Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 39727-39729 [2010-16833]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 132 / Monday, July 12, 2010 / Notices straight trucks for 3 years, accumulating 39,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from New York. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Albert E. Joiner Mr. Joiner, 53, has had macular scarring in his right eye since 2006. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/400 and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2009, his ophthalmologist noted, ‘‘In my medical opinion, I believe the applicant has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Joiner reported that he has driven straight trucks for 4 years, accumulating 166,400 miles and tractortrailer combinations for 33 years, accumulating 2.5 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Ohio. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with NOTICES Richard L. Kelley Mr. Kelley, 72, has had optic nerve atrophy in his left eye since 2000. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/25 and in his left eye, 20/150. Following an examination in 2010, his ophthalmologist noted, ‘‘It is my opinion that he has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Kelley reported that he has driven tractortrailer combinations for 27 years, accumulating 3.3 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Minnesota. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Charles E. Queen Mr. Queen, 53, sustained traumatic injury to his left optic nerve at age 14. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20 and in his left eye, 20/ 300. Following an examination in 2009, his optometrist noted, ‘‘In my medical opinion, Charles E. Queen has sufficient peripheral vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Queen reported that he has driven straight trucks for 26 years, accumulating 1.6 million miles and tractor-trailer combinations for 26 years, accumulating 1.6 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Ohio. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Matias P. Quintanilla Mr. Quintanilla, 47, has a ruptured globe in his left eye due to a traumatic injury sustained in 2005. The best VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:19 Jul 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20 and in his left eye, hand-motion vision. Following an examination in 2010, his optometrist noted, ‘‘In my opinion, he should have sufficient vision to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Quintanilla reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 9 years, accumulating 720,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from California. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Richard T. Traigle Mr. Traigle, 49, has had macular scarring in his left eye since 2000. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20 and in his left eye, 20/200. Following an examination in 2010, his ophthalmologist noted, ‘‘In my medical opinion, Mr. Traigle has sufficient vision to perform any driving tasks that he may need to perform in operating a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Traigle reported that he has driven straight trucks for 15 years, accumulating 300,000 miles. He holds a Class D chauffeur’s from Louisiana. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Eugene E. Wright Mr. Wright, 62, has had amblyopia in his left eye since 1998. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20 and in his left eye, 20/400. Following an examination in 2010, his ophthalmologist noted, ‘‘In my opinion he has adequate visual acuity and field to drive a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Wright reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 16 years, accumulating 1.5 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Pennsylvania. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Request for Comments In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA requests public comment from all interested persons on the exemption petitions described in this Notice. The Agency will consider all comments received before the close of business August 11, 2010. Comments will be available for examination in the docket at the location listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The Agency will file comments received after the comment closing date in the public docket, and will consider them to the extent practicable. In addition to late comments, FMCSA will also continue to file, in the public docket, relevant information that becomes available after the comment PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 39727 closing date. Interested persons should monitor the public docket for new material. Issued on: June 30, 2010. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development. [FR Doc. 2010–16830 Filed 7–9–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2010–0082] 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 22 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 July 12, 2010. The exemptions expire on July 12, 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, E:\FR\FM\12JYN1.SGM 12JYN1 39728 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 132 / Monday, July 12, 2010 / Notices 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. Background On May 10, 2010, FMCSA published a Notice of receipt of exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the public (75 FR 25917). That Notice listed 22 applicants’ case histories. The 22 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 22 applications on their merits and made a determination to grant exemptions to each of them. Vision and Driving Experience of the Applicants The vision requirement in the FMCSRs provides: erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with NOTICES 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 22 exemption applicants listed in this Notice are in this category. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:19 Jul 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 They are unable to meet the vision standard in one eye for various reasons, including amblyopia, choroidal melanoma, complete loss of vision, corioretinal scarring, glaucoma, macular scarring, ocular histoplasmosis, and prosthesis. In most cases, their eye conditions were not recently developed. All but 9 of the applicants were either born with their vision impairments or have had them since childhood. The 9 individuals who sustained their vision conditions as adults have had them for periods ranging from 4 to 21 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 22 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 3 to 47 years. In the past 3 years, four of the drivers had convictions for traffic violations and one of the drivers was involved in a crash. The qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the May 10, 2010 notice (75 FR 25917). 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 PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 E:\FR\FM\12JYN1.SGM 12JYN1 erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 132 / Monday, July 12, 2010 / Notices 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 22 applicants, two of the applicants had traffic violations for speeding, one of the applicants had a traffic violation for failure to obey a traffic control device, one of the applicants had a traffic violation for failure to use the proper signal while changing lanes and one of the drivers was involved in a crash. All the applicants achieved a 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 22 applicants listed in the notice of May 10, 2010 (75 FR 25917). VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:19 Jul 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 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 22 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. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received one comment in this proceeding. The comment was considered and discussed below. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation stated that it had reviewed the driving record for Terry L. Rubendall and was in favor of granting a Federal vision exemption to this individual. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the 22 exemption applications, FMCSA exempts Clarke C. Boynton, Clare H. Buxton, Raul Charo, Lester M. Ellingson, Jr., Miguel H. Espinoza, Billy R. Gibbs, Clyde J. Harms, Ricky P. Hastings, Wesley V. Holland, William D. Holt, Azizi A. Jamal, William L. Martin, Gary G. McKown, Larry D. Moss, Leland B. Moss, Michael J. Rankin, Jacob H. Riggle, Terry L. Rubendall, Michael L. Skeens, Lee F. Taylor, Aaron E. Wright and Michael A. Zingarella, Sr., 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 PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 39729 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 June 30, 2010. Larry W. Mino, Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development. [FR Doc. 2010–16833 Filed 7–9–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Departmental Offices; Debt Management Advisory Committee Meeting Notice is hereby given, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. App. 2, § 10(a)(2), that a meeting will be held at the The Sofitel— Washington DC, Lafayette Square, at 806 15th Street, NW., Washington, DC, on August 3, 2010 at 10 a.m. of the following debt management advisory committee: Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. The agenda for the meeting provides for a charge by the Secretary of the Treasury or his designate that the Committee discuss particular issues and conduct a working session. Following the working session, the Committee will present a written report of its recommendations. The meeting will be closed to the public, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. App. 2, § 10(d) and Public Law 103–202, § 202(c)(1)(B) (31 U.S.C. 3 121 note). This notice shall constitute my determination, pursuant to the authority placed in heads of agencies by 5 U.S.C. App. 2, § 10(d) and vested in me by Treasury Department Order No. 101–05, that the meeting will consist of discussions and debates of the issues presented to the Committee by the Secretary of the Treasury and the making of recommendations of the Committee to the Secretary, pursuant to Public Law 103–202, § 202(c)(1)(B). Thus, this information is exempt from disclosure under that provision and 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(3)(B). In addition, the meeting is concerned with information that is exempt from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(A). The public interest requires that such meetings be closed to E:\FR\FM\12JYN1.SGM 12JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 132 (Monday, July 12, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 39727-39729]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-16833]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0082]


