Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 25831-25833 [E7-8637]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 87 / Monday, May 7, 2007 / Notices Cultural Affairs, announces revisions to the original RFGP announced in the Federal Register on Thursday, April 19, 2007 (Federal Register Vol. 72, No. 75): IV.3e.1. Applicants must provide a detailed budget for administrative expenses only. Administrative costs are those costs that include applicant’s staff salaries, benefits, telephone, fax, printing, office supplies, etc. All overhead costs associated with the program (for supervision, financial management, and other overhead expenses) are to be included in the proposal and should be controlled, reduced, or shared. The costs of support/central office in any parent agency (whether covered through an indirect costs’ rate or as a direct cost) should be limited or cost shared to the extent possible. Concrete plans to streamline operations covered by overhead and non-program staff functions should be described in proposal submissions. (See Budget Guidelines in the PSI document.) Additional Information Interested organizations should contact Michelle Lampher, Chief, Community Resources Division, Office of International Visitors, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, ECA/PE/V/C SA– 44, Rm 247, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, prior to Tuesday, June 12, 2007. Dated: May 1, 2007. Dina Habib Powell, Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. [FR Doc. E7–8684 Filed 5–4–07; 8:45 am] will hold a series of informational plenary sessions and subject-specific committee breakout sessions, which will be open to the public. On Tuesday, May 22, 2007, the Commission will meet from 1:45 p.m. until 4 p.m. to discuss recommendations on the meeting’s theme and other UNESCOrelated issues. Members of the public who wish to attend any of these meetings should contact the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO no later than Wednesday, May 16th for further information about admission, as seating is limited. Those who wish to make oral comments during the public comment section held during the concluding session Tuesday afternoon should request to be scheduled by Wednesday, May 16th. Each individual will be limited to five minutes, with the total oral comment period not exceeding thirty minutes. Written comments should be submitted by Monday, May 14th to allow time for distribution to the Commission members prior to the meeting. The National Commission may be contacted via e-mail at DCUNESCO@state.gov, or via phone at (202) 663–0026. Its Web site can be accessed at: https://www.state.gov/p/io/ unesco/. Dated: May 1, 2007. Susanna Connaughton, U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, Department of State. [FR Doc. E7–8687 Filed 5–4–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–19–P BILLING CODE 4710–05–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT OF STATE Federal Aviation Administration [Public Notice 5760] Availability of Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) (New), St. Marys Airport, St. Marys, GA U.S. National Commission for UNESCO; Notice of Annual Meeting The Annual Meeting of the U.S. National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will take place on Monday, May 21, 2007 and Tuesday, May 22, 2007, at the Marriott Georgetown University Conference Hotel, Washington, DC (3800 Reservoir Road, NW.). The theme of this year’s Annual Meeting is ‘‘UNESCO as a Capacity Builder: Pursuing its mandate through Education, the Sciences, Culture, and Communications.’’ On Monday, May 21 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Tuesday, May 22 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Commission pwalker on PROD1PC71 with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:24 May 04, 2007 Jkt 211001 Federal Aviation Administration, DOT. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Atlanta Airports District Office on March 27, 2007, issued a Finding of No Significant Impact for proposed construction of a replacement airport at St. Marys, Georgia. Copies of the FONSI are available for review by the public for thirty (30) days at the following location: Federal Aviation Administration, Atlanta Airports District Office, 1701 Columbia Ave., PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 25831 Campus Building 2–260, College Park, Georgia 30337. Scott Seritt, Manager, Atlanta Airports District Office. [FR Doc. 07–2209 Filed 5–4–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–M DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2007–27333] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 21 individuals from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The exemptions will enable these individuals to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce without meeting the prescribed vision standard. The Agency has concluded that granting these exemptions will provide a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety maintained without the exemptions for these CMV drivers. DATES: The exemptions are effective May 7, 2007. The exemptions expire on May 7, 2009. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Mary D. Gunnels, Chief, Physical Qualifications Division, (202) 366–4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Room 8301, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic Access You may see all the comments online through the Document Management System (DMS) at https://dmses.dot.gov. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to https:// dms.dot.gov and/or Room PL–401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments received into any of DOT’s dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or of the person signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of E:\FR\FM\07MYN1.SGM 07MYN1 25832 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 87 / Monday, May 7, 2007 / Notices an association, business, labor union, or other entity). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register (65 FR 19477, Apr. 11, 2000). This statement is also available at https://dms.dot.gov. pwalker on PROD1PC71 with NOTICES Background On March 16, 2007, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the public (72 FR 12666). That notice listed 21 applicants’ case histories. The 21 individuals applied for exemptions from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), for drivers who operate CMVs in interstate commerce. Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption for a 2year period 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 statute also allows the Agency to renew exemptions at the end of the 2-year period. Accordingly, FMCSA has evaluated the 21 applications on their merits and made a determination to grant exemptions to 21 of them. The comment period closed on April 16, 2007. Vision and Driving Experience of the Applicants The vision requirement in the FMCSRs provides: A person is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if that person has distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in each eye without corrective lenses or visual acuity separately corrected to 20/40 (Snellen) or better with corrective lenses, distant binocular acuity of a least 20/40 (Snellen) in both eyes with or without corrective lenses, field of vision of at least 70° in the horizontal meridian in each eye, and the ability to recognize the colors of traffic signals and devices showing standard red, green, and amber (49 CFR 391.41(b)(10)). FMCSA recognizes that some drivers do not meet the vision standard, but have adapted their driving to accommodate their vision limitation and demonstrated their ability to drive safely. The 21 exemption applicants listed in this notice are in this category. They are unable to meet the vision standard in one eye for various reasons, including amblyopia, macular scar, retinal detachment, prosthesis, corneal opacity, optic nerve injury, histoplasmosis syndrome, choroidal rupture and loss of vision due to trauma. In most cases, their eye conditions were not recently developed. All but five of the applicants were either VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:36 May 04, 2007 Jkt 211001 born with their vision impairments or have had them since childhood. The five individuals who sustained their vision conditions as adults have had them for periods ranging from 6 to 36 years. Although each applicant has one eye which does not meet the vision standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), each has at least 20/40 corrected vision in the other eye, and in a doctor’s opinion, has sufficient vision to perform all the tasks necessary to operate a CMV. Doctors’ opinions are supported by the applicants’ possession of valid commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) or non-CDLs to operate CMVs. Before issuing CDLs, States subject drivers to knowledge and skills tests designed to evaluate their qualifications to operate a CMV. All these applicants satisfied the testing standards for their State of residence. By meeting State licensing requirements, the applicants demonstrated their ability to operate a commercial vehicle, with their limited vision, to the satisfaction of the State. While possessing a valid CDL or nonCDL, these 21 drivers have been authorized to drive a CMV in intrastate commerce, even though their vision disqualified them from driving in interstate commerce. They have driven CMVs with their limited vision for careers ranging from 6 to 36 years. In the past 3 years, two of the drivers have had convictions for traffic violations and none of them were involved in crashes. The qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the March 16, 2007 notice (72 FR 12666). Basis for Exemption Determination Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption from the vision standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10) if the exemption is likely to achieve an equivalent or greater level of safety than would be achieved without the exemption. Without the exemption, applicants will continue to be restricted to intrastate driving. With the exemption, applicants can drive in interstate commerce. Thus, our analysis focuses on whether an equal or greater level of safety is likely to be achieved by permitting each of these drivers to drive in interstate commerce as opposed to restricting him or her to driving in intrastate commerce. To evaluate the effect of these exemptions on safety, FMCSA considered not only the medical reports about the applicants’ vision, but also their driving records