Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes, 71996-71998 [E7-24556]

Download as PDF 71996 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 19, 2007 / Notices mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, each of the 12 applicants has satisfied the entry conditions for obtaining an exemption from the vision requirements (64 FR 40404; 64 FR 66962; 66 FR 66969; 68 FR 69432; 71 FR 644; 64 FR 54948; 65 FR 159; 66 FR 53826; 68 FR 69434; 71 FR 646; 70 FR 57353; 70 FR 72689). Each of these 12 applicants has requested renewal of the exemption and has submitted evidence showing that the vision in the better eye continues to meet the standard specified at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10) and that the vision impairment is stable. In addition, a review of each record of safety while driving with the respective vision deficiencies over the past two years indicates each applicant continues to meet the vision exemption standards. These factors provide an adequate basis for predicting each driver’s ability to continue to drive safely in interstate commerce. Therefore, FMCSA concludes that extending the exemption for each renewal applicant for a period of two years is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the exemption. Request for Comments FMCSA will review comments received at any time concerning a particular driver’s safety record and determine if the continuation of the exemption is consistent with the requirements at 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315. However, FMCSA requests that interested parties with specific data concerning the safety records of these drivers submit comments by January 18, 2008. FMCSA believes that the requirements for a renewal of an exemption under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 can be satisfied by initially granting the renewal and then requesting and evaluating, if needed, subsequent comments submitted by interested parties. As indicated above, the Agency previously published notices of final disposition announcing its decision to exempt these 12 individuals from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). The final decision to grant an exemption to each of these individuals was based on the merits of each case and only after careful consideration of the comments received to its notices of applications. The notices of applications stated in detail the qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each applicant for an exemption from the vision requirements. That information is available by consulting the above cited Federal Register publications. Interested parties or organizations possessing information that would VerDate Aug<31>2005 21:46 Dec 18, 2007 Jkt 214001 otherwise show that any, or all of these drivers, are not currently achieving the statutory level of safety should immediately notify FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any adverse evidence submitted and, if safety is being compromised or if continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA will take immediate steps to revoke the exemption of a driver. Issued on: December 12, 2007. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development. [FR Doc. E7–24555 Filed 12–18–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [FMCSA Docket No. FMCSA–2007–29035] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt forty-eight individuals from its rule prohibiting persons with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) from operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. The exemptions will enable these individuals to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. DATES: The exemptions are effective December 19, 2007. The exemptions expire on December 21, 2009. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Mary D. Gunnels, Chief, Physical Qualifications Division, (202) 366–4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, Room W64–224, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., 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 Federal Document Management System (FDMS) at: http:// www.regulations.gov. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to http:// www.regulations.gov and/or Room W12–140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey PO 00000 Frm 00126 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Avenue, SE., 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 an association, business, labor union, or other entity). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register (65 FR 19477, April 11, 2000). This statement is also available at http://Docketinfo.dot.gov. Background On November 5, 2007, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of Federal diabetes exemption applications from forty-eight individuals, and requested comments from the public (72 FR 62514). The public comment period closed on December 5, 2007 and three comments were received. FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of the forty-eight applicants and determined that granting the exemptions to these individuals would achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by complying with the current regulation 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3). Diabetes Mellitus and Driving Experience of the Applicants The Agency established the current standard for diabetes in 1970 because several risk studies indicated that diabetic drivers had a higher rate of crash involvement than the general population. The diabetes rule provides that ‘‘A person is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if that person has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus currently requiring insulin for control’’ (49 CFR 391.41(b)(3)). FMCSA established its diabetes exemption program, based on the Agency’s July 2000 study entitled ‘‘A Report to Congress on the Feasibility of a Program to Qualify Individuals with Insulin-Treated Diabetes Mellitus to Operate in Interstate Commerce as Directed by the Transportation Act for the 21st Century.’’ The report concluded that a safe and practicable protocol to allow some drivers with ITDM to operate CMVs is feasible. The 2003 notice in conjunction with the November 8, 2005 (70 FR 67777) Federal Register Notice provides the current protocol for allowing such drivers to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. These forty-eight applicants have had ITDM over a range of 1 to 51 years. These applicants report no E:\FR\FM\19DEN1.SGM 19DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 19, 2007 / Notices hypoglycemic reaction that resulted in loss of consciousness or seizure, that required the assistance of another person, or resulted in impaired cognitive function without warning symptoms in the past 5 years (with one year of stability following any such episode). In each case, an endocrinologist has verified that the driver has demonstrated willingness to properly monitor and manage their diabetes, received education related to diabetes management, and is on a stable insulin regimen. These drivers report no other disqualifying conditions, including diabetes-related complications. Each meets the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). The qualifications and medical condition of each applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the November 5, 2007, Federal Register Notice (72 FR 62514). Therefore, they will not be repeated in this notice. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Basis for Exemption Determination Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption from the diabetes standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) if the exemption is likely to achieve an equivalent or greater level of safety than would be achieved without the exemption. The exemption allows the applicants to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. To evaluate the effect of these exemptions on safety, FMCSA considered medical reports about the applicants’ ITDM and vision, and reviewed the treating endocrinologist’s medical opinion related to the ability of the driver to safely operate a CMV while using insulin. Consequently, FMCSA finds that exempting these applicants from the diabetes standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the exemption. Conditions and Requirements The terms and conditions of the exemption will be provided to the applicants in the exemption document and they include the following: (1) That each individual submit a quarterly monitoring checklist completed by the treating endocrinologist as well as an annual checklist with a comprehensive medical evaluation; (2) that each individual reports within 2 business days of occurrence, all episodes of severe hypoglycemia, significant complications, or inability to manage diabetes; also, any involvement in an accident or any other adverse event in a CMV or personal vehicle, whether or not they are related to an episode of hypoglycemia; (3) that each individual VerDate Aug<31>2005 21:40 Dec 18, 2007 Jkt 214001 provide a copy of the ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s report to the medical examiner at the time of the annual medical examination; and (4) 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 three comments in this proceeding. Two of the comments were recommendations in favor of granting the Federal diabetes exemption to the drivers. The third comment was from an anonymous individual, who stated that he felt it was discriminatory for truck drivers on insulin to have to go through a lengthy process to keep their jobs. With regard to the length of time required to obtain a Federal exemption, FMCSA is required to publish in the Federal Register the name of each eligible individual who applies for a diabetes exemption, and request public comment on the application. The Agency must then review all the comments received and determine whether granting the exemption would achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety provided by compliance with the current diabetes standard. Depending on the complexity of the health issues discussed in the application, a final decision may take up to 180 days from the date we receive the completed application (49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315). We recognize this potential 6month waiting period may seem burdensome. However, we must carefully evaluate each applicant’s request to assess his or her potential safety performance. FMCSA notifies all applicants in writing once a final decision is made. It is not the intention of FMCSA to impose hardship on commercial drivers. CMV drivers are held to a strict physical standard because of the extensive skill required to operate large trucks and buses and the potential harm these vehicles can cause to other motorists. Our safety regulations have a single goal—to reduce the number of CMV crashes and fatalities on the Nation’s highways. FMCSA’s exemption process supports drivers with ITDM who seek to operate in interstate commerce. In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) are not contrary to the Americans with Disabilities Act PO 00000 Frm 00127 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 71997 (ADA) of 1990. The mandates of the ADA do not require that FMCSA alter the driver qualification requirements contained in 49 CFR part 391. The Senate report on the ADA, submitted by its Committee on Labor and Human Resources, included the following explanation: With respect to covered entities subject to rules promulgated by the Department of Transportation regarding physical qualifications for drivers of certain classifications of motor vehicles, it is the Committee’s intent that a person with a disability applying for or currently holding a job subject to these standards must be able to satisfy these physical qualification standards in order to be considered a qualified individual with a disability under Title I of this legislation. S. Rep. 101–116, at 27 (1989). FMSCA relies on the expert medical opinion of the endocrinologist and the medical examiner, who are required to analyze individual ability to