Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 63255-63258 [2010-25839]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 198 / Thursday, October 14, 2010 / Notices 6. Project Sponsor and Facility: Citrus Energy (Susquehanna River), Washington Township, Wyoming County, Pa. Surface water withdrawal of up to 1.994 mgd. 7. Project Sponsor and Facility: Geary Enterprises (Buttermilk Creek), Falls Township, Wyoming County, Pa. Surface water withdrawal of up to 0.099 mgd. 8. Project Sponsor: New Morgan Landfill Company, Inc. Project Facility: Conestoga Landfill, New Morgan Borough, Berks County, Pa. Groundwater withdrawal of up to 0.003 mgd from the Shop Well and surface water withdrawal of up to 0.249 mgd from the Quarry Pond. 9. Project Sponsor and Facility: Novus Operating, LLC (Cowanesque River), Westfield Township, Tioga County, Pa. Surface water withdrawal of up to 0.750 mgd. 10. Project Sponsor and Facility: Smith Transport Warehouse (Bald Eagle Creek), Snyder Township, Blair County, Pa. Surface water withdrawal of up to 0.160 mgd. 11. Project Sponsor and Facility: Sugar Hollow Trout Park and Hatchery, Eaton Township, Wyoming County, Pa. Groundwater withdrawal of up to 0.864 mgd combined total from Wells 1, 2, and 3 (Hatchery Well Field). 12. Project Sponsor and Facility: Talisman Energy USA Inc. (Seeley Creek), Wells Township, Bradford County, Pa. Surface water withdrawal of up to 0.750 mgd. 13. Project Sponsor and Facility: Talisman Energy USA Inc. (Wyalusing Creek), Stevens Township, Bradford County, Pa. Surface water withdrawal of up to 2.000 mgd. 14. Project Sponsor and Facility: Williams Production Appalachia, LLC (Snake Creek), Liberty Township, Susquehanna County, Pa. Modification to project features of the withdrawal approval (Docket No. 20090302). jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES 1. Project Sponsor and Facility: Anadarko E&P Company LP (Wolf Run), Snow Shoe Township, Centre County, Pa. Application for surface water withdrawal of up to 0.499 mgd. 2. Project Sponsor and Facility: Chief Oil & Gas LLC (Martins Creek), Hop Bottom Borough, Susquehanna County, Pa. Application for surface water withdrawal of up to 0.360 mgd. 3. Project Sponsor and Facility: Mansfield Borough Municipal Authority, Richmond Township, Tioga County, Pa. Application for groundwater withdrawal of up to 0.079 mgd from Well 3. 16:30 Oct 13, 2010 Jkt 223001 Public Hearing—Diversion Project Approved 1. Project Sponsor: Gettysburg Municipal Authority. Project Facility: Hunterstown Wastewater Treatment Plant, Straban Township, Adams County, Pa. Application for an existing into-basin diversion of up to 0.123 mgd from the Potomac River Basin. Public Hearing—Rescission of Project Approvals 1. Project Sponsor: McNeil PPC. Project Facility: Johnson & Johnson (Docket No. 20050906), Lititz Borough, Lancaster County, Pa. 2. Project Sponsor: Northampton Fuel Supply Company, Inc. Project Facility: Loomis Bank Operation (Docket No. 20040904), Hanover Township, Luzerne County, Pa. Authority: Pub. L. 91–575, 84 Stat. 1509 et seq., 18 CFR parts 806, 807, and 808. Dated: September 30, 2010. Thomas W. Beauduy, Deputy Executive Director. [FR Doc. 2010–25792 Filed 10–13–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7040–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Procedures Advisory Committee Meeting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. SUMMARY: The FAA is issuing this notice to advise the public that a meeting of the Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Procedures Advisory Committee (ATPAC) will be held to review present air traffic control procedures and practices for standardization, revision, clarification, and upgrading of terminology and procedures. DATES: The meeting will be held Tuesday, October 26, and Wednesday October 27, 2010 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at Gaylord National Resort, and AGENCY: Public Hearing—Projects Tabled VerDate Mar<15>2010 4. Project Sponsor and Facility: Novus Operating, LLC (Tioga River), Covington Township, Tioga County, Pa. Application for surface water withdrawal of up to 1.750 mgd. 5. Project Sponsor and Facility: Walker Township Water Association, Walker Township, Centre County, Pa. Modification to increase the total groundwater system withdrawal limit (30-day average) from 0.523 mgd to 0.962 mgd (Docket No. 20070905). PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 63255 Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, MD 20745. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Richard Jehlen, ATPAC Executive Director, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591. Telephone (202) 493–4527. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92– 463; 5 U.S.C. App.2), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the ATPAC to be held Tuesday, October 26, and Wednesday, October 27, 2010, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The agenda for this meeting will cover a continuation of the ATPAC’s review of present air traffic control procedures and practices for standardization, revision, clarification, and upgrading of terminology and procedures. It will also include: 1. Approval of Minutes; 2. Submission and Discussion of Areas of Concern; 3. Discussion of Potential Safety Items; 4. Report from Executive Director; 5. Items of Interest; and 6. Discussion and agreement of location and dates for subsequent meetings. Attendance is open to the interested public but limited to space available. With the approval of the Chairperson, members of the public may present oral statements at the meeting. Persons desiring to attend and persons desiring to present oral statements should notify Mr. Richard Jehlen no later than October 19, 2010. Any member of the public may present a written statement to the ATPAC at any time at the address given above. Issued in Washington, DC, on October 6, 2010. Richard Jehlen, Executive Director, Air Traffic Procedures Advisory Committee. [FR Doc. 2010–25838 Filed 10–13–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2010–0187] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 