and experience with the vision deficiency. To qualify for an exemption from the vision PO 00000 Frm 00097 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 standard, FMCSA requires a person to present verifiable evidence that he/she has driven a commercial vehicle safely with the vision deficiency for the past 3 years. Recent driving performance is especially important in evaluating future safety, according to several research studies designed to correlate past and future driving performance. Results of these studies support the principle that the best predictor of future performance by a driver is his/her past record of crashes and traffic violations. Copies of the studies may be found at docket number FMCSA–98– 3637. We believe we can properly apply the principle to monocular drivers, because data from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) former waiver study program clearly demonstrate the driving performance of experienced monocular drivers in the program is better than that of all CMV drivers collectively. (See 61 FR 13338, 13345, March 26, 1996). The fact that experienced monocular drivers demonstrated safe driving records in the waiver program supports a conclusion that other monocular drivers, meeting the same qualifying conditions as those required by the waiver program, are also likely to have adapted to their vision deficiency and will continue to operate safely. The first major research correlating past and future performance was done in England by Greenwood and Yule in 1920. Subsequent studies, building on that model, concluded that crash rates for the same individual exposed to certain risks for two different time periods vary only slightly. (See Bates and Neyman, University of California Publications in Statistics, April 1952.) Other studies demonstrated theories of predicting crash proneness from crash history coupled with other factors. These factors—such as age, sex, geographic location, mileage driven and conviction history—are used every day by insurance companies and motor vehicle bureaus to predict the probability of an individual experiencing future crashes. (See Weber, Donald C., ‘‘Accident Rate Potential: An Application of Multiple Regression Analysis of a Poisson Process,’’ Journal of American Statistical Association, June 1971) A 1964 California Driver Record Study prepared by the California Department of Motor Vehicles concluded that the best overall crash predictor for both concurrent and nonconcurrent events is the number of single convictions. This study used 3 consecutive years of data, comparing the experiences of drivers in the first 2 years with their experiences in the final year. E:\FR\FM\07MYN1.SGM 07MYN1 pwalker on PROD1PC71 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 87 / Monday, May 7, 2007 / Notices Applying principles from these studies to the past 3-year record of the 21 applicants, two of the applicants had traffic violations for speeding. The applicants achieved this record of safety while driving with their vision impairment, demonstrating the likelihood that they have adapted their driving skills to accommodate their condition. As the applicants’ ample driving histories with their vision deficiencies are good predictors of future performance, FMCSA concludes their ability to drive safely can be projected into the future. We believe the applicants’ intrastate driving experience and history provide an adequate basis for predicting their ability to drive safely in interstate commerce. Intrastate driving, like interstate operations, involves substantial driving on highways on the interstate system and on other roads built to interstate standards. Moreover, driving in congested urban areas exposes the driver to more pedestrian and vehicular traffic than exists on interstate highways. Faster reaction to traffic and traffic signals is generally required because distances between them are more compact. These conditions tax visual capacity and driver response just as intensely as interstate driving conditions. The veteran drivers in this proceeding have operated CMVs safely under those conditions for at least 3 years, most for much longer. Their experience and driving records lead us to believe that each applicant is capable of operating in interstate commerce as safely as he/she has been performing in intrastate commerce. Consequently, FMCSA finds that exempting these applicants from the vision standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10) is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the exemption. For this reason, the Agency is granting the exemptions for the 2-year period allowed by 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to 21 of the applicants listed in the notice of March 16, 2007 (72 FR 12666). We recognize that the vision of an applicant may change and affect his/her ability to operate a CMV as safely as in the past. As a condition of the exemption, therefore, FMCSA will impose requirements on the 21 individuals consistent with the grandfathering provisions applied to drivers who participated in the Agency’s vision waiver program. Those requirements are found at 49 CFR 391.64(b) and include the following: (1) That each individual be physically examined every year (a) by an ophthalmologist or optometrist who attests that the vision in