Qualification of Drivers; Application for Exemptions; Hearing, 60737-60738 [2015-25496]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 194 / Wednesday, October 7, 2015 / Notices applicants meets the burden of showing that granting the exemptions would achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved without the exemption. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315, each exemption will be valid for 2 years from the effective date with annual recertification required unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be revoked if the following occurs: (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 prior to being granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136 and 31315. FMCSA exempts the following 10 drivers for a period of 2 years from the physical qualification standard concerning hearing: Clayton L. Ashby (VA); Joseph G. Cerna-Nieves (FL); Steven C. Levine (NY); Donna Neri (AZ); Brenda J. Palmigiano (NY); Lon Edward Smith (MS); Mark Taylor (AZ); James Clark Tillis (AL); Bruce N. Walker (NY); and Tommy Mark Weldon (GA). Dated: September 29, 2015. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2015–25499 Filed 10–6–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Qualification of Drivers; Application for Exemptions; Hearing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to grant requests from 12 individuals for exemptions from the Agency’s physical qualifications standard concerning hearing for interstate drivers. The current regulation prohibits hearing impaired individuals from operating CMVs in interstate commerce. After notice and opportunity for public comment, the Agency concluded that granting exemptions for these drivers to operate propertycarrying CMVs will provide a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level of safety maintained without the exemptions. The exemptions are valid for a 2-year period and may be renewed, and the asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:12 Oct 06, 2015 Jkt 238001 The exemptions are effective October 7, 2015. The exemptions expire on October 10, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles A. Horan, III, Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety, (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 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: A. Electronic Access You may see all the comments online through the Federal Document Management System (FDMS) at: www.regulations.gov. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to 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., e.t., 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. B. Background [Docket No. FMCSA–2014–0384] SUMMARY: exemptions preempt State laws and regulations. Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption from the safety regulations 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. The current provisions of the FMCSRs concerning hearing state that a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person: First perceives a forced whispered voice in the better ear at not less than 5 feet with or without the use of a hearing aid or, if tested by use of an audiometric device, does not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater than 40 decibels at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with or without a hearing aid when the audiometric device is calibrated to American National Standard (formerly ASA Standard) Z24.5—1951. 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11). This standard was adopted in 1970, with a revision in 1971 to allow drivers to be qualified under PO 00000 Frm 00127 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60737 this standard while wearing a hearing aid, 35 FR 6458, 6463 (April 22, 1970) and 36 FR 12857 (July 3, 1971). FMCSA grants 12 individuals an exemption from § 391.41(b)(11) concerning hearing to enable them to operate property-carrying CMVs in interstate commerce for a 2-year period. The Agency’s decision on these exemption applications is based on the current medical literature and information and the ‘‘Executive Summary on Hearing, Vestibular Function and Commercial Motor Driving Safety’’ (the 2008 Evidence Report) presented to FMCSA on August 26, 2008. The evidence report reached two conclusions regarding the matter of hearing loss and CMV driver safety: (1) No studies that examined the relationship between hearing loss and crash risk exclusively among CMV drivers were identified; and (2) evidence from studies of the private driver license holder population does not support the contention that individuals with hearing impairment are at an increased risk for a crash. In addition, the Agency reviewed each applicant’s driving record found in the CDLIS,1 for CDL holders, and inspections recorded in MCMIS.2 For non-CDL holders, the Agency reviewed the driving records from the State licensing agency. Each applicant’s record demonstrated a safe driving history. The Agency believes the drivers covered by the exemptions do not pose a risk to public safety. C. Comments On May 8, 2015, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption applications and requested public comment on 12 individuals (FR 80 26610; Docket number FMCSA–2015– 11121. The comment period ended on June 8, 2015. In response to this notice, one comment was received expressing safety concerns for the far reaching ramifications to the commercial driving industry of allowing deaf drivers to test, train and/or drive commercially. Some of these concerns were addressed in a previous notice. Additionally they expressed concern for the process by which exemptions are granted from parts of 49 CFR 391.41, the increased 1 Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS) is an information system that allows the exchange of commercial driver licensing information among all the States. CDLIS includes the databases of 51 licensing jurisdictions and the CDLIS Central Site, all connected by a telecommunications network. 