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 22 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 July 12, 2010. The exemptions 
expire on July 12, 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,

[[Page 39728]]

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 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.

Background

    On May 10, 2010, FMCSA published a Notice of receipt of exemption 
applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the 
public (75 FR 25917). That Notice listed 22 applicants' case histories. 
The 22 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 22 applications on their merits 
and made a determination to grant exemptions to each 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 22 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, choroidal melanoma, complete loss of vision, corioretinal 
scarring, glaucoma, macular scarring, ocular histoplasmosis, and 
prosthesis. In most cases, their eye conditions were not recently 
developed. All but 9 of the applicants were either born with their 
vision impairments or have had them since childhood. The 9 individuals 
who sustained their vision conditions as adults have had them for 
periods ranging from 4 to 21 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 22 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 3 to 47 
years. In the past 3 years, four of the drivers had convictions for 
traffic violations and one of the drivers was involved in a crash.
    The qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each 
applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the May 10, 2010 
notice (75 FR 25917).

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

[[Page 39729]]

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 22 applicants, two of the applicants had traffic violations for 
speeding, one of the applicants had a traffic violation for failure to 
obey a traffic control device, one of the applicants had a traffic 
violation for failure to use the proper signal while changing lanes and 
one of the drivers was involved in a crash. All the applicants achieved 
a 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 22 applicants listed in the notice of May 10, 
2010 (75 FR 25917).
    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 22 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 one comment in this proceeding. The comment was 
considered and discussed below.
    The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation stated that it had 
reviewed the driving record for Terry L. Rubendall and was in favor of 
granting a Federal vision exemption to this individual.

Conclusion

    Based upon its evaluation of the 22 exemption applications, FMCSA 
exempts Clarke C. Boynton, Clare H. Buxton, Raul Charo, Lester M. 
Ellingson, Jr., Miguel H. Espinoza, Billy R. Gibbs, Clyde J. Harms, 
Ricky P. Hastings, Wesley V. Holland, William D. Holt, Azizi A. Jamal, 
William L. Martin, Gary G. McKown, Larry D. Moss, Leland B. Moss, 
Michael J. Rankin, Jacob H. Riggle, Terry L. Rubendall, Michael L. 
Skeens, Lee F. Taylor, Aaron E. Wright and Michael A. Zingarella, Sr., 
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 June 30, 2010.
Larry W. Mino,
Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development.
[FR Doc. 2010-16833 Filed 7-9-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P