Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 20562-20564 [2015-08729]

Download as PDF 20562 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 73 / Thursday, April 16, 2015 / Notices traveled. Daimler requests that the exemption renewal cover a two-year period. Daimler has explained in prior exemption requests that the German knowledge and skills tests and training program ensure that Daimler’s drivers operating under the exemption will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety obtained by complying with the U.S. requirement for a CDL. FMCSA has previously determined that the process for obtaining a German commercial license is comparable to, or as effective as, the requirements of Part 383, and adequately assesses the driver’s ability to operate CMVs in the U.S. In the past 2 years, FMCSA has published several similar Daimler exemption requests, most recently a notice granting a 2-year exemption to Daimler driver Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard (79 FR 51641, August 29, 2014). Request for Comments In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b)(4), FMCSA requests public comment on Daimler’s request for a renewal of Mr. Ennerst’s exemption from 49 CFR 383.23. The Agency will consider all comments received by close of business on May 18, 2015. FMCSA will review all comments received by this date and determine whether renewal of the exemption is consistent with the requirements of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315. As indicated above, on prior occasions, the Agency determined that providing an exemption for other Daimler drivers does not compromise the level of safety that would exist if the exemption were not granted. These prior FMCSA decisions were based on careful consideration of the comments received, and on the merits of each driver’s demonstrated knowledge and skills about the safe operation of CMVs. [FR Doc. 2015–08726 Filed 4–15–15; 8:45 am] tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Apr 15, 2015 Jkt 235001 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2014–0301] 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 23 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 were granted March 7, 2015. The exemptions expire on March 7, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles A. Horan, III, Director, Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards, (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. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety Issued on: April 8, 2015. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION I. Electronic Access You may see all the comments online through the Federal Document Management System (FDMS) at https:// www.regulations.gov. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to https:// www.regulations.gov and/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. Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter PO 00000 Frm 00098 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL–14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy. II. Background On February 4, 2015, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the public (80 FR 6162). That notice listed 23 applicants’ case histories. The 23 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 23 applications on their merits and made a determination to grant exemptions to each of them. III. 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 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 23 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 optic nerve damage, neuropathy due to meningitis, retinal detachment, phthisical cornea, amblyopia, macular scarring, retinal scarring, central retinal artery obstruction, corneal scar, conjunctional cyst, strabismic amblyopia, complete loss of vision, chorioretinal scarring, prosthetic eye, and central retinal vein occlusion. In most cases, their eye conditions were not recently developed. E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 73 / Thursday, April 16, 2015 / Notices Sixteen of the applicants were either born with their vision impairments or have had them since childhood. The seven individuals that sustained their vision conditions as adults have had it for a range of three to 22 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 nonCDL, these 23 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 in careers ranging from two to 35 years. In the past three years, none of drivers were involved in crashes and none 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 February 4, 2015 notice (80 FR 6162). tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES IV. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Apr 15, 2015 Jkt 235001 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. FMCSA believes it can properly apply the principle to monocular drivers, because data from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) former waiver study program clearly demonstrate the driving performance of experienced monocular drivers in the program is better than that of all CMV drivers collectively (See 61 FR 13338, 13345, March 26, 1996). The fact that experienced monocular drivers demonstrated safe driving records in the waiver program supports a conclusion that other monocular drivers, meeting the same qualifying conditions as those required by the waiver program, are also likely to have adapted to their vision deficiency and will continue to operate safely. The first major research correlating past and future performance was done in England by Greenwood and Yule in 1920. Subsequent studies, building on that model, concluded that crash rates for the same individual exposed to certain risks for two different time periods vary only slightly (See Bates and Neyman, University of California Publications in Statistics, April 1952). Other studies demonstrated theories of predicting crash proneness from crash history coupled with other factors. These factors—such as age, sex, geographic location, mileage driven and conviction history—are used every day by insurance companies and motor vehicle bureaus to predict the probability of an individual experiencing future crashes (See Weber, Donald C., ‘‘Accident Rate Potential: An Application of Multiple Regression Analysis of a Poisson Process,’’ Journal of American Statistical Association, June 1971). A 1964 California Driver Record Study prepared by the California Department of Motor Vehicles concluded that the best overall crash predictor for both concurrent and nonconcurrent events is the number of single convictions. This study used 3 PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20563 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 23 applicants, no drivers were involved in crashes, and none 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 23 applicants listed in the notice of February 4, 2015 (80 FR 6162). 