Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 48409-48411 [2015-19780]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 155 / Wednesday, August 12, 2015 / Notices Administration’s (OSHA) permissible exposure limit of 50 ppm for an 8 hour TWA and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) permissible exposure limit of 35 ppm for a 10 hour TWA. Under ‘‘worst-case conditions,’’ Ford measured the CO level to be 17 ppm for the Model year 2015 Transit, well below the EPA, OSHA, and NIOSH limits. Additionally Ford stated that it has internal requirements to establish the appropriate clearance required between a vehicle and the ground to meet a minimum level of on-road functionality. Ford has specific departure angle requirements for their vehicle to reduce tailpipe contact with the ground, curbs, ramps, etc., during various driving modes which may result in damage to the exhaust system that may adversely affect the exhaust function. FMCSA published a notice of the application in the Federal Register on April 17, 2015, and asked for public comment (80 FR 21294). Comments The Agency received one comment, from an anonymous commenter. The commenter expressed concern ‘‘that over time after the vehicle is initially manufactured, the exhaust system will be subject to wear and tear and as such may not perform to the same standard that it did upon original manufacture. Although Ford was able to demonstrate that the system was able to detect potentially dangerous situations with the exhaust at the time of manufacture, we will truly have no understanding of how that system will perform 10 or 15 years later.’’ mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES FMCSA Response FMCSA acknowledges the commenter’s concern that exhaust systems, like other vehicle components and equipment, are subject to wear and tear as vehicles age. However, 49 CFR part 396 requires a motor carrier to systematically inspect, repair, and maintain all motor vehicles subject to its control (§ 396.3(a)), and ensure that all parts and accessories are in safe and proper operating condition at all times (§ 396.3(a)(1)). Further, § 396.17 requires every CMV to be inspected at least once every 12 months in accordance with the provisions of Appendix G to Subchapter B of Chapter III of the FMCSRs, ‘‘Minimum Periodic Inspection Standards,’’ which includes a review of the vehicle’s exhaust system. Finally, FMCSA expects that, as these exhaust systems wear out, vehicle owners will replace them with exhaust systems identical or equivalent to the original VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:16 Aug 11, 2015 Jkt 235001 48409 equipment, ensuring an equivalent level of performance. As noted below, this temporary exemption is valid for a limited period of 2 years, and any party possessing information that would demonstrate that motor carriers using Ford Transitbased CMVS are not achieving the requisite statutory level of safety should immediately notify FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any such information and, if safety is being compromised or if the continuation of the exemption is not consistent with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), will take immediate steps to revoke the exemption. was granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b). Interested parties possessing information that would demonstrate that motor carriers using Ford Transitbased CMVs are not achieving the requisite statutory level of safety should immediately notify FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any such information and, if safety is being compromised or if the continuation of the exemption is not consistent with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), will take immediate steps to revoke the exemption. FMCSA Decision The FMCSA has evaluated the Ford exemption application. The Agency believes that granting the temporary exemption to allow the operation of Model Year 2015 Ford Transit-based gas bus models (of all gross vehicle weight ratings), vans over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, and corresponding future Transit-based models of the same design produced during the effective period of the exemption will provide a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption. Ford conducted performance-based testing that demonstrates that the design of the exhaust system for the Model Year 2015 and later Fort Transit CMVs (1) results in CO exposure limits that are well below EPA, OSHA, and NIOSH established thresholds, and (2) will maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to the level of safety achieved without the exemption. Preemption Terms and Conditions for the Exemption The Agency hereby grants the exemption for a 2-year period, beginning August 12, 2015 and ending August 14, 2017. During the temporary exemption period, motor carriers will be allowed to operate Model Year 2015 Ford Transit-based gas bus models (of all gross vehicle weight ratings), vans over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, and corresponding future Transit-based models of the same design produced during the effective period of the exemption that do not meet the exhaust system location requirements. The exemption will be valid for 2 years unless rescinded earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be rescinded if: (1) Motor carriers and/or commercial motor vehicles fail 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 PO 00000 Frm 00123 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a person operating a vehicle covered by the exemption. Issued on August 5, 2015. T.F. Scott Darling, III, Chief Counsel. [FR Doc. 2015–19801 Filed 8–11–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2015–0048] 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 26 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 June 6, 2015. The exemptions expire on June 6, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles A. Horan, III, Director, Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\12AUN1.SGM 12AUN1 48410 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 155 / Wednesday, August 12, 2015 / Notices (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: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES I. 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 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 May 6, 2015, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the public (80 FR 26139). That notice listed 26 applicants’ case histories. The 26 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 26 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:16 Aug 11, 2015 Jkt 235001 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 26 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 prosthetic eye, corneal scarring, complete loss of vision, amblyopia pseudophakia secondary to a cataract, glaucoma, and aniosometropic amblyopic correction, field of vision loss, scarring, esotropia, strabismic amblyopia, hyphema, strabismus, cataract, torn retina, macular scar, retinal scar, and retinal detachment. In most cases, their eye conditions were not recently developed. Eighteen of the applicants were either born with their vision impairments or have had them since childhood. The eight individuals that sustained their vision conditions as adults have had it for a range of four to 30 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 26 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 three to 40 years. In the past three years, no drivers were PO 00000 Frm 00124 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 involved in crashes, 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 May 6, 2015 notice (80 FR 26139). 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. E:\FR\FM\12AUN1.SGM 12AUN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 155 / Wednesday, August 12, 2015 / Notices 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 26 applicants, no drivers were involved in crashes, and two 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:16 Aug 11, 2015 Jkt 235001 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 26 applicants listed in the notice of May 6, 2015 (80 FR 26139). 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 26 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. V. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received no comments in this proceeding. IV. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the 26 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)): R.J. Bauernfeind (NY) Ralph H. Bushman (IL) PO 00000 Frm 00125 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 48411 Stephen M. Cook (PA) Roderick Croft (FL) Jeffrey S. Daniel (VA) Lawrence M. Davis (VT) Bobby C. Floyd (TN) Jayme L. Gilbert (NY) Jesse M. Greene (TN) David A. Hayes (GA) George E. Holbrook (MA) James T. Johnson, Jr. (KY) Robert W. Kleve (IA) Bruce E. Koehn (KS) Corey S. Kuborn (IL) Collin C. Longacre (PA) Raymond W. Meier (WA) Michael L. Penrod (IA) Harry M. Pierson, Jr. (OR) Daniel A. Pyle (PA) David P. Ramos (CA) Jimmy L. Stevens (SC) David B. Stone (OK) Dale G. Stringer (TX) Carlyle D. Strong (NE) Michael J. Tauriac, Jr. (LA) 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: July 28, 2015. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2015–19780 Filed 8–11–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2006–25246; FMCSA– 2013–0028; FMCSA–2013–0029; FMCSA– 2013–0030] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemptions; request for comments. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew the exemptions from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for 20 individuals. FMCSA has statutory SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\12AUN1.SGM 12AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 155 (Wednesday, August 12, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48409-48411]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-19780]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0048]


