Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 67246-67248 [2011-28040]

Download as PDF 67246 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 210 / Monday, October 31, 2011 / Notices Incident: Tropical Storm Irene. Incident Period: 08/27/2011 through 08/29/2011. DATES: Effective Date: 10/20/2011. Physical Loan Application Deadline Date: 11/02/2011. Economic Injury (EIDL) Loan Application Deadline Date: 06/05/2012. ADDRESSES: Submit completed loan applications to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: A. Escobar, Office of Disaster Assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW., Suite 6050, Washington, DC 20416. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The notice of the President’s major disaster declaration for Private Non-Profit organizations in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, dated 09/03/2011, is hereby amended to include the following areas as adversely affected by the disaster. Primary Counties: Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Norfolk, Plymouth. All other information in the original declaration remains unchanged. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers 59002 and 59008) James E. Rivera, Associate Administrator for Disaster Assistance. [FR Doc. 2011–28168 Filed 10–28–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration [Summary Notice No. PE–2011–46] Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of petition for exemption received. AGENCY: This notice contains a summary of a petition seeking relief from specified requirements of 14 CFR. The purpose of this notice is to improve the public’s awareness of, and participation in, this aspect of FAA’s regulatory activities. Neither publication of this notice nor the inclusion or omission of information in the summary is intended to affect the legal status of the petition or its final disposition. DATES: Comments on this petition must identify the petition docket number jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:21 Oct 28, 2011 Jkt 226001 involved and must be received on or before November 10, 2011. ADDRESSES: You may send comments identified by Docket Number FAA– 2011–1081 using any of the following methods: • Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Mail: Send comments to the Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. • Fax: Fax comments to the Docket Management Facility at (202) 493–2251. • Hand Delivery: Bring comments to the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Privacy: We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. Using the search function of our docket Web site, anyone can find and read the comments received into any of our dockets, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78). Docket: To read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time or to the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Keira Jones (202) 267–4024, Tyneka Thomas (202) 267–7626, or David Staples (202) 267–4058, Office of Rulemaking, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591. This notice is published pursuant to 14 CFR 11.85. Issued in Washington, DC, on October 25, 2011. Dennis R. Pratte, Acting Director, Office of Rulemaking. Petition for Exemption Docket No.: FAA–2011–1081. Petitioner: North American Air Charter. Section of 14 CFR Affected: 14 CFR SFAR 77. PO 00000 Frm 00119 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Description of Relief Sought: North American Air Charter requests relief to be allowed to conduct operations between points outside of Iraq and Erbil, Iraq ORER (ICAO designator). These flight operations will be conducted under part 135 using 2 long-range, turbojet aircrafts that will transport key executives and others in furtherance of the business interests of the owner of one of the aircraft in a firm that is exploring and developing oil fields located in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. [FR Doc. 2011–28145 Filed 10–28–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2011–0189] 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 16 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 October 31, 2011. The exemptions expire on October 30, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elaine M. Papp, Chief, 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: SUMMARY: 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 E:\FR\FM\31OCN1.SGM 31OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 210 / Monday, October 31, 2011 / Notices 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. jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Background On September 7, 2011, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the public (76 FR 55465). That notice listed 16 applicants’ case histories. The 16 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 16 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 at 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:21 Oct 28, 2011 Jkt 226001 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 16 exemption applicants listed in this notice are in this category. They are unable to meet the vision requirement in one eye for various reasons, including enucleation, prosthesis, complete loss of vision, macular scarring, retinal and iris coloboma, amblyopia, optic atrophy, optic neuropathy, and retinal damage. In most cases, their eye conditions were not recently developed. Six of the applicants were either born with their vision impairments or have had them since childhood. The 10 individuals who developed their vision conditions as adults have had them for periods ranging from 3 to 28 years. Although each applicant has one eye which does not meet the vision requirement 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 nonCDL, these 16 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 5 to 47 years. In the past 3 years, none of the drivers was involved in a crash and two were convicted of moving violations in a CMV. The qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the September 7, 2011, notice (76 FR 55465). 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 PO 00000 Frm 00120 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67247 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 medical reports about the applicants’ vision, 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. E:\FR\FM\31OCN1.SGM 31OCN1 jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 67248 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 210 / Monday, October 31, 2011 / Notices 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 16 applicants, none of the applicants was involved in crashes and two of the applicants were convicted of moving violations in a CMV. 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:21 Oct 28, 2011 Jkt 226001 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 16 applicants listed in the notice of September 7, 2011 (76 FR 55465). 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 16 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 four comments in this proceeding. The comments were considered and discussed below. Robert C. Jeffries, Tadd R. Jeffries, Scott Kappleman and Christ Metz are all in favor of granting a Federal vision exemption to Jeffery Mueller, they indicated that they have all worked with the applicant and have no objections to FMCSA granting him a vision exemption. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the 16 exemption applications, FMCSA exempts Darrell G. Anthony, Jerry W. Branning, Stacey J. Buckingham, Gary E. Butler, Ronnie J. Fieck, James E. Knarr, Sr., Michael A. Lawson, Thomas J. Malama, Jeffrey A. Mueller, Harold L. Pearsall, Phillip M. Pridgen, Sr., Eric W. Schmidt, Gerald D. Stidham, Douglas A. Suraci, Michael L. Watters, Sr., and Keith Wentz from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), PO 00000 Frm 00121 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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: October 17, 2011. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2011–28040 Filed 10–28–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2011–0276] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of applications for exemptions; request for comments. AGENCY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 4 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. SUMMARY: Comments must be received on or before November 30, 2011. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA– 2011–0276 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, DATES: E:\FR\FM\31OCN1.SGM 31OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 210 (Monday, October 31, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67246-67248]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-28040]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2011-0189]


