a period of 2
years. The exemption allows 20 Isuzu commercial motor vehicle (CMV)
drivers, who are citizens and residents of Japan and hold a Japanese
commercial driver's license (CDL), to test-drive Isuzu CMVs in the
United States without a CDL issued by one of the States. Isuzu
requested the exemption so that these driver-employees, as a team, can
support the evaluation and testing of production and prototype Isuzu
CMVs for sale in the United States. FMCSA believes the knowledge and
skills training and testing that Japanese drivers must undergo to
obtain a Japanese CDL ensures a level of safety that is equivalent to,
or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption.
DATES: This exemption is effective on July 24, 2009 and expires on July
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert F. Schultz, Jr., FMCSA
Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, Driver and Carrier
Operations Division, Telephone: 202-366-4325, or e-mail: MCPSD@dot.gov.
Under 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(1) and 31136(e), FMCSA may grant an
exemption for a maximum of 2 years 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 procedure for requesting an exemption is prescribed by 49
CFR part 381.
Isuzu Application for an Exemption
Isuzu has applied for an exemption from the requirement of 49 CFR
383.23 that operators of CMVs must obtain a CDL from one of the States.
Specifically, it asks that 20 of its employee-drivers who are citizens
and residents of Japan and hold a Japanese CDL be permitted to operate
a CMV in the United States for a period of 2 years. The exemption would
allow these individuals to test-drive Isuzu CMVs without a CDL issued
by one of the States. A copy of the request for exemption is in the
docket identified at the beginning of this notice.
Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety
These Isuzu drivers are experienced operators of CMVs. In Japan,
drivers must hold a conventional driver's license for at least 3 years
to be eligible for a CDL. They also must successfully pass both skills
and knowledge tests to obtain a Japanese-issued CDL. A driver granted a
Japanese CDL may legally operate any CMV allowed on the roads of Japan.
Isuzu believes that these Japanese-CDL drivers will achieve a level of
safety equaling or exceeding the level of safety that would be achieved
without the exemption.
On April 6, 2009, FMCSA published a notice of Isuzu's application
for exemption and requested comments from the public by May 6, 2009 (74
FR 15575). No comments were received.
FMCSA believes that the operations of the 20 Isuzu drivers will
ensure a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the
level of safety that would be achieved without the exemption. FMCSA's
decision to grant this exemption is based on the merits of the
application for exemption and the considerable CMV-driving experience
of these drivers. In addition, FMCSA considers the rigorous skills and
knowledge testing that Japanese drivers undergo to obtain a Japanese
CDL to be comparable to, or as effective as, the requirements of a U.S.
CDL (49 CFR part 383). Therefore, FMCSA grants exemption from the
requirements of 49 CFR 383.23 to the following 20 individuals, while
employed by Isuzu, to enable them to operate CMVs in the U.S. without a
U.S. CDL for a period of 2 years: Tadashi Shoda, Ryouji Matsuzawa,
Hisashi Hashiguchi, Nobuhisa Okuda, Minoru Endo, Fumiaki Takei, Akira
Yoshino, Tadao Shibuya, Akira Iizuka, Yoshinori Ugai, Kazuyoshi
Tateishi, Naomi Uchida, Kiyoshi Toshima, Khoki Natsumi, Minuro
Tsuchida, Mitsuo Konno, Hiroaki Kurata, Naoki Morimoto, Takayuki
Kaneda, and Chito Agatsuma.
Terms and Conditions of the Exemption
This exemption is subject to the following terms and conditions:
(1) These drivers are subject to the drug and alcohol regulations,
including testing, as provided in 49 CFR part 382, (2) these drivers
are subject to the same driver disqualification rules under 49 CFR
parts 383 and 391 that apply to other CMV drivers in the United States,
(3) Isuzu shall notify FMCSA in writing if an exempted driver is
convicted of a disqualifying offense described in sections 383.51 or
391.15 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR 350 et
seq.), (4) these drivers must keep, at all times, a copy of the
exemption with them in the CMV they are driving, and (5) Isuzu must
notify FMCSA in writing of any accident, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5,
that involves an exempted driver.
FMCSA will revoke this exemption if: (1) The Isuzu drivers fail to
comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption, (2) the
exemption results in a lower level of safety than was maintained before
it was granted, or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be
consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136.
Issued on: July 16, 2009.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development.
[FR Doc. E9-17617 Filed 7-23-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P