the better eye VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:36 May 04, 2007 Jkt 211001 continues to meet the standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), and (b) by a medical examiner who attests that the individual is otherwise physically qualified under 49 CFR 391.41; (2) that each individual provide a copy of the ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s report to the medical examiner at the time of the annual medical examination; and (3) that each individual provide a copy of the annual medical certification to the employer for retention in the driver’s qualification file, or keep a copy in his/her driver’s qualification file if he/she is selfemployed. The driver must also have a copy of the certification when driving, for presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement official. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received no comments in this proceeding. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the 21 exemption applications, FMCSA exempts Rex A. Botsford, Robert A. Casson, Gregory L. Cooper, Kenneth D. Craig, Thomas H. Davenport, Sr., Christopher A. Deadman, Heather M.B. Gordon, William K. Gullett, George Harris, Kenneth C. Keil, Robert K. Kimbel, Melvin A. Kleman, Roosevelt Lawson, Jr., David H. Luckadoo, Emanuel N. Malone, Robert E. Martinez, Richard W. Mullenix, Steven A. Proctor, George K. Sizemore, Robert N. Taylor, and Manuel A. Vargas from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), subject to the requirements cited above (49 CFR 391.64(b)). In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, each exemption will be valid for 2 years unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be revoked if: (1) The person fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted 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. 31136 and 31315. If the exemption is still effective at the end of the 2-year period, the person may apply to FMCSA for a renewal under procedures in effect at that time. Issued on: April 30, 2007. Larry W. Minor, Acting Associate Administrator, Policy and Program Development. [FR Doc. E7–8637 Filed 5–4–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P PO 00000 Frm 00098 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 25833 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA 2007–27111; Notice 2] Baby Trend, Inc.; Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance Baby Trend Inc. (Baby Trend) has determined that certain infant car seats that it produced in 2006 do not comply with paragraph S5.6.1.7(i) of 49 CFR 571.213, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 213, Child Restraint Systems. Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h), Baby Trend has petitioned for a determination that this noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety and has filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. Notice of receipt of a petition was published, with a 30-day public comment period, on February 16, 2007, in the Federal Register (72 FR 7708). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received no comments. To view the petition and all supporting documents, go to: https://dms.dot.gov/ search/searchFormSimple.cfm and enter Docket No. NHTSA–2007–27111. Affected are a total of approximately 30,450 infant car seats produced by Baby Trend between June 21, 2006 and November 30, 2006. Specifically, paragraph S5.6.1.7(i) of FMVSS No. 213 addresses the use of the following statement on child restraints: For recall information, call the U.S. Government’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1– 888–327–4236 (TTY: 1–800–424–9153), or go to https://www.NHTSA.gov. The infant car seats do not have the markings most recently required by paragraph S5.6.1.7. Baby Trend has corrected the problem that caused these errors so that they will not be repeated in future production. Baby Trend argued that the noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety and that no corrective action is warranted. Baby Trend stated that the child restraint seats comply with the stringent dynamic performance requirements of FMVSS No. 213. Baby Trend also asserted that no safety consequence exists for the technical labeling non-compliance. Further, they believe that given the existing lag time, the use of the older version of the information remains a viable means for contacting the NHTSA. Although telephone exchanges have changed, NHTSA still forwards calls in an integrated manner to provide E:\FR\FM\07MYN1.SGM 07MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 87 (Monday, May 7, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 25831-25833]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-8637]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2007-27333]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 21 individuals from the 
vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 
(FMCSRs). The exemptions will enable these individuals to operate 
commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce without meeting 
the prescribed vision standard. The Agency has concluded that granting 
these exemptions will provide a level of safety that is equivalent to, 
or greater than, the level of safety maintained without the exemptions 
for these CMV drivers.

