Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Narcolepsy, 6328-6329 [2016-02275]
[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 24 (Friday, February 5, 2016)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-02275]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0488]
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Narcolepsy
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments.
SUMMARY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from two individuals
for exemptions from the following two Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Regulations (FMCSRs) which prohibit operating a commercial motor
vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. Section 391.41(b)(8) of the
FMCSRs prohibit operation of a commercial motor vehicle by persons with
either a clinical diagnosis of a condition that is likely to cause a
loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to operate a CMV safely.
Section 391.41(b)(9) of the FMCSRs prohibit operation of a commercial
motor vehicle by persons with a mental, nervous, organic, functional
disease, or psychiatric disorder likely to interfere with his/her
ability to drive a commercial motor vehicle safely. If granted, the
exemption would enable these individuals who have been diagnosed with
narcolepsy and are receiving medical treatment to operate CMVs for 2
years in interstate commerce.
DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 7, 2016.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket
Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2012-0081 using any of the
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov.
Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor,
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room
W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and
5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket ID for
this Notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change
to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information included in
a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or
comments, go to www.regulations.gov, at any time or Room W12-140 on the
ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE,
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday,
except Federal holidays. The FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365
days each year. If you want acknowledgment that we received your
comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard
or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting
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 records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christine Hydock, Chief, Medical
Programs Division, (202) 366-4001, or via email at
email@example.com, or by letter to FMCSA, Room W64-113, Department
of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-
0001. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday,
except Federal holidays.
FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant
exemptions from certain parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Regulations. FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in
the Federal Register [49 CFR 381.315(a)]. The Agency must provide the
public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the
application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted.
The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment on the
The Agency reviews safety analyses and public comments submitted,
and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a
level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be
achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The Agency may
grant an exemption subject to specified terms and conditions. The
decision of the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49
CFR 381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the
application and, if granted, the name of
the person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the
regulatory provision from which the exemption is granted. The notice
must also specify the effective period and explain the terms and
conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR
FMCSA provides medical advisory criteria in the Medical Examination
Report at 49 CFR 391.43 for use by medical examiners in determining
whether drivers with certain medical conditions should be certified to
operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. The advisory
criteria for 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8), indicates that if an individual has
had a sudden episode of a non-epileptic seizure or loss of
consciousness of unknown cause that did not require anti-seizure
medication, the decision whether that person's condition is likely to
cause the loss of consciousness or loss of ability to control a CMV
should be made on an individual basis by the medical examiner in
consultation with the treating physician.
In those individual cases where a driver had a seizure or an
episode of loss of consciousness that resulted from a known medical
condition (e.g., drug reaction, high temperature, acute infectious
disease, dehydration, or acute metabolic disturbance), certification
should be deferred until the driver has fully recovered from that
condition, has no existing residual complications, and is not taking
The advisory criteria for 49 CFR 391.41(b)(9), indicates that a
variety of functional disorders can cause drowsiness, dizziness,
confusion, weakness or paralysis that may lead to incoordination,
inattention, loss of functional control and susceptibility to accidents
Summary of Applications
Jeremy Joseph Mertens
Mr. Mertens is a 26 year old Class B CDL holder in Pennsylvania. An
October 6, 2015 report from his sleep medicine physician says (Mr.
Martens) was diagnosed with narcolepsy in 2011. His physician report
further states that Mr. Mertens is treated with Nuvigil daily and has
no problems with daytime somnolence. He has never had any history of
sleepiness while driving, cataplexy or loss of consciousness. He
understands that he has to continue to have adequate total sleep time
and take his Nuvigil as prescribed every single day. His employer
provided a letter stating that throughout his eight years of employment
he has never had any problem performing his job duties because of his
Mr. Vaughn is a 31 year old non-CDL holder from Georgia. An August
27, 2015 letter from his neurologist reports that as recently as July
13, 2015, Mr. Vaugh's sleep apnea is managed on CPAP and he is on
medication to help him maintain wakefulness during the daytime. His
neurologist supports Mr. Vaughn's request for an exemption which would
allow him to operate commercial motor vehicles as he is on medication.
Mr. Vaughn reports that he takes the medication Nuvigil.
Request for Comments
In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests
public comment from all interested persons on the applications for
exemption described in this notice. We will consider all comments
received before the close of business on the closing date indicated
earlier in the notice.
Issued on: January 19, 2016.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2016-02275 Filed 2-4-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P