Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 52602-52605 [2013-20590]

Download as PDF 52602 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 164 / Friday, August 23, 2013 / Notices Binghamton State Office Building, Warren Anderson Community Room (18th Floor), 44 Hawley Street, Binghamton, NY 13901. FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard A. Cairo, General Counsel, telephone: (717) 238–0423, ext. 1306; fax: (717) 238–2436. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Opportunity To Appear and Comment Interested parties are invited to attend the business meeting and encouraged to review the Commission’s Public Meeting Rules of Conduct, which are posted on the Commission’s Web site, www.srbc.net. As identified in the public hearing notice referenced below, written comments on the project applications that were the subject of the public hearing, and are listed for action at the business meeting, are subject to a comment deadline of August 26, 2013. Written comments pertaining to any other matters listed for action at the business meeting may be mailed to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, 4423 North Front Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110–1788, or submitted electronically through http:// www.srbc.net/pubinfo/ publicparticipation.htm. Any such comments mailed or electronically submitted must be received by the Commission on or before September 13, 2013, to be considered. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The business meeting will include actions or presentations on the following items: (1) Recognition of retiring Executive Director Paul Swartz; (2) oath of office for incoming Executive Director Andrew Dehoff; (3) presentation on the Whitney Point Adaptive Management Plan; (4) delegation of regulatory authority to the executive director; (5) ratification/ approval of contracts and grants; and (6) project applications. The project applications listed for Commission action are those that were the subject of a public hearing conducted by the Commission on August 15, 2013, and identified in the notice for such hearing, which was published in 78 FR 43961, July 22, 2013. Please note that the following additional project has been scheduled for rescission action: • Project Sponsor and Facility: Clark Trucking, LLC (Muncy Creek), Muncy Creek Township, Lycoming County, Pa. (Docket No. 20111208). AGENCY: tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES ADDRESSES: Authority: Pub. L. 91–575, 84 Stat. 1509 et seq., 18 CFR Parts 806, 807, and 808. Dated: August 16, 2013. Paul O. Swartz, Executive Director. [FR Doc. 2013–20586 Filed 8–22–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7040–01–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:28 Aug 22, 2013 Jkt 229001 Federal Highway Administration Notice To Rescind a Notice of Intent and Draft Environmental Impact Statement: I–17 Corridor Improvement Study; Maricopa County, Arizona Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT. ACTION: Notice to Rescind a Notice of Intent and Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The FHWA is issuing this notice to advise the public that we are rescinding the Notice of Intent (NOI) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for proposed freeway improvements along Interstate 17 (I–17) from the I–10/Maricopa Traffic Interchange to State Route (SR) 101L (Loop 101) within Maricopa County, Arizona. A NOI to prepare an EIS for the I–17 Corridor Improvement Study was published in the Federal Register on January 6, 2010. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alan Hansen, Team Leader—Planning, Environment & Realty, Federal Highway Administration, 4000 North Central Avenue, Suite 1500, Phoenix, AZ 85012–3500, Telephone: (602) 382– 8964, Email: alan.hansen@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 6, 2010, the FHWA, in cooperation with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), issued an NOI to prepare an EIS for proposed freeway improvements along I–17 from the I–10/Maricopa Traffic Interchange to SR 101L in Maricopa County, Arizona. The I–17 Corridor is located in the city of Phoenix, and the study area limits for the EIS consisted of approximately 21 miles of I–17. A No-Build Alternative and Build Alternatives were being considered in the EIS for the Design Year 2035. The No-Build Alternative served as the baseline for the analysis conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The proposed Build Alternatives involved the addition of a number of new travel lanes and a high occupancy vehicle lane in each direction along I–17. The proposed widening of I–17 is included in the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) adopted by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Regional Council. However, MAG is considering modifications to some of the transportation improvements that are