DATES: The exemptions are effective May 7, 2007. The exemptions expire 
on May 7, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Mary D. Gunnels, Chief, Physical 
Qualifications Division, (202) 366-4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, 
Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Room 8301, 
Washington, DC 20590-0001. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    You may see all the comments online through the Document Management 
System (DMS) at https://dmses.dot.gov.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to https://dms.dot.gov and/or Room PL-401 on the 
plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays.
    Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of DOT's dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or of the person signing the comment, if 
submitted on behalf of

[[Page 25832]]

an association, business, labor union, or other entity). You may review 
DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register (65 FR 
19477, Apr. 11, 2000). This statement is also available at https://
dms.dot.gov.

Background

    On March 16, 2007, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption 
applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the 
public (72 FR 12666). That notice listed 21 applicants' case histories. 
The 21 individuals applied for exemptions from the vision requirement 
in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), for drivers who operate CMVs in interstate 
commerce.
    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption 
for a 2-year period 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 statute also allows the 
Agency to renew exemptions at the end of the 2-year period. 
Accordingly, FMCSA has evaluated the 21 applications on their merits 
and made a determination to grant exemptions to 21 of them. The comment 
period closed on April 16, 2007.

Vision and Driving Experience of the Applicants

    The vision requirement in the FMCSRs provides:
    A person is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor 
vehicle if that person has distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 
(Snellen) in each eye without corrective lenses or visual acuity 
separately corrected to 20/40 (Snellen) or better with corrective 
lenses, distant binocular acuity of a least 20/40 (Snellen) in both 
eyes with or without corrective lenses, field of vision of at least 
70[deg] in the horizontal meridian in each eye, and the ability to 
recognize the colors of traffic signals and devices showing standard 
red, green, and amber (49 CFR 391.41(b)(10)).
    FMCSA recognizes that some drivers do not meet the vision standard, 
but have adapted their driving to accommodate their vision limitation 
and demonstrated their ability to drive safely. The 21 exemption 
applicants listed in this notice are in this category. They are unable 
to meet the vision standard in one eye for various reasons, including 
amblyopia, macular scar, retinal detachment, prosthesis, corneal 
opacity, optic nerve injury, histoplasmosis syndrome, choroidal rupture 
and loss of vision due to trauma. In most cases, their eye conditions 
were not recently developed. All but five of the applicants were either 
born with their vision impairments or have had them since childhood. 
The five individuals who sustained their vision conditions as adults 
have had them for periods ranging from 6 to 36 years.
    Although each applicant has one eye which does not meet the vision 
standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), each has at least 20/40 corrected 
vision in the other eye, and in a doctor's opinion, has sufficient 
vision to perform all the tasks necessary to operate a CMV. Doctors' 
opinions are supported by the applicants' possession of valid 
commercial driver's licenses (CDLs) or non-CDLs to operate CMVs. Before 
issuing CDLs, States subject drivers to knowledge and skills tests 
designed to evaluate their qualifications to operate a CMV. All these 
applicants satisfied the testing standards for their State of 
residence. By meeting State licensing requirements, the applicants 
demonstrated their ability to operate a commercial vehicle, with their 
limited vision, to the satisfaction of the State.
    While possessing a valid CDL or non-CDL, these 21 drivers have been 
authorized to drive a CMV in intrastate commerce, even though their 
vision disqualified them from driving in interstate commerce. They have 
driven CMVs with their limited vision for careers ranging from 6 to 36 
years. In the past 3 years, two of the drivers have had convictions for 
traffic violations and none of them were involved in crashes.
    The qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each 
applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the March 16, 2007 
notice (72 FR 12666).

Basis for Exemption Determination

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption 
from the vision standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10) if the exemption is 
likely to achieve an equivalent or greater level of safety than would 
be achieved without the exemption. Without the exemption, applicants 
will continue to be restricted to intrastate driving. With the 
exemption, applicants can drive in interstate commerce. Thus, our 
analysis focuses on whether an equal or greater level of safety is 
likely to be achieved by permitting each of these drivers to drive in 
interstate commerce as opposed to restricting him or her to driving in 
intrastate commerce.
    To evaluate the effect of these exemptions on safety, FMCSA 
considered not only the medical reports about the applicants' vision, 
but also their driving records and experience with the vision 
deficiency. To qualify for an exemption from the vision standard, FMCSA 
requires a person to present verifiable evidence that he/she has driven 
a commercial vehicle safely with the vision deficiency for the past 3 
years. Recent driving performance is especially important in evaluating 
future safety, according to several research studies designed to 
correlate past and future driving performance. Results of these studies 
support the principle that the best predictor of future performance by 
a driver is his/her past record of crashes and traffic violations. 
Copies of the studies may be found at docket number FMCSA-98-3637.
    We believe we can properly apply the principle to monocular 
drivers, because data from the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) 
former waiver study program clearly demonstrate the driving performance 
of experienced monocular drivers in the program is better than that of 
all CMV drivers collectively. (See 61 FR 13338, 13345, March 26, 1996). 
The fact that experienced monocular drivers demonstrated safe driving 
records in the waiver program supports a conclusion that other 
monocular drivers, meeting the same qualifying conditions as those 
required by the waiver program, are also likely to have adapted to 
their vision deficiency and will continue to operate safely.
    The first major research correlating past and future performance 
was done in England by Greenwood and Yule in 1920. Subsequent studies, 
building on that model, concluded that crash rates for the same 
individual exposed to certain risks for two different time periods vary 
only slightly. (See Bates and Neyman, University of California 
Publications in Statistics, April 1952.) Other studies demonstrated 
theories of predicting crash proneness from crash history coupled with 
other factors. These factors--such as age, sex, geographic location, 
mileage driven and conviction history--are used every day by insurance 
companies and motor vehicle bureaus to predict the probability of an 
individual experiencing future crashes. (See Weber, Donald C., 
``Accident Rate Potential: An Application of Multiple Regression 
Analysis of a Poisson Process,'' Journal of American Statistical 
Association, June 1971) A 1964 California Driver Record Study prepared 
by the California Department of Motor Vehicles concluded that the best 
overall crash predictor for both concurrent and nonconcurrent events is 
the number of single convictions. This study used 3 consecutive years 
of data, comparing the experiences of drivers in the first 2 years with 
their experiences in the final year.