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 23 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 E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1 20564 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 73 / Thursday, April 16, 2015 / Notices 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. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES V. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received two comments in this proceeding. The comments are discussed below. Danielle Snyder is in favor of granting all drivers listed on the notice an exemption from the vision standard. Alycia Chase’s AP Government class at West Bloomfield High School in West Bloomfield, MI is not in favor of granting the exemptions due to their perceived risks to the public. As stated in this notice, FMCSA has determined that granting these drivers an exemption from the vision standard ‘‘would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved absent such exemption.’’ VI. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the 23 exemption applications, FMCSA exempts the following drivers from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), subject to the requirements cited above (49 CFR 391.64(b)): Jason P. Atwater (UT), Barry W. Borger (PA), William W. Dugger (KY), Steven D. Ellsworth (IL), Travis B. Giest (ID), Arlan T. Hrubes (WY), Abdalla M. Jalili (IL), David M. Krause (WI), Stephen C. Martin (PA), Troy L. McCord (TX), Ronald M. Metzger (NY), Gerald D. Milner, Jr. (IL), Ali Nimer (IL), Richard A. Pierce (MO), Richard D. Pontious (OH), Richard P. Rebel (ND), Kevin L. Riddle (FL), Mustafa Shahadeh (OH), Charles P. Smith (MO), Timothy R. Tedford (IL), Sean E. Twohig (NY), Melvin L. Vaughn (WI), Rick L. Wood (PA). In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, each exemption will be valid VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Apr 15, 2015 Jkt 235001 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: April 10, 2015. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2015–08729 Filed 4–15–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration [Docket No. FTA–2014–0018] Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Program: Guidance and Application Instructions Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of availability of final circular. AGENCY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has placed in the docket and on its Web site, guidance in the form of a circular, to assist recipients in their implementation of the Section 5339 Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Program (Bus Program). The purpose of this circular is to provide recipients of FTA financial assistance with instructions and guidance on program administration and the grant application process. This circular is a result of the new Bus Program enacted through the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21). DATES: The final circular becomes effective May 18, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For program matters, Sam Snead, Office of Transit Programs, (202) 366–1089 or samuel.snead@dot.gov. For legal matters, Michelle Hershman, Office of Chief Counsel, (202–493–0197) or michelle.hershman@dot.gov. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Table of Contents I. Overview II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis A. General Comments PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 B. Chapter I—Introduction and Background C. Chapter II—Program Overview D. Chapter III—General Program Information E. Chapter IV—Planning and Program Development F. Chapter V—Program Management and Administrative Requirements G. Chapter VI—State and Program Management Plans H. Chapter VII—Other Provisions I. Appendices II. Overview The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21, Pub. L. 112– 141), signed into law on July 6, 2012, establishes the Section 5339 Bus and Bus Facilities Formula program (Section 5339 or Bus Program), replacing some of the elements of the Bus and Bus Facilities discretionary program (formerly 49 U.S.C. 5309(b)(3) under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users Act of 2005 (SAFETEA–LU)). The Section 5309 Bus and Bus Facilities Program under SAFETEA–LU provided discretionary funds for capital bus and bus facility grants, which from 2010– 2012, were primarily used in support of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) State of Good Repair, Bus Livability, Veterans Transportation and Community Living, and Clean Fuels initiatives. In addition, SAFETEA–LU allocated funds under this program for Ferry Boat Systems, Fuel Cell Bus, and the Bus Testing program. The new Section 5339 Bus Program provides funding to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment as well as to construct bus-related facilities. The FTA is implementing new circular 5100.1, ‘‘Bus and Bus Facilities Program: Guidance and Application Instructions,’’ in order to provide grantees with guidance for applying for funding under the Bus Program. In addition, the circular addresses the requirements that must be met in the application for Section 5339 program assistance. On July 30, 2014, FTA issued a notice of availability of the proposed circular in the Federal Register (79 FR 44241) and requested public comment on the proposed circular. The comment period closed on September 29, 2014. The FTA received comments from 76 entities, including trade associations, State DOTs, metropolitan planning organizations, public transportation providers, and individuals. This notice addresses comments received and explains changes FTA made to the proposed circular in response to comments. This document does not include the revised circular; however, an electronic E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 73 (Thursday, April 16, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 20562-20564]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-08729]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0301]