2 Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) is an information system that captures data from field offices through SAFETYNET, CAPRI, and other sources. It is a source for FMCSA inspection, crash, compliance review, safety audit, and registration data. E:\FR\FM\07OCN1.SGM 07OCN1 60738 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 194 / Wednesday, October 7, 2015 / Notices volume of exemptions, and the need to rely on scientific support as a basis for granting the exemptions. FMCSA acknowledges the stakeholder’s concerns and may consider the initial steps to revising the physical qualification standards through a formal rulemaking process. Michael K. Wilkes Mr. Wilkes, 50, holds an operator’s license in Massachusetts. Basis For Exemption Mr. Carr, 50, holds a Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Pennsylvania. Randy Ray Griffin Conclusion Mr. Griffin, 50, holds an operator’s license in California. The Agency is granting exemptions from the hearing standard, 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11), to 12 individuals based on an evaluation of each driver’s safety experience. Safety analysis of information relating to these 12 applicants meets the burden of showing that granting the exemptions would achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved without the exemption. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315, each exemption will be valid for 2 years from the effective date with annual recertification required unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be revoked if the following occurs: (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 prior to being granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136 and 31315. FMCSA exempts the following 12 drivers for a period of 2 years from the physical qualification standard concerning hearing: Thomas M. Carr (PA); Randy Ray Griffin (CA); William Hall (AL); Robert Chance Hayden (FL); Robert J. Knapp (WI); Keith P. Miller (PA); Ramoncito Sanchez (TX); Bradly D. Sexton (OK); Sandy L. Sloat (TX); Robert A. Toler (MS); Jeffry B. Webber (OK); and Michael K. Wilkes (MA). Following individualized assessments of the exemption applications, FMCSA grants exemptions from 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) to 12 individuals. Under current FMCSA regulations, all of the 12 drivers receiving exemptions from 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) would have been considered physically qualified to drive a CMV in interstate commerce except that they do not meet the hearing requirement. FMCSA has determined that the following 12 applicants should be granted an exemption: Thomas M. Carr William Hall Mr. Hall, 35, holds an operator’s license in Alabama. Robert Chance Hayden Mr. Hayden, 29, holds an operator’s license in Florida. Robert J. Knapp Mr. Knapp, 47, holds an operator’s license in Wisconsin. Keith P. Miller Mr. Miller, 37, holds an operator’s license in Pennsylvania. Ramoncito Sanchez Mr. Sanchez, 34, holds an operator’s license in Texas. Bradly D. Sexton Mr. Sexton, 36, holds an operator’s license in Oklahoma. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Sandy L. Sloat Ms. Sloat, 34, holds an operator’s license in Texas. Robert A. Toler Mr. Toler, 31, holds an operator’s license in Missouri. Jeffry B. Webber Mr. Webber, 53, holds an operator’s license in Oklahoma. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:12 Oct 06, 2015 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00128 Fmt 4703 [FR Doc. 2015–25496 Filed 10–6–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption from the hearing standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) if the exemption is likely to achieve an equivalent or greater level of safety than would be achieved without the exemption. With the exemption, applicants can drive in interstate commerce. Thus, the Agency’s 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. The driver must comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption. This includes reporting any crashes or accidents as defined in 49 CFR 390.5 and reporting all citations and convictions for disqualifying offenses under 49 CFR part 383 and 49 CFR 391. D. Exemptions Granted Dated: September 28, 2015. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2015–0255] Agency Information Collection Activities; Extension of a CurrentlyApproved Information Collection Request: Transportation of Household Goods; Consumer Protection Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice and request for information. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FMCSA announces its plan to submit the Information Collection Request (ICR) described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its review and approval. The FMCSA requests approval to extend an ICR titled, ‘‘Transportation of Household Goods; Consumer Protection.’’ The information collected will be used to help regulate motor carriers transporting household goods (HHG) for individual shippers. FMCSA invites public comment on the ICR. DATES: We must receive your comments on or before December 7, 2015. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket Number FMCSA–2015–0255 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Operations; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 20590– 0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12– 140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and docket number. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the exemption process, see the Public Participation heading below. Note that all comments received SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\07OCN1.SGM 07OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 194 (Wednesday, October 7, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60737-60738]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-25496]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0384]