21 individuals from SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\14OCN1.SGM 14OCN1 63256 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 198 / Thursday, October 14, 2010 / Notices 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 October 14, 2010. The exemptions expire on October 15, 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: jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES 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 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 DOT’s Privacy Act Statement for the FDMS published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316), or you may visit http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/ E8–785.pdf. Background On August 9, 2010, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:30 Oct 13, 2010 Jkt 223001 public (75 FR 47883). That notice listed 21 applicants’ case histories. The 21 individuals applied for exemptions from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), for drivers who operate CMVs in interstate commerce. Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption for a 2year period if it finds ‘‘such exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption.’’ The statute also allows the Agency to renew exemptions at the end of the 2-year period. Accordingly, FMCSA has evaluated the 21 applications on their merits and made a determination to grant exemptions to 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° in the horizontal meridian in each eye, and the ability to recognize the colors of traffic signals and devices showing standard red, green, and amber (49 CFR 391.41(b)(10)). FMCSA recognizes that some drivers do not meet the vision standard, but have adapted their driving to accommodate their vision limitation and demonstrated their ability to drive safely. The 21 exemption applicants listed in this notice are in this category. They are unable to meet the vision standard in one eye for various reasons, including amblyopia, complete loss of vision, hamartoma, loss of vision, macular scarring, prosthesis, pseudoangioma, retinal detachment and retinal scarring. In most cases, their eye conditions were recently developed. Eight of the applicants were either born with their vision impairments or have had them since childhood. The 13 individuals who sustained their vision conditions as adults have had them for periods ranging from 4 to 30 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 PO 00000 Frm 00116 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 of these applicants satisfied the testing standards for their State of residence. By meeting State licensing requirements, the applicants demonstrated their ability to operate a commercial vehicle, with their limited vision, to the satisfaction of the State. While possessing a valid CDL or nonCDL, these 21 drivers have been authorized to drive a CMV in intrastate commerce, even though their vision disqualified them from driving in interstate commerce. They have driven CMVs with their limited vision for careers ranging from 3 to 35 years. In the past 3 years, 4 of the drivers were involved in crashes or convicted of moving violations in a CMV. The qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the August 9, 2010 notice (75 FR 47883). 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 E:\FR\FM\14OCN1.SGM 14OCN1 jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 198 / Thursday, October 14, 2010 / Notices 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 21 applicants, two of the applicants had traffic violations for speeding and two of the applicants were involved in crashes. 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:30 Oct 13, 2010 Jkt 223001 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 21 applicants listed in the notice of August 9, 2010 (75 FR 47883). We recognize that the vision of an applicant may change and affect his/her ability to operate a CMV as safely as in the past. As a condition of the exemption, therefore, FMCSA will impose requirements on the 21 individuals consistent with the grandfathering provisions applied to drivers who participated in the Agency’s vision waiver program. Those requirements are found at 49 CFR 391.64(b) and include the following: (1) That each individual be physically examined every year (a) by an ophthalmologist or optometrist who attests that the vision in the better eye continues to meet the standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), and (b) by a medical examiner who attests that the individual is otherwise physically qualified under 49 CFR 391.41; (2) that each individual provide a copy of the ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s report to the medical examiner at the time of the annual medical examination; and (3) that each individual provide a copy of the annual medical certification to the employer for retention in the driver’s qualification file, or keep a copy in his/her driver’s PO 00000 Frm 00117 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 63257 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 two comments in this proceeding. These comments were considered and discussed below. The Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles stated that it was in favor of granting a Federal vision exemption to Richard W. Gleiforst. An anonymous individual stated that he feels the Agency is negligent and he feels that it is unsafe for individuals with vision deficiencies to be operating vehicles on public roads. In response to this comment, FMCSA’s exemption process supports drivers with vision deficiencies who seek to operate in interstate commerce. In addition, FMSCA relies on the expert medical opinion of the optometrist or ophthalmologist, who are required to attest that the vision in the better eye continues to meet the standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), and the medical examiner, who is required to attest that the individual is otherwise physically qualified under 49 CFR 391.41. Until the Agency issues a Final Rule, however, drivers with vision deficiencies 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 Based upon its evaluation of the 21 exemption applications, FMCSA exempts, Randall J. Benson, Larry D. Brown, Julian W. Collins, James G. Etheridge, Jerry A. Evans, Guys R. Flowers, Jr., Jeremy L. Fricke, Richard W. Gleiforst, Edward P. Hynes, II, Keith R. Jordan, Theodore D. Kirby, Joseph A. Leigh, Jr., John L. Lethcoe, Ronald J. McTague, Benito Saldana, Julius Simmons, Jr., Kenneth J. Weaver, Carl V. Wheeler, Stephen B. Whitt, Darrell F. Woolsey and Jason M. Zaragoza 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 E:\FR\FM\14OCN1.SGM 14OCN1 63258 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 198 / Thursday, October 14, 2010 / Notices 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 September 24, 2010. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development. [FR Doc. 2010–25839 Filed 10–13–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration [Docket No. MARAD 2010–0086, 2010–0087, 2010–0088] Vessel Re-Designations U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: On September 4, 2009, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the United States Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the proper implementation of the Cargo Preference Act (CPA). The MOU was published in the Federal Register in 74 FR 47308 (Sept. 15, 2009). The MOU is also available at http://www.marad.dot.gov/documents/ MAR730.AG-2009-02.pdf. That MOU establishes procedures and standards by which owners and SUMMARY: operators of oceangoing cargo ships may seek to designate each of their vessels as either a dry bulk carrier or a dry cargo liner, according to specified servicebased criteria. This Notice both announces that MARAD has received an application to re-designate three vessels and invites comments there on from interested parties. MARAD will thereafter consider all the information submitted regarding the requested redesignation and other evidence in the record in reaching its decision on the appropriate vessel classification. DATES: Comments are due October 25, 2010. ADDRESSES: All comments should prominently refer to the docket assigned to the vessel to which they pertain. Interested persons are strongly encouraged to submit their comments electronically via the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov. Enter the docket number provided below that pertains to the relevant vessel and follow instructions for submitting comments. Comments may also be submitted via Fax or by hand or express delivery. Fax: (202) 493–2251. Hand or express delivery: Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Yarrington, Maritime Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., Washington, DC 20590; phone: (202) 366–1915; fax: (202) 366–5522; or e-mail: michael.yarrington@dot.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the above individuals during business hours. The FIRS is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individuals. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. Background The CPA requires that federal agencies take ‘‘necessary and practicable’’ steps to ensure that privately-owned U.S.-flag vessels transport at least 50 percent of the gross tonnage of cargo sponsored under Federal programs ‘‘(computed separately for dry bulk carriers, dry cargo liners, and tankers) to the extent such vessels are available at fair and reasonable rates for commercial vessels of the United States, in a manner that will ensure a fair and reasonable participation of commercial vessels of the United States in those cargoes by geographic areas.’’ 46 U.S.C. 55305(b). An additional 25 percent of gross tonnage of certain food assistance programs is to be transported in accordance with the requirements of 46 U.S.C. 55314. The MOU adopts standards and procedures to be used to classify the vessels transporting preference cargo. Owners and operators of the vessels listed below have submitted applications to re-designate their ships as cargo liners. Each vessel has been assigned a separate docket containing the materials submitted. Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding these vessels to the appropriate docket no later than 5 p.m. EDT on [Insert ten days after date of publication]. Commentators are advised to address their comments to the service-based criteria listed in the MOU. APPLICATIONS TO RE-DESIGNATE Owner/operator MARAD–2010–0086 ......................................................... MARAD–2010–0087 ......................................................... MARAD–2010–0088 ......................................................... jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES Docket Liberty Maritime Corp ...................................................... Liberty Maritime Corp ...................................................... Liberty Maritime Corp ...................................................... MARAD will issue such determinations no later than 15 calendar days from the close of the comment period. Vessel owners and operators who object to MARAD’s designation may appeal to the MARAD Administrator within 10 calendar days. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:30 Oct 13, 2010 Jkt 223001 MARAD will issue its final determination in such cases within 30 calendar days after consultation with USAID, USDA, and the U.S. Department of State. Vessel Dated: October 7, 2010. Christine Gurland, Secretary, Maritime Administration. [FR Doc. 2010–25840 Filed 10–13–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–81–P By Order of the Maritime Administrator. PO 00000 Frm 00118 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 M/VLIBERTY EAGLE. M/VLIBERTY GLORY. M/VLIBERTY GRACE. E:\FR\FM\14OCN1.SGM 14OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 198 (Thursday, October 14, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 63255-63258]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-25839]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0187]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 21 individuals from