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 26 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 June 6, 2015. The exemptions expire 
on June 6, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles A. Horan, III, Director, 
Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards,

[[Page 48410]]

(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 http://www.regulations.gov.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to http://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 May 6, 2015, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption 
applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the 
public (80 FR 26139). That notice listed 26 applicants' case histories. 
The 26 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 26 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 26 
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 prosthetic eye, corneal scarring, complete loss of 
vision, amblyopia pseudophakia secondary to a cataract, glaucoma, and 
aniosometropic amblyopic correction, field of vision loss, scarring, 
esotropia, strabismic amblyopia, hyphema, strabismus, cataract, torn 
retina, macular scar, retinal scar, and retinal detachment. In most 
cases, their eye conditions were not recently developed. Eighteen of 
the applicants were either born with their vision impairments or have 
had them since childhood.
    The eight individuals that sustained their vision conditions as 
adults have had it for a range of four to 30 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 26 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 three to 
40 years. In the past three years, no drivers were involved in crashes, 
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 May 6, 2015 notice 
(80 FR 26139).

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.

[[Page 48411]]

    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 26 applicants, no drivers were involved in crashes, and two 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 26 applicants listed in the notice of May 6, 
2015 (80 FR 26139).
    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 26 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.

V. Discussion of Comments

    FMCSA received no comments in this proceeding.

IV. Conclusion

    Based upon its evaluation of the 26 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)):

R.J. Bauernfeind (NY)
Ralph H. Bushman (IL)
Stephen M. Cook (PA)
Roderick Croft (FL)
Jeffrey S. Daniel (VA)
Lawrence M. Davis (VT)
Bobby C. Floyd (TN)
Jayme L. Gilbert (NY)
Jesse M. Greene (TN)
David A. Hayes (GA)
George E. Holbrook (MA)
James T. Johnson, Jr. (KY)
Robert W. Kleve (IA)
Bruce E. Koehn (KS)
Corey S. Kuborn (IL)
Collin C. Longacre (PA)
Raymond W. Meier (WA)
Michael L. Penrod (IA)
Harry M. Pierson, Jr. (OR)
Daniel A. Pyle (PA)
David P. Ramos (CA)
Jimmy L. Stevens (SC)
David B. Stone (OK)
Dale G. Stringer (TX)
Carlyle D. Strong (NE)
Michael J. Tauriac, Jr. (LA)

    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: July 28, 2015.
Larry W. Minor,
 Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2015-19780 Filed 8-11-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P