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 16 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 October 31, 2011. The exemptions 
expire on October 30, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elaine M. Papp, Chief, 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

[[Page 67247]]

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 September 7, 2011, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of 
exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments 
from the public (76 FR 55465). That notice listed 16 applicants' case 
histories. The 16 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 16 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 at 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 16 exemption 
applicants listed in this notice are in this category. They are unable 
to meet the vision requirement in one eye for various reasons, 
including enucleation, prosthesis, complete loss of vision, macular 
scarring, retinal and iris coloboma, amblyopia, optic atrophy, optic 
neuropathy, and retinal damage. In most cases, their eye conditions 
were not recently developed. Six of the applicants were either born 
with their vision impairments or have had them since childhood. The 10 
individuals who developed their vision conditions as adults have had 
them for periods ranging from 3 to 28 years.
    Although each applicant has one eye which does not meet the vision 
requirement 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 16 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 5 to 47 
years. In the past 3 years, none of the drivers was involved in a crash 
and two were convicted of moving violations in a CMV.
    The qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each 
applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the September 7, 2011, 
notice (76 FR 55465).

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 medical reports about the applicants' vision, 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.

[[Page 67248]]

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 16 applicants, none of the applicants was involved in crashes and 
two of the applicants were convicted of moving violations in a CMV. 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 16 applicants listed in the notice of 
September 7, 2011 (76 FR 55465).
    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 16 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 four comments in this proceeding. The comments were 
considered and discussed below.
    Robert C. Jeffries, Tadd R. Jeffries, Scott Kappleman and Christ 
Metz are all in favor of granting a Federal vision exemption to Jeffery 
Mueller, they indicated that they have all worked with the applicant 
and have no objections to FMCSA granting him a vision exemption.

Conclusion

    Based upon its evaluation of the 16 exemption applications, FMCSA 
exempts Darrell G. Anthony, Jerry W. Branning, Stacey J. Buckingham, 
Gary E. Butler, Ronnie J. Fieck, James E. Knarr, Sr., Michael A. 
Lawson, Thomas J. Malama, Jeffrey A. Mueller, Harold L. Pearsall, 
Phillip M. Pridgen, Sr., Eric W. Schmidt, Gerald D. Stidham, Douglas A. 
Suraci, Michael L. Watters, Sr., and Keith Wentz 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: October 17, 2011.
 Larry W. Minor,
 Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2011-28040 Filed 10-28-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P