[[Page 63256]]

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 October 14, 2010. The exemptions 
expire on October 15, 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 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 DOT's Privacy Act Statement for the FDMS published in 
the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316), or you may visit 
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-785.pdf.

Background

    On August 9, 2010, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption 
applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the 
public (75 FR 47883). That notice listed 21 applicants' case histories. 
The 21 individuals applied for exemptions from the vision requirement 
in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), for drivers who operate CMVs in interstate 
commerce.
    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption 
for a 2-year period if it finds ``such exemption would likely achieve a 
level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that 
would be achieved absent such exemption.'' The statute also allows the 
Agency to renew exemptions at the end of the 2-year period. 
Accordingly, FMCSA has evaluated the 21 applications on their merits 
and made a determination to grant exemptions to 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 21 exemption 
applicants listed in this notice are in this category. They are unable 
to meet the vision standard in one eye for various reasons, including 
amblyopia, complete loss of vision, hamartoma, loss of vision, macular 
scarring, prosthesis, pseudoangioma, retinal detachment and retinal 
scarring. In most cases, their eye conditions were recently developed. 
Eight of the applicants were either born with their vision impairments 
or have had them since childhood. The 13 individuals who sustained 
their vision conditions as adults have had them for periods ranging 
from 4 to 30 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 of these applicants satisfied the testing standards for their 
State of residence. By meeting State licensing requirements, the 
applicants demonstrated their ability to operate a commercial vehicle, 
with their limited vision, to the satisfaction of the State. While 
possessing a valid CDL or non-CDL, these 21 drivers have been 
authorized to drive a CMV in intrastate commerce, even though their 
vision disqualified them from driving in interstate commerce. They have 
driven CMVs with their limited vision for careers ranging from 3 to 35 
years. In the past 3 years, 4 of the drivers were involved in crashes 
or convicted of moving violations in a CMV.
    The qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each 
applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the August 9, 2010 
notice (75 FR 47883).

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

[[Page 63257]]

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 21 applicants, two of the applicants had traffic violations for 
speeding and two of the applicants were involved in crashes. 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 21 applicants listed in the notice of August 
9, 2010 (75 FR 47883).
    We recognize that the vision of an applicant may change and affect 
his/her ability to operate a CMV as safely as in the past. As a 
condition of the exemption, therefore, FMCSA will impose requirements 
on the 21 individuals consistent with the grandfathering provisions 
applied to drivers who participated in the Agency's vision waiver 
program.
    Those requirements are found at 49 CFR 391.64(b) and include the 
following: (1) That each individual be physically examined every year 
(a) by an ophthalmologist or optometrist who attests that the vision in 
the better eye continues to meet the standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), 
and (b) by a medical examiner who attests that the individual is 
otherwise physically qualified under 49 CFR 391.41; (2) that each 
individual provide a copy of the ophthalmologist's or optometrist's 
report to the medical examiner at the time of the annual medical 
examination; and (3) that each individual provide a copy of the annual 
medical certification to the employer for retention in the driver's 
qualification file, or keep a copy in his/her driver's qualification 
file if he/she is self-employed. The driver must also have a copy of 
the certification when driving, for presentation to a duly authorized 
Federal, State, or local enforcement official.

Discussion of Comments

    FMCSA received two comments in this proceeding. These comments were 
considered and discussed below.
    The Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles stated that it was in 
favor of granting a Federal vision exemption to Richard W. Gleiforst.
    An anonymous individual stated that he feels the Agency is 
negligent and he feels that it is unsafe for individuals with vision 
deficiencies to be operating vehicles on public roads.
    In response to this comment, FMCSA's exemption process supports 
drivers with vision deficiencies who seek to operate in interstate 
commerce. In addition, FMSCA relies on the expert medical opinion of 
the optometrist or ophthalmologist, who are required to attest that the 
vision in the better eye continues to meet the standard in 49 CFR 
391.41(b)(10), and the medical examiner, who is required to attest that 
the individual is otherwise physically qualified under 49 CFR 391.41. 
Until the Agency issues a Final Rule, however, drivers with vision 
deficiencies 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

    Based upon its evaluation of the 21 exemption applications, FMCSA 
exempts, Randall J. Benson, Larry D. Brown, Julian W. Collins, James G. 
Etheridge, Jerry A. Evans, Guys R. Flowers, Jr., Jeremy L. Fricke, 
Richard W. Gleiforst, Edward P. Hynes, II, Keith R. Jordan, Theodore D. 
Kirby, Joseph A. Leigh, Jr., John L. Lethcoe, Ronald J. McTague, Benito 
Saldana, Julius Simmons, Jr., Kenneth J. Weaver, Carl V. Wheeler, 
Stephen B. Whitt, Darrell F. Woolsey and Jason M. Zaragoza 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

[[Page 63258]]

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 September 24, 2010.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development.
[FR Doc. 2010-25839 Filed 10-13-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P