presently programmed in the RTP and TIP, including the I–17 widening. Therefore, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00107 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the preparation of the EIS for the I–17 Corridor Improvement Study is being terminated. Any future transportation improvements in the I–17 Corridor will be determined through funding and project reprioritization by MAG. Any future actions will progress under a separate environmental review process, in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this program.) Issued on August 19, 2013. Karla S. Petty, FHWA Division Administrator, Phoenix, AZ. [FR Doc. 2013–20589 Filed 8–22–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2013–0029] 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 69 individuals from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). They are unable to meet the vision requirement in one eye for various reasons. The exemptions will enable these individuals to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce without meeting the prescribed vision requirement in one eye. 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 August 23, 2013. The exemptions expire on August 23, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elaine M. Papp, Chief, Medical Programs Division, (202) 366–4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W64– 224, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\23AUN1.SGM 23AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 164 / Friday, August 23, 2013 / 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 acknowledgement 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 Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316). Background tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES On June 6, 2013, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the public (78 FR 34143). That notice listed 69 applicants’ case histories. The 69 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 69 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:28 Aug 22, 2013 Jkt 229001 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 requirement red, green, and amber (49 CFR 391.41(b)(10)). FMCSA recognizes that some drivers do not meet the vision requirement but have adapted their driving to accommodate their vision limitation and demonstrated their ability to drive safely. The 69 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 amblyopia, retinal detachment, phthisis bulbi, retinal stapholoma, complete loss of vision, refractive amblyopia, optic nerve atrophy, exotropia, macular hemorrhage, prosthetic eye, keratitis, traumatic globe rupture, chronic open angle glaucoma, anisometropic amblyopia, macular retinal scar, scarring, ocular histoplasmosis, toxoplasmosis, psuedophakia with nystagmus, hypoplastic optic nerve, esotropia, retinal tear, angle recession glaucoma, central serous retinopathy, macular hole, anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, corneal scar, macular scar, and retinal scarring. In most cases, their eye conditions were not recently developed. Forty-eight of the applicants were either born with their vision impairments or have had them since childhood. The twenty-one individuals that sustained their vision conditions as adults have had it for a period of 1 to 32 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 requirements for their State of residence. By meeting State licensing requirements, the applicants demonstrated their ability to operate a CMV, with their limited vision, to the satisfaction of the State. PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52603 While possessing a valid CDL or nonCDL, these 69 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 2 to 50 years. In the past 3 years, three of the drivers were involved in crashes and six 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 June 6, 2013 notice (78 FR 34143). Basis for Exemption Determination Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption from the vision requirement 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 the medical reports about the applicants’ vision as well as their driving records and experience with the vision deficiency. To qualify for an exemption from the vision requirement, 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 E:\FR\FM\23AUN1.SGM 23AUN1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 52604 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 164 / Friday, August 23, 2013 / Notices 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 69 applicants, three of the drivers were involved in crashes and six 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:28 Aug 22, 2013 Jkt 229001 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 requirement 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 69 applicants listed in the notice of June 6, 2013 (78 FR 34143). 