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 23 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 were granted March 7, 2015. The exemptions expire 
on March 7, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles A. Horan, III, Director, 
Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards, (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. If you have questions on viewing or submitting 
material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-
9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Electronic Access

    You may see all the comments online through the Federal Document 
Management System (FDMS) at https://www.regulations.gov.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to https://www.regulations.gov and/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.
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits 
comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT 
posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information 
the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the 
system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
www.dot.gov/privacy.

II. Background

    On February 4, 2015, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of 
exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments 
from the public (80 FR 6162). That notice listed 23 applicants' case 
histories. The 23 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 23 applications on their merits 
and made a determination to grant exemptions to each of them.

III. 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 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 23 
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 optic nerve damage, neuropathy due to meningitis, 
retinal detachment, phthisical cornea, amblyopia, macular scarring, 
retinal scarring, central retinal artery obstruction, corneal scar, 
conjunctional cyst, strabismic amblyopia, complete loss of vision, 
chorioretinal scarring, prosthetic eye, and central retinal vein 
occlusion. In most cases, their eye conditions were not recently 
developed.

[[Page 20563]]

Sixteen of the applicants were either born with their vision 
impairments or have had them since childhood.
    The seven individuals that sustained their vision conditions as 
adults have had it for a range of three to 22 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 23 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 in careers ranging from two to 35 
years. In the past three years, none of drivers were involved in 
crashes and none 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 February 4, 2015 
notice (80 FR 6162).

IV. 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.
    FMCSA believes it 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 23 applicants, no drivers were involved in crashes, and none 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 23 applicants listed in the notice of 
February 4, 2015 (80 FR 6162).
    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 23 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

[[Page 20564]]

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.

V. Discussion of Comments

    FMCSA received two comments in this proceeding. The comments are 
discussed below.
    Danielle Snyder is in favor of granting all drivers listed on the 
notice an exemption from the vision standard.
    Alycia Chase's AP Government class at West Bloomfield High School 
in West Bloomfield, MI is not in favor of granting the exemptions due 
to their perceived risks to the public. As stated in this notice, FMCSA 
has determined that granting these drivers an exemption from the vision 
standard ``would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to 
or greater than the level that would be achieved absent such 
exemption.''

VI. Conclusion

    Based upon its evaluation of the 23 exemption applications, FMCSA 
exempts the following drivers from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 
391.41(b)(10), subject to the requirements cited above (49 CFR 
391.64(b)):

Jason P. Atwater (UT), Barry W. Borger (PA), William W. Dugger (KY), 
Steven D. Ellsworth (IL), Travis B. Giest (ID), Arlan T. Hrubes (WY), 
Abdalla M. Jalili (IL), David M. Krause (WI), Stephen C. Martin (PA), 
Troy L. McCord (TX), Ronald M. Metzger (NY), Gerald D. Milner, Jr. 
(IL), Ali Nimer (IL), Richard A. Pierce (MO), Richard D. Pontious (OH), 
Richard P. Rebel (ND), Kevin L. Riddle (FL), Mustafa Shahadeh (OH), 
Charles P. Smith (MO), Timothy R. Tedford (IL), Sean E. Twohig (NY), 
Melvin L. Vaughn (WI), Rick L. Wood (PA).

    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: April 10, 2015.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2015-08729 Filed 4-15-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P