Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 9478-9480 [2010-4255]

Download as PDF 9478 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 2, 2010 / Notices Request for Comments DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 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 April 1, 2010. 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 19 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 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. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with NOTICES Issued on: February 19, 2010. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development. [FR Doc. 2010–4240 Filed 3–1–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:07 Mar 01, 2010 Jkt 220001 [Docket ID FMCSA–2009–0291] 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 24 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 March 2, 2010. The exemptions expire on March 2, 2012. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Mary D. Gunnels, Director, Medical Programs, (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: 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 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 acknowledgment 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 PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 19476). This information is also available at http://www.regulations.gov. Background On December 11, 2009, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the public (74 FR 65842). That notice listed 24 applicants’ case histories. The 24 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 24 applications on their merits and made a determination to grant exemptions to all of them. 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 24 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, aphakia, corneal scarring, glaucoma, prosthesis, retinal detachment, macular scarring, optic atrophy, myopic astigmatism, and loss of vision due to trauma. In most cases, their eye conditions were not recently developed. All but 14 of the applicants E:\FR\FM\02MRN1.SGM 02MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 2, 2010 / Notices were either born with their vision impairments or have had them since childhood. The 14 individuals who sustained their vision conditions as adults have had them for periods ranging from 5 to 48 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 24 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 7 to 28 years. In the past 3 years, six of the drivers had convictions for traffic violations and three of the drivers were involved in crashes. The qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the December 11, 2009 notice (74 FR 65842). WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with NOTICES 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 VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:07 Mar 01, 2010 Jkt 220001 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–1998–3637. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 9479 consecutive years of data, comparing the experiences of drivers in the first 2 years with their experiences in the final year. Applying principles from these studies to the past 3-year record of the 24 applicants, two of the applicants had a traffic violation for speeding, two of the applicants had a traffic violation for failure to obey a traffic sign, two of the applicants had a traffic violation for driving in the wrong lane, one of the applicants had a traffic violation for unsafe operation of a motor vehicle, and three applicants were involved in a crash. 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 that 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 the 24 applicants listed in the notice of December 11, 2009 (74 FR 65842). 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 24 E:\FR\FM\02MRN1.SGM 02MRN1 9480 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 2, 2010 / Notices 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 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. WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with NOTICES Discussion of Comments FMCSA received no comments in this proceeding. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the 24 exemption applications, FMCSA exempts, Dennis J. Ameling, Cris D. Bush, Cary Carn, Billy C. Chenault, Matthew J. Cruver, Harvey H. Curtis, Sr., David E. Evans, Wayne W. Ferguson, Randy M. Garcia, Miguel Godinez, Henry J. Gregoire, Jr., Jason L. Hoovan, Tom A. McCarty, Carlos C. MendezCastellon, Glenn A. Miller, Raymond R. Miller, Russell L. Moyers, William E. Norris, Donald D. Overton, Willie L. Parks, Derrick A. Robinson, Clarence Robinshaw, Jr., Norman J. Watson and Jeffrey T. Zuniga 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. VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:07 Mar 01, 2010 Jkt 220001 Issued on February 19, 2010. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development. [FR Doc. 2010–4255 Filed 3–1–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket ID. FMCSA–2009–0011] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of applications for exemptions; request for comments. SUMMARY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 19 individuals for exemption from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. If granted, the exemptions would enable these individuals to qualify as drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce without meeting the Federal vision standard. DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 1, 2010. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA– 2009–0011 using any of the following methods: • 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: 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 ID 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 PO 00000 Frm 00101 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 19476). This information is also available at http://www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Mary D. Gunnels, Director, Medical Programs, (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 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.’’ FMCSA can renew exemptions at the end of each 2-year period. The 19 individuals listed in this notice have each requested an exemption from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), which applies to drivers of CMVs in interstate commerce. Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate the qualifications of each applicant to determine whether granting an exemption will achieve the required level of safety mandated by statute. Qualifications of Applicants Dwight A. Bennett Mr. Bennett, age 33, has had amblyopia in his right eye since birth. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is count-finger vision and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2009, his optometrist noted, ‘‘Patient has sufficient vision to operate a commercial vehicle according to data shown today.’’ Mr. Bennett reported that he has driven straight E:\FR\FM\02MRN1.SGM 02MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 40 (Tuesday, March 2, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 9478-9480]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-4255]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket ID FMCSA-2009-0291]


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 24 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 March 2, 2010. The exemptions 
expire on March 2, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Mary D. Gunnels, Director, Medical 
Programs, (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:

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 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 self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard 
or print the acknowledgment 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 19476). This information is 
also available at http://www.regulations.gov.

Background

    On December 11, 2009, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of 
exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments 
from the public (74 FR 65842). That notice listed 24 applicants' case 
histories. The 24 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 24 applications on their merits 
and made a determination to grant exemptions to all of them.

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 24 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, aphakia, corneal scarring, glaucoma, prosthesis, retinal 
detachment, macular scarring, optic atrophy, myopic astigmatism, and 
loss of vision due to trauma. In most cases, their eye conditions were 
not recently developed. All but 14 of the applicants

[[Page 9479]]

were either born with their vision impairments or have had them since 
childhood. The 14 individuals who sustained their vision conditions as 
adults have had them for periods ranging from 5 to 48 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 24 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 7 to 28 
years. In the past 3 years, six of the drivers had convictions for 
traffic violations and three of the drivers were involved in crashes.
    The qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each 
applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the December 11, 2009 
notice (74 FR 65842).

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-1998-3637.
    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.
    Applying principles from these studies to the past 3-year record of 
the 24 applicants, two of the applicants had a traffic violation for 
speeding, two of the applicants had a traffic violation for failure to 
obey a traffic sign, two of the applicants had a traffic violation for 
driving in the wrong lane, one of the applicants had a traffic 
violation for unsafe operation of a motor vehicle, and three applicants 
were involved in a crash. 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 that 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 the 24 applicants listed in the notice of 
December 11, 2009 (74 FR 65842).
    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 24

[[Page 9480]]

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 24 exemption applications, FMCSA 
exempts, Dennis J. Ameling, Cris D. Bush, Cary Carn, Billy C. Chenault, 
Matthew J. Cruver, Harvey H. Curtis, Sr., David E. Evans, Wayne W. 
Ferguson, Randy M. Garcia, Miguel Godinez, Henry J. Gregoire, Jr., 
Jason L. Hoovan, Tom A. McCarty, Carlos C. Mendez-Castellon, Glenn A. 
Miller, Raymond R. Miller, Russell L. Moyers, William E. Norris, Donald 
D. Overton, Willie L. Parks, Derrick A. Robinson, Clarence Robinshaw, 
Jr., Norman J. Watson and Jeffrey T. Zuniga 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 February 19, 2010.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development.
[FR Doc. 2010-4255 Filed 3-1-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P