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 69 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 requirement 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 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 is considered and discussed below. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is in favor of granting PO 00000 Frm 00109 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 exemptions to Dennis Edler, Ronald Howard, and Desmond Waldor after reviewing their driving histories. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the 69 exemption applications, FMCSA exempts Roger Bell (IL), Kolby Blackner (UT), Mark Bouchard (IL), Michael Britt (MD), Daryl Carpenter (MD), Michael Cassella (NJ), Daniel G. Cohen (VT), Twila Cole (OR), Brian Cordell (TX), Aubrey R. Cordrey, Jr. (DE), Jimmie Crenshaw (AL), Thomas W. Crouch (IN), Alan E. Cutright (MD), Jon K. Dale (UT), Bert A. Damm (MT), Jeffrey Dauterman (OH), Brian Dowd (MA), Verlin L. Driskell (NE), Sonya Duff (IN), Dennis C. Edler (PA), Randy L. Fales (MN), Heidi S. Feldhaus (SD), Robert Fox (NY), Steve Garrett (CA), Keith M. Gehrman (WI), Scott Gilroy (OH), Elbert D. Grant (NM), Henry M. Greer (KY), Michael L. Grogg (VA), Marc C. Grooms (MO), Luc Guimond (WA), Walter A. Hanselman (IN), Richard D. Holcomb (MN), Brian C. Holt (ME), Ronald E. Howard (PA), Berl C. Jennings (VA), Michael Kelly (TX), Aaron D. Kerr (ME), Craig Mahaffey (OH), Stanley Marshall (GA), Michael Martin (OH), Michael McGee (CA), Ignar L. Meyer (WA), James W. Mize, Sr. (TN), Roy L. Morgan (IL), Rick Nickell (OH), Richard E. Perry (CA), Freddy H. Pete (NV), Ricky Reeder (TN), Louis A. Requena (NY), Berry A. Rodrigue, Jr. (LA), Stephen R. Sargent (ME), Leonard Sheehan (WI), Michael L. Sherum (AL), Manjinder Singh (WA), Wayne Stein (FL), Eddie B. Strange, Jr. (GA), Michael J. Thane (OH), Larry A. Tidwell (MO), Dale Torkelson (WI), Norman Vanderzyl (IA), John Vanek (MO), James D. Vorderbruggen (MN), Desmond Waldor (PA), Alicia Waters (IL), Norman R. Wilson (WA), James G. Witt (AZ), James L. Young (VA), and Sam D. Zachary (NC) 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. E:\FR\FM\23AUN1.SGM 23AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 164 / Friday, August 23, 2013 / Notices Issued on: August 19, 2013. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2013–20590 Filed 8–22–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Announcing the Twenty First Public Meeting of the Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT. ACTION: Meeting announcement. AGENCY: This notice announces the Twenty First Public Meeting of members of the Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network. CIREN is a collaborative effort to conduct research on crashes and injuries at six Level I Trauma Centers across the United States linked by a computer network. The current CIREN model utilizes two types of centers, medical and engineering. Medical centers are based at Level I Trauma Centers that admit large numbers of people injured in motor vehicle crashes. These teams are led by trauma surgeons and emergency physicians and also include a crash investigator and project coordinator. Engineering centers are based at academic engineering laboratories that have experience in motor vehicle crash and human injury research. Engineering teams partner with trauma centers to enroll crash victims into the CIREN program. Engineering teams are led by mechanical engineers, typically trained in the area of impact biomechanics. Engineering teams also include trauma/ emergency physicians, a crash investigator, and a project coordinator. Either type of team typically includes additional physicians and/or engineers, epidemiologists, nurses, and other researchers.The CIREN process combines prospective data collection with professional multidisciplinary analysis of medical and engineering evidence to determine injury causation in every crash investigation conducted. Researchers can review data and share expertise, which may lead to a better understanding of crash injury mechanisms and the design of safer vehicles.The six centers will give presentations on current research based on CIREN data. Topics include: Understanding Brain Injury Mechanisms: Integrating Real World Lesions, Anthropomorphic Test Device Response, and Finite Element Modeling; tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:28 Aug 22, 2013 Jkt 229001 Evaluating the Benefits for Advanced Automatic Crash Notification; Vehicle Seat Bottom Influence on Spine Loads in Frontal Impacts; Rib Fractures in Older Occupants; Changes Over Time in Injury and Crash Characteristics; and Determination of Seat Belt Use and Positioning with Three-Dimensional CT Scans. The final agenda will be posted to the CIREN Web site that can be accessed by going to http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ciren. The agenda will be posted one week prior