Qualification of Drivers; Application for Exemptions; Hearing

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to grant requests from 12 
individuals for exemptions from the Agency's physical qualifications 
standard concerning hearing for interstate drivers. The current 
regulation prohibits hearing impaired individuals from operating CMVs 
in interstate commerce. After notice and opportunity for public 
comment, the Agency concluded that granting exemptions for these 
drivers to operate property-carrying CMVs will provide a level of 
safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level of safety 
maintained without the exemptions. The exemptions are valid for a 2-
year period and may be renewed, and the exemptions preempt State laws 
and regulations.

DATES: The exemptions are effective October 7, 2015. The exemptions 
expire on October 10, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles A. Horan, III, Director, 
Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety, (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 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Electronic Access

    You may see all the comments online through the Federal Document 
Management System (FDMS) at: www.regulations.gov.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to 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., e.t., 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.

B. Background

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption 
from the safety regulations 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. The current provisions of the FMCSRs 
concerning hearing state that a person is physically qualified to drive 
a CMV if that person:

    First perceives a forced whispered voice in the better ear at 
not less than 5 feet with or without the use of a hearing aid or, if 
tested by use of an audiometric device, does not have an average 
hearing loss in the better ear greater than 40 decibels at 500 Hz, 
1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with or without a hearing aid when the 
audiometric device is calibrated to American National Standard 
(formerly ASA Standard) Z24.5--1951.

49 CFR 391.41(b)(11). This standard was adopted in 1970, with a 
revision in 1971 to allow drivers to be qualified under this standard 
while wearing a hearing aid, 35 FR 6458, 6463 (April 22, 1970) and 36 
FR 12857 (July 3, 1971).
    FMCSA grants 12 individuals an exemption from Sec.  391.41(b)(11) 
concerning hearing to enable them to operate property-carrying CMVs in 
interstate commerce for a 2-year period. The Agency's decision on these 
exemption applications is based on the current medical literature and 
information and the ``Executive Summary on Hearing, Vestibular Function 
and Commercial Motor Driving Safety'' (the 2008 Evidence Report) 
presented to FMCSA on August 26, 2008. The evidence report reached two 
conclusions regarding the matter of hearing loss and CMV driver safety: 
(1) No studies that examined the relationship between hearing loss and 
crash risk exclusively among CMV drivers were identified; and (2) 
evidence from studies of the private driver license holder population 
does not support the contention that individuals with hearing 
impairment are at an increased risk for a crash. In addition, the 
Agency reviewed each applicant's driving record found in the CDLIS,\1\ 
for CDL holders, and inspections recorded in MCMIS.\2\ For non-CDL 
holders, the Agency reviewed the driving records from the State 
licensing agency. Each applicant's record demonstrated a safe driving 
history. The Agency believes the drivers covered by the exemptions do 
not pose a risk to public safety.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS) is an 
information system that allows the exchange of commercial driver 
licensing information among all the States. CDLIS includes the 
databases of 51 licensing jurisdictions and the CDLIS Central Site, 
all connected by a telecommunications network.
    \2\ Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) is an 
information system that captures data from field offices through 
SAFETYNET, CAPRI, and other sources. It is a source for FMCSA 
inspection, crash, compliance review, safety audit, and registration 
data.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. Comments

