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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 12-5




[ 67 PA. CODE CH. 231 ]

Intrastate Motor Carrier Safety Requirements; Snow Removal Operations

[42 Pa.B. 25]
[Saturday, January 7, 2012]

 The Department of Transportation (Department), under the authority in 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 4704 and 6103 (relating to inspection by police or Commonwealth personnel; and promulgation of rules and regulations by department), amends Chapter 231 (relating to intrastate motor carrier safety requirements) to read as set forth in Annex A. This rulemaking is being submitted as a final regulation with proposed rulemaking omitted under section 204 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. § 1204), known as the Commonwealth Documents Law (CDL).

 The Department published a final-form rulemaking at 40 Pa.B. 2106 (April 24, 2010) that amended the Intrastate Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. After the final-form rulemaking, during the winter of 2010-2011, State (the Department and the Turnpike Commission (Commission)) and local governments contacted the Department and expressed concern that the final-form rulemaking rescinded § 231.346 which had been interpreted to allow drivers of snow plows to operate on 12-hour driving shifts. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations limit drivers of commercial vehicles to 11-hour shifts. During several snowstorms in the past winter, the Department, the Commission and local municipalities experienced difficulty in securing sufficient numbers of qualified snow plow operators to effectively keep roads safe and free of snow and still comply with the restrictions of the newly adopted regulations.

 The final-omitted rulemaking is needed to provide State and local governments with the flexibility to ensure that roadways can be cleared of snow. Insofar as the amendment has been requested by State and local governments and State or local governments will not be adversely impacted by the amendment, the Department has determined that the approach of the 2011-2012 winter season makes it impractical, unnecessary and contrary to the public interest to provide public notice and comment on the rulemaking in accordance with section 204(c)(3) of the CDL.

Purpose of Chapter

 The purpose of Chapter 231 is to prescribe the minimum requirements and qualifications for drivers, vehicles and other matters regarding the intrastate operation of commercial vehicles.

Purpose of the Final-Omitted Rulemaking

 The purpose of the amendments to Chapter 231 is to provide State and local governments with more flexibility under the regulations for snow removal activities, roadway maintenance activity and traffic control support operations to keep the highways and roadways of this Commonwealth safe for travel.

Summary of Significant Amendments

 This final-omitted rulemaking will exempt State and local government drivers performing roadway maintenance, snow plow operations and traffic control support operations from the hours of service and driver log requirements. This final-omitted rulemaking will also extend the permitted driving time from 11 hours to 12 hours for drivers of private carriers who are performing snow removal operations for State or local governments.

Persons and Entities Affected

 This final-omitted rulemaking will affect State and local government drivers who drive commercial motor vehicles to provide snow removal, highway maintenance and traffic control support activities. This final-omitted rulemaking will also affect private motor carrier drivers who provide snow removal activities on behalf of State or local governments.

Fiscal Impact

 Implementation of this final-omitted rulemaking will not require the expenditure of any additional funds by the Commonwealth or local municipalities. These regulations will not impose any additional costs on the regulated community.

Regulatory Review

 Under section 5.1(c) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(c)), on October 21, 2011, the Department submitted a copy of the final-omitted rulemaking and a copy of a Regulatory Analysis Form to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and to the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Transportation Committees. On the same date, the final-omitted rulemaking submitted to the Office of Attorney General for review and approval under the Commonwealth Attorneys Act (71 P. S. §§ 732-101—732-506).

 Under section 5.1(j.2) of the Regulatory Review Act, on December 14, 2011, the final-omitted rulemaking was deemed approved by the House and Senate Committees. Under section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC met on December 15, 2011, and approved the final-omitted rulemaking.

Sunset Provisions

 The Department is not establishing a sunset date for this regulation, since this regulation is required to participate in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program. The Department, however, will continue to closely monitor this regulation for its effectiveness.

Contact Person

 The contact person for technical questions about the final-omitted rulemaking is Daryl St. Clair, Bureau of Highway Safety and Traffic Engineering, 400 North St., 6th Floor, Commonwealth Keystone Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120, (717) 787-6899.


 The Department orders that:

 (a) The regulations of the Department, 67 Pa. Code Chapter 237, are amended by amending § 231.8 to read as set forth in Annex A, with ellipses referring to the existing text of the regulation.

 (b) The Secretary of the Department shall submit this order and Annex A to the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality and form as required by law.

 (c) The Secretary shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit the same with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

 (d) This final-omitted rulemaking shall take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.


 (Editor's Note: For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission relating to this document, see 41 Pa.B. 7045 (December 31, 2011).)

Fiscal Note: 18-426. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A






Subchapter A. GENERAL

§ 231.8. Additions or modifications to 49 CFR.

 As stated in § 231.7 (relating to adoption of portions of 49 CFR by reference), this chapter generally incorporates 49 CFR Parts 382, 385, 390, 391, 392, 393, 395 and 396. The following modification, additions and deletions to those parts apply:

*  *  *  *  *

 (15) 49 CFR 395.1 (relating to scope of rules in this part) is modified by adding subsections as follows:

 (q.1) This part does not apply to transportation relating to snow removal, roadway maintenance and traffic control support activities performed by a state or any political subdivision of the state.

 (q.2) A driver performing highway snow removal operations on behalf of the state or any political subdivision of the state who is not eligible to be exempted under subsection (q.1) may operate a commercial motor vehicle for up to 12 hours provided that:

 (1) The driver does not drive a commercial motor vehicle after having been on duty for more than 16 hours; and

 (2) The driver has not been on duty 70 hours in 7 consecutive days or 80 hours in 8 consecutive days.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 12-5. Filed for public inspection January 6, 2012, 9:00 a.m.]

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