control and manage the diabetic condition, including the individual ability and willingness of the driver to monitor blood glucose level on an ongoing basis. Until the Agency issues a Final Rule, however, insulin-treated diabetic drivers must continue to apply for exemptions from FMCSA, and request renewals of such exemptions. FMCSA will grant exemptions only to those applicants who meet the specific conditions and comply with all the requirements of the exemption. Conclusion After considering the comments to the docket, and based upon its evaluation of the forty-eight exemption applications, FMCSA exempts, Paul N. Abelson, Robin R. Baumgartner, Albert W. Bayne, Joseph K. Beasley, Philip E. Brown, Toni A. Brown, Larry M. Burkett, Jr., Ronald J. Charette, Jr., Charles E. Clark, II, Margaret I. Clevidence, Fred J. Combs, Douglas N. Craven, Rene A. DeLuna, Charles Demesmin, Derek E. Dowling, Donald E. Dupke, Jr., Frederick E. Dyer, Ronald S. Easter, Steven W. Freeman, Sr., Robert R. Gladd, Tim E. Holmberg, Russell D. Jordan, Warren D. Knabe, David J. Kreider, Terry R. Leslie, Dennis L. Lorenz, John N. Love, Ronald T. Lowery, Charles C. Madeira, V., Robert J. Malone, John R. Milberger, Norman J. Millard, Eric R. Nickel, Clayton A. Powers, Charles R. Rafferty, Curtis J. Sato, William B. Schauer, Herschel S. Sejnoha, Adam J. Sharp, Darrol H. Sponberg, Reese L. Sullivan, Kenneth R. Tuggle, Robert M. Walker, William A. Watts, Robert E. Weiss, Robert A. Wild, James G. Wilkerson, and Randy L. Wyant, from the ITDM standard in 49 E:\FR\FM\19DEN1.SGM 19DEN1 71998 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 19, 2007 / Notices CFR 391.41(b)(3), subject to the conditions listed under ‘‘Conditions and Requirements’’ above. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 each exemption will be valid for two 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(e) 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: December 12, 2007. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development. [FR Doc. E7–24556 Filed 12–18–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–01–10578, FMCSA–03– 16241] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemptions; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew the exemptions from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for 10 individuals. FMCSA has statutory authority to exempt individuals from the vision requirement if the exemptions granted will not compromise safety. The Agency has concluded that granting these exemption renewals will provide a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety maintained without the exemptions for these commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. This decision is effective December 31, 2007. Comments must be received on or before January 18, 2008. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA–01– 10578, FMCSA–03–16241, using any of the following methods. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES DATES: VerDate Aug<31>2005 21:40 Dec 18, 2007 Jkt 214001 • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number for this Notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to http:// www.regulations.gov at any time or Room W12–140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want acknowledgment that we received your comments, please include a selfaddressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments on-line. Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or of the person signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78; Apr. 11, 2000). This information is also available at http:// DocketInfo.dot.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Mary D. Gunnels, Chief, Physical Qualifications Division, (202)–366– 4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Room W64– 224, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may renew an exemption from PO 00000 Frm 00128 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the vision requirements in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), which applies to drivers of CMVs in interstate commerce, for a two-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 procedures for requesting an exemption (including renewals) are set out in 49 CFR part 381. Exemption Decision This notice addresses 10 individuals who have requested a renewal of their exemption in accordance with FMCSA procedures. FMCSA has evaluated these 10 applications for renewal on their merits and decided to extend each exemption for a renewable two-year period. They are: Ronald G. Austin Rickey C. Dalton Martiniano L. Espinosa Derek T. Ford Paul C. Gruenberg, Jr. James G. LaBair Dennis A. Leschke Lonnie Lomax, Jr. Eugene C. Murphy Carl W. Skinner, Jr. These exemptions are extended subject to the following conditions: (1) That each individual have a physical examination 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 and retain a copy of the certification on his/her person while driving for presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement official. Each exemption will be valid for two years unless rescinded earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be rescinded 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(e) and 31315. Basis for Renewing Exemptions Under 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(1), an exemption may be granted for no longer E:\FR\FM\19DEN1.SGM 19DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 243 (Wednesday, December 19, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 71996-71998]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-24556]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[FMCSA Docket No. FMCSA-2007-29035]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt forty-eight individuals 
from its rule prohibiting persons with insulin-treated diabetes 
mellitus (ITDM) from operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in 
interstate commerce. The exemptions will enable these individuals to 
operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