to the meeting. Date and Time: The meeting is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 4, 2013. The meeting will be held at: U.S. Department of Transportation Headquarters, Oklahoma Room, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. To Register For This Event: It is essential that you pre-register to expedite the security process for entry to the meeting facility. Please send your name, affiliation, phone number, and email address to Rodney.Rudd@dot.gov by Wednesday, August 28, 2013, in order to have your name added to the pre-registration list. Everyone must have a government-issued photo identification to be admitted to the facility. For General Information: Rodney Rudd (202) 366–5932, Mark Scarboro (202) 366–5078 or Cathy McCullough (202) 366–4734. ADDRESSES: NHTSA has held CIREN public meetings on a regular basis since 2000, including quarterly meetings and annual conferences. This is the Twenty First such meeting. Presentations from these meetings are available through the NHTSA Web site. NHTSA plans to continue holding CIREN meetings on a regular basis to disseminate CIREN information to interested parties. Individual CIREN cases collected since 1998 may be viewed from the NHTSA/ CIREN Web site at the address provided above. Should it be necessary to cancel the meeting due to inclement weather or to any other emergencies, a decision to cancel will be made as soon as possible and posted immediately on CIREN’s Web site as indicated above. If you do not have access to the Web site, you may call or email the contacts listed in this announcement and leave your telephone number or email address. You will be contacted only if the meeting is postponed or canceled. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00110 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52605 Issued on: August 16, 2013. Nathaniel Beuse, Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety Research. [FR Doc. 2013–20394 Filed 8–22–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board [Docket No. FD 35754] RSL Railroad, LLC—Lease and Operation Exemption—Line of Norfolk Southern Railway Company RSL Railroad, LLC (RSL), a Class III rail carrier, has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1150.41 to lease from Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR), and to operate, an approximately 1.40-mile rail line, known as the South Massillon IT, between mileposts MT 0.00 and MT 1.40 in Massillon, Ohio. RSL states that it currently provides service over a 1.27-mile segment of track owned by the Massillon Energy & Technology Park in Massillon, and by this transaction will extend its operations by 1.40 additional miles, reaching a new connection and interchange point with NSR at milepost MT 0.00. The transaction may be consummated on or after September 7, 2013, the effective date of the exemption (30 days after the exemption was filed). RSL certifies that its projected annual revenues as a result of this transaction will not exceed $5 million or result in the creation of a Class II or Class I rail carrier. If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio. Petitions to revoke the exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) may be filed at any time. The filing of a petition to revoke will not automatically stay the effectiveness of the exemption. Petitions for stay must be filed no later than August 30, 2013 (at least seven days before the exemption becomes effective). An original and ten copies of all pleadings, referring to Docket No. FD 35754, must be filed with the Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20423–0001. In addition, one copy of each pleading must be served on John D. Heffner, Strasburger & Price, LLP, 1700 K St. NW., Suite 640, Washington, DC 20006. Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at www.stb.dot.gov. Decided: August 16, 2013. E:\FR\FM\23AUN1.SGM 23AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 164 (Friday, August 23, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52602-52605]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-20590]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0029]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 69 individuals from the 
vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 
(FMCSRs). They are unable to meet the vision requirement in one eye for 
various reasons. The exemptions will enable these individuals to 
operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce without 
meeting the prescribed vision requirement in one eye. 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 August 23, 2013. The exemptions 
expire on August 23, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elaine M. Papp, Chief, Medical 
Programs Division, (202) 366-4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W64-224, 
Washington, DC 20590-0001. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