[[Page 25833]]

    Applying principles from these studies to the past 3-year record of 
the 21 applicants, two of the applicants had traffic violations for 
speeding. The applicants achieved this record of safety while driving 
with their vision impairment, demonstrating the likelihood that they 
have adapted their driving skills to accommodate their condition. As 
the applicants' ample driving histories with their vision deficiencies 
are good predictors of future performance, FMCSA concludes their 
ability to drive safely can be projected into the future.
    We believe the applicants' intrastate driving experience and 
history provide an adequate basis for predicting their ability to drive 
safely in interstate commerce. Intrastate driving, like interstate 
operations, involves substantial driving on highways on the interstate 
system and on other roads built to interstate standards. Moreover, 
driving in congested urban areas exposes the driver to more pedestrian 
and vehicular traffic than exists on interstate highways. Faster 
reaction to traffic and traffic signals is generally required because 
distances between them are more compact. These conditions tax visual 
capacity and driver response just as intensely as interstate driving 
conditions. The veteran drivers in this proceeding have operated CMVs 
safely under those conditions for at least 3 years, most for much 
longer. Their experience and driving records lead us to believe that 
each applicant is capable of operating in interstate commerce as safely 
as he/she has been performing in intrastate commerce. Consequently, 
FMCSA finds that exempting these applicants from the vision standard in 
49 CFR 391.41(b)(10) is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to 
that existing without the exemption. For this reason, the Agency is 
granting the exemptions for the 2-year period allowed by 49 U.S.C. 
31136(e) and 31315 to 21 of the applicants listed in the notice of 
March 16, 2007 (72 FR 12666).
    We recognize that the vision of an applicant may change and affect 
his/her ability to operate a CMV as safely as in the past. As a 
condition of the exemption, therefore, FMCSA will impose requirements 
on the 21 individuals consistent with the grandfathering provisions 
applied to drivers who participated in the Agency's vision waiver 
program.
    Those requirements are found at 49 CFR 391.64(b) and include the 
following: (1) That each individual be physically examined every year 
(a) by an ophthalmologist or optometrist who attests that the vision in 
the better eye continues to meet the standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), 
and (b) by a medical examiner who attests that the individual is 
otherwise physically qualified under 49 CFR 391.41; (2) that each 
individual provide a copy of the ophthalmologist's or optometrist's 
report to the medical examiner at the time of the annual medical 
examination; and (3) that each individual provide a copy of the annual 
medical certification to the employer for retention in the driver's 
qualification file, or keep a copy in his/her driver's qualification 
file if he/she is self-employed. The driver must also have a copy of 
the certification when driving, for presentation to a duly authorized 
Federal, State, or local enforcement official.

Discussion of Comments

    FMCSA received no comments in this proceeding.

Conclusion

    Based upon its evaluation of the 21 exemption applications, FMCSA 
exempts Rex A. Botsford, Robert A. Casson, Gregory L. Cooper, Kenneth 
D. Craig, Thomas H. Davenport, Sr., Christopher A. Deadman, Heather 
M.B. Gordon, William K. Gullett, George Harris, Kenneth C. Keil, Robert 
K. Kimbel, Melvin A. Kleman, Roosevelt Lawson, Jr., David H. Luckadoo, 
Emanuel N. Malone, Robert E. Martinez, Richard W. Mullenix, Steven A. 
Proctor, George K. Sizemore, Robert N. Taylor, and Manuel A. Vargas 
from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), subject to the 
requirements cited above (49 CFR 391.64(b)).
    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, each exemption 
will be valid for 2 years unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The 
exemption will be revoked if: (1) The person fails to comply with the 
terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted 
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. 31136 and 31315.
    If the exemption is still effective at the end of the 2-year 
period, the person may apply to FMCSA for a renewal under procedures in 
effect at that time.

    Issued on: April 30, 2007.
Larry W. Minor,
Acting Associate Administrator, Policy and Program Development.
[FR Doc. E7-8637 Filed 5-4-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P