DATES: The exemptions are effective December 19, 2007. The exemptions 
expire on December 21, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Mary D. Gunnels, Chief, Physical 
Qualifications Division, (202) 366-4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, 
Room W64-224, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, 
SE., 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 Federal Document 
Management System (FDMS) at: http://www.regulations.gov.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov and/or Room W12-140 on the 
ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., 
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 an association, business, labor union, or other 
entity). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the 
Federal Register (65 FR 19477, April 11, 2000). This statement is also 
available at http://Docketinfo.dot.gov.

Background

    On November 5, 2007, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of Federal 
diabetes exemption applications from forty-eight individuals, and 
requested comments from the public (72 FR 62514). The public comment 
period closed on December 5, 2007 and three comments were received.
    FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of the forty-eight applicants 
and determined that granting the exemptions to these individuals would 
achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level 
that would be achieved by complying with the current regulation 49 CFR 
391.41(b)(3).

Diabetes Mellitus and Driving Experience of the Applicants

    The Agency established the current standard for diabetes in 1970 
because several risk studies indicated that diabetic drivers had a 
higher rate of crash involvement than the general population. The 
diabetes rule provides that ``A person is physically qualified to drive 
a commercial motor vehicle if that person has no established medical 
history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus currently requiring 
insulin for control'' (49 CFR 391.41(b)(3)).
    FMCSA established its diabetes exemption program, based on the 
Agency's July 2000 study entitled ``A Report to Congress on the 
Feasibility of a Program to Qualify Individuals with Insulin-Treated 
Diabetes Mellitus to Operate in Interstate Commerce as Directed by the 
Transportation Act for the 21st Century.'' The report concluded that a 
safe and practicable protocol to allow some drivers with ITDM to 
operate CMVs is feasible. The 2003 notice in conjunction with the 
November 8, 2005 (70 FR 67777) Federal Register Notice provides the 
current protocol for allowing such drivers to operate CMVs in 
interstate commerce.
    These forty-eight applicants have had ITDM over a range of 1 to 51 
years. These applicants report no

[[Page 71997]]

hypoglycemic reaction that resulted in loss of consciousness or 
seizure, that required the assistance of another person, or resulted in 
impaired cognitive function without warning symptoms in the past 5 
years (with one year of stability following any such episode). In each 
case, an endocrinologist has verified that the driver has demonstrated 
willingness to properly monitor and manage their diabetes, received 
education related to diabetes management, and is on a stable insulin 
regimen. These drivers report no other disqualifying conditions, 
including diabetes-related complications. Each meets the vision 
standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10).
    The qualifications and medical condition of each applicant were 
stated and discussed in detail in the November 5, 2007, Federal 
Register Notice (72 FR 62514). Therefore, they will not be repeated in 
this notice.

Basis for Exemption Determination

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption 
from the diabetes standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) if the exemption is 
likely to achieve an equivalent or greater level of safety than would 
be achieved without the exemption. The exemption allows the applicants 
to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
    To evaluate the effect of these exemptions on safety, FMCSA 
considered medical reports about the applicants' ITDM and vision, and 
reviewed the treating endocrinologist's medical opinion related to the 
ability of the driver to safely operate a CMV while using insulin.
    Consequently, FMCSA finds that exempting these applicants from the 
diabetes standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) is likely to achieve a level 
of safety equal to that existing without the exemption.