    On May 8, 2015, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption 
applications and requested public comment on 12 individuals (FR 80 
26610; Docket number FMCSA-2015-11121. The comment period ended on June 
8, 2015. In response to this notice, one comment was received 
expressing safety concerns for the far reaching ramifications to the 
commercial driving industry of allowing deaf drivers to test, train 
and/or drive commercially. Some of these concerns were addressed in a 
previous notice. Additionally they expressed concern for the process by 
which exemptions are granted from parts of 49 CFR 391.41, the increased

[[Page 60738]]

volume of exemptions, and the need to rely on scientific support as a 
basis for granting the exemptions. FMCSA acknowledges the stakeholder's 
concerns and may consider the initial steps to revising the physical 
qualification standards through a formal rulemaking process.

D. Exemptions Granted

    Following individualized assessments of the exemption applications, 
FMCSA grants exemptions from 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) to 12 individuals. 
Under current FMCSA regulations, all of the 12 drivers receiving 
exemptions from 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) would have been considered 
physically qualified to drive a CMV in interstate commerce except that 
they do not meet the hearing requirement. FMCSA has determined that the 
following 12 applicants should be granted an exemption:

Thomas M. Carr

    Mr. Carr, 50, holds a Class B commercial driver's license (CDL) in 
Pennsylvania.

Randy Ray Griffin

    Mr. Griffin, 50, holds an operator's license in California.

William Hall

    Mr. Hall, 35, holds an operator's license in Alabama.

Robert Chance Hayden

    Mr. Hayden, 29, holds an operator's license in Florida.

Robert J. Knapp

    Mr. Knapp, 47, holds an operator's license in Wisconsin.

Keith P. Miller

    Mr. Miller, 37, holds an operator's license in Pennsylvania.

Ramoncito Sanchez

    Mr. Sanchez, 34, holds an operator's license in Texas.

Bradly D. Sexton

    Mr. Sexton, 36, holds an operator's license in Oklahoma.

Sandy L. Sloat

    Ms. Sloat, 34, holds an operator's license in Texas.

Robert A. Toler

    Mr. Toler, 31, holds an operator's license in Missouri.

Jeffry B. Webber

    Mr. Webber, 53, holds an operator's license in Oklahoma.

Michael K. Wilkes

    Mr. Wilkes, 50, holds an operator's license in Massachusetts.

Basis For Exemption

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption 
from the hearing standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) if the exemption is 
likely to achieve an equivalent or greater level of safety than would 
be achieved without the exemption. With the exemption, applicants can 
drive in interstate commerce. Thus, the Agency's 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. 
The driver must comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption. 
This includes reporting any crashes or accidents as defined in 49 CFR 
390.5 and reporting all citations and convictions for disqualifying 
offenses under 49 CFR part 383 and 49 CFR 391.

Conclusion

    The Agency is granting exemptions from the hearing standard, 49 CFR 
391.41(b)(11), to 12 individuals based on an evaluation of each 
driver's safety experience. Safety analysis of information relating to 
these 12 applicants meets the burden of showing that granting the 
exemptions would achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to or 
greater than the level that would be achieved without the exemption. In 
accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315, each exemption will be valid for 2 
years from the effective date with annual recertification required 
unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be revoked if the 
following occurs: (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 prior to being granted; or (3) 
continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals 
and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136 and 31315.
    FMCSA exempts the following 12 drivers for a period of 2 years from 
the physical qualification standard concerning hearing: Thomas M. Carr 
(PA); Randy Ray Griffin (CA); William Hall (AL); Robert Chance Hayden 
(FL); Robert J. Knapp (WI); Keith P. Miller (PA); Ramoncito Sanchez 
(TX); Bradly D. Sexton (OK); Sandy L. Sloat (TX); Robert A. Toler (MS); 
Jeffry B. Webber (OK); and Michael K. Wilkes (MA).

     Dated: September 28, 2015.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2015-25496 Filed 10-6-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P