[[Page 52603]]

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 acknowledgement 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 Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) published in the Federal Register on January 
17, 2008 (73 FR 3316).

Background

    On June 6, 2013, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption 
applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the 
public (78 FR 34143). That notice listed 69 applicants' case histories. 
The 69 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 69 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 requirement 
red, green, and amber (49 CFR 391.41(b)(10)).
    FMCSA recognizes that some drivers do not meet the vision 
requirement but have adapted their driving to accommodate their vision 
limitation and demonstrated their ability to drive safely. The 69 
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 amblyopia, retinal detachment, phthisis bulbi, 
retinal stapholoma, complete loss of vision, refractive amblyopia, 
optic nerve atrophy, exotropia, macular hemorrhage, prosthetic eye, 
keratitis, traumatic globe rupture, chronic open angle glaucoma, 
anisometropic amblyopia, macular retinal scar, scarring, ocular 
histoplasmosis, toxoplasmosis, psuedophakia with nystagmus, hypoplastic 
optic nerve, esotropia, retinal tear, angle recession glaucoma, central 
serous retinopathy, macular hole, anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, 
corneal scar, macular scar, and retinal scarring. In most cases, their 
eye conditions were not recently developed. Forty-eight of the 
applicants were either born with their vision impairments or have had 
them since childhood.
    The twenty-one individuals that sustained their vision conditions 
as adults have had it for a period of 1 to 32 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 requirements for 
their State of residence. By meeting State licensing requirements, the 
applicants demonstrated their ability to operate a CMV, with their 
limited vision, to the satisfaction of the State.
    While possessing a valid CDL or non-CDL, these 69 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 2 to 50 
years. In the past 3 years, three of the drivers were involved in 
crashes and six 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 June 6, 2013 
notice (78 FR 34143).

Basis for Exemption Determination

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption 
from the vision requirement 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 the medical reports about the applicants' vision as well as 
their driving records and experience with the vision deficiency.
    To qualify for an exemption from the vision requirement, 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

[[Page 52604]]

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 69 applicants, three of the drivers were involved in crashes and 
six 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 requirement 
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 69 applicants listed in the notice of June 6, 
2013 (78 FR 34143).
    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 69 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 requirement 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 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 is 
considered and discussed below.
    The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is in favor of 
granting exemptions to Dennis Edler, Ronald Howard, and Desmond Waldor 
after reviewing their driving histories.

Conclusion

    Based upon its evaluation of the 69 exemption applications, FMCSA 
exempts Roger Bell (IL), Kolby Blackner (UT), Mark Bouchard (IL), 
Michael Britt (MD), Daryl Carpenter (MD), Michael Cassella (NJ), Daniel 
G. Cohen (VT), Twila Cole (OR), Brian Cordell (TX), Aubrey R. Cordrey, 
Jr. (DE), Jimmie Crenshaw (AL), Thomas W. Crouch (IN), Alan E. Cutright 
(MD), Jon K. Dale (UT), Bert A. Damm (MT), Jeffrey Dauterman (OH), 
Brian Dowd (MA), Verlin L. Driskell (NE), Sonya Duff (IN), Dennis C. 
Edler (PA), Randy L. Fales (MN), Heidi S. Feldhaus (SD), Robert Fox 
(NY), Steve Garrett (CA), Keith M. Gehrman (WI), Scott Gilroy (OH), 
Elbert D. Grant (NM), Henry M. Greer (KY), Michael L. Grogg (VA), Marc 
C. Grooms (MO), Luc Guimond (WA), Walter A. Hanselman (IN), Richard D. 
Holcomb (MN), Brian C. Holt (ME), Ronald E. Howard (PA), Berl C. 
Jennings (VA), Michael Kelly (TX), Aaron D. Kerr (ME), Craig Mahaffey 
(OH), Stanley Marshall (GA), Michael Martin (OH), Michael McGee (CA), 
Ignar L. Meyer (WA), James W. Mize, Sr. (TN), Roy L. Morgan (IL), Rick 
Nickell (OH), Richard E. Perry (CA), Freddy H. Pete (NV), Ricky Reeder 
(TN), Louis A. Requena (NY), Berry A. Rodrigue, Jr. (LA), Stephen R. 
Sargent (ME), Leonard Sheehan (WI), Michael L. Sherum (AL), Manjinder 
Singh (WA), Wayne Stein (FL), Eddie B. Strange, Jr. (GA), Michael J. 
Thane (OH), Larry A. Tidwell (MO), Dale Torkelson (WI), Norman 
Vanderzyl (IA), John Vanek (MO), James D. Vorderbruggen (MN), Desmond 
Waldor (PA), Alicia Waters (IL), Norman R. Wilson (WA), James G. Witt 
(AZ), James L. Young (VA), and Sam D. Zachary (NC) 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.


[[Page 52605]]


     Issued on: August 19, 2013.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2013-20590 Filed 8-22-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P