Conditions and Requirements

    The terms and conditions of the exemption will be provided to the 
applicants in the exemption document and they include the following: 
(1) That each individual submit a quarterly monitoring checklist 
completed by the treating endocrinologist as well as an annual 
checklist with a comprehensive medical evaluation; (2) that each 
individual reports within 2 business days of occurrence, all episodes 
of severe hypoglycemia, significant complications, or inability to 
manage diabetes; also, any involvement in an accident or any other 
adverse event in a CMV or personal vehicle, whether or not they are 
related to an episode of hypoglycemia; (3) 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 (4) 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 three comments in this proceeding. Two of the 
comments were recommendations in favor of granting the Federal diabetes 
exemption to the drivers. The third comment was from an anonymous 
individual, who stated that he felt it was discriminatory for truck 
drivers on insulin to have to go through a lengthy process to keep 
their jobs.
    With regard to the length of time required to obtain a Federal 
exemption, FMCSA is required to publish in the Federal Register the 
name of each eligible individual who applies for a diabetes exemption, 
and request public comment on the application.
    The Agency must then review all the comments received and determine 
whether granting the exemption would achieve a level of safety 
equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety provided by 
compliance with the current diabetes standard. Depending on the 
complexity of the health issues discussed in the application, a final 
decision may take up to 180 days from the date we receive the completed 
application (49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315). We recognize this potential 
6-month waiting period may seem burdensome. However, we must carefully 
evaluate each applicant's request to assess his or her potential safety 
performance. FMCSA notifies all applicants in writing once a final 
decision is made. It is not the intention of FMCSA to impose hardship 
on commercial drivers. CMV drivers are held to a strict physical 
standard because of the extensive skill required to operate large 
trucks and buses and the potential harm these vehicles can cause to 
other motorists. Our safety regulations have a single goal--to reduce 
the number of CMV crashes and fatalities on the Nation's highways.
    FMCSA's exemption process supports drivers with ITDM who seek to 
operate in interstate commerce. In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) are not contrary to the Americans with 
Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The mandates of the ADA do not require 
that FMCSA alter the driver qualification requirements contained in 49 
CFR part 391. The Senate report on the ADA, submitted by its Committee 
on Labor and Human Resources, included the following explanation:

    With respect to covered entities subject to rules promulgated by 
the Department of Transportation regarding physical qualifications 
for drivers of certain classifications of motor vehicles, it is the 
Committee's intent that a person with a disability applying for or 
currently holding a job subject to these standards must be able to 
satisfy these physical qualification standards in order to be 
considered a qualified individual with a disability under Title I of 
this legislation. S. Rep. 101-116, at 27 (1989).

    FMSCA relies on the expert medical opinion of the endocrinologist 
and the medical examiner, who are required to analyze individual 
ability to control and manage the diabetic condition, including the 
individual ability and willingness of the driver to monitor blood 
glucose level on an ongoing basis. Until the Agency issues a Final 
Rule, however, insulin-treated diabetic drivers must continue to apply 
for exemptions from FMCSA, and request renewals of such exemptions. 
FMCSA will grant exemptions only to those applicants who meet the 
specific conditions and comply with all the requirements of the 
exemption.

Conclusion

    After considering the comments to the docket, and based upon its 
evaluation of the forty-eight exemption applications, FMCSA exempts, 
Paul N. Abelson, Robin R. Baumgartner, Albert W. Bayne, Joseph K. 
Beasley, Philip E. Brown, Toni A. Brown, Larry M. Burkett, Jr., Ronald 
J. Charette, Jr., Charles E. Clark, II, Margaret I. Clevidence, Fred J. 
Combs, Douglas N. Craven, Rene A. DeLuna, Charles Demesmin, Derek E. 
Dowling, Donald E. Dupke, Jr., Frederick E. Dyer, Ronald S. Easter, 
Steven W. Freeman, Sr., Robert R. Gladd, Tim E. Holmberg, Russell D. 
Jordan, Warren D. Knabe, David J. Kreider, Terry R. Leslie, Dennis L. 
Lorenz, John N. Love, Ronald T. Lowery, Charles C. Madeira, V., Robert 
J. Malone, John R. Milberger, Norman J. Millard, Eric R. Nickel, 
Clayton A. Powers, Charles R. Rafferty, Curtis J. Sato, William B. 
Schauer, Herschel S. Sejnoha, Adam J. Sharp, Darrol H. Sponberg, Reese 
L. Sullivan, Kenneth R. Tuggle, Robert M. Walker, William A. Watts, 
Robert E. Weiss, Robert A. Wild, James G. Wilkerson, and Randy L. 
Wyant, from the ITDM standard in 49

[[Page 71998]]

CFR 391.41(b)(3), subject to the conditions listed under ``Conditions 
and Requirements'' above.
    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 each exemption will 
be valid for two 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(e) 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: December 12, 2007.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development.
 [FR Doc. E7-24556 Filed 12-18-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P