Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 48493-48495 [2016-17458]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 142 / Monday, July 25, 2016 / Notices mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES to restore more natural water flow to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay for the purpose of restoring habitat within the Park and ecological connectivity between the Park and Water Conservation Areas. The project limits are between milepost 13.87 and 24.62 (west of Krome Avenue). This project will not add through lanes. The project will remove approximately 5.5 miles of existing 2-lane roadway fill embankment and construct an equal length of 2-lane bridging to replace the removed embankment. Remaining roadway and fill embankment will be slightly raised in elevation. Corps Individual Permit SAJ–2014–01231 issued April 6, 2015, and is available at http://geo.usace.army.mil/egis/ f?p=340:9:0::NO. 6. Project Location: Brevard County, Palm Bay Parkway Southern Interchange at I–95. Financial Project No: 426904–1–22–01 and 426904–1–22– 02. Project Type: The project builds a new interchange that will directly connect the Palm Bay Parkway and Micco Road to I–95 just south of the City of Palm Bay in Brevard County. Corps Individual Permit SAJ–2009– 01907 issued February 4, 2016, (DOT– 5–FPN–426904–1–22–01), and is available at http://geo.usace.army.mil/ egis/f?p=340:9:0::NO. 7. Project Location: Martin and Palm Beach Counties, SR 710 (from SR 76 to Blue Heron Blvd. at I–95). Project type: Adds capacity to SR 710 and provides a new urban interchange at Northlake Boulevard. Corps Individual Permit SAJ–2013–02593 issued September 17, 2014, and is available at http:// geo.usace.army.mil/egis/ f?p=340:9:0::NO. 8. Project Location: Starke, Bradford County, US 301 (from CR 227 to CR 233). Project type: Provides a 4 lane, limited-access 7.3 mile bypass around the City of Starke. Corps Individual Permit SAJ–2013–00113 issued March 4, 2016 (DOT–2–FPN 208001), and is available at http://geo.usace.army.mil/ egis/f?p=340:9:0::NO. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this program.) Authority: 23 U.S.C. 139(l)(1) James C. Christian, Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, Tallahassee, Florida. [FR Doc. 2016–17110 Filed 7–22–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–RY–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:27 Jul 22, 2016 Jkt 238001 48493 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 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. [Docket No. FMCSA–2015–0347] II. Background Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision On January 12, 2016, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the public (81 FR 1474). That notice listed 28 applicants’ case histories. The 28 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 28 applications on their merits and made a determination to grant exemptions to each of them. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 28 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 February 12, 2016. The exemptions expire on February 12, 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christine A. Hydock, Chief, Medical Programs Division, (202) 366–4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W64– 113, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have questions regarding viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: 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 PO 00000 Frm 00119 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 28 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 age-related macular degeneration, amblyopia, complete loss of vision, corneal scar, embryonic cataract, macular scar, optic atrophy, optic nerve damage, prosthetic eye, reduced vision, refractive amblyopia, retinal detachment, and strabismic amblyopia. In most cases, their eye conditions were not recently developed. Nineteen of the applicants were either E:\FR\FM\25JYN1.SGM 25JYN1 48494 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 142 / Monday, July 25, 2016 / Notices mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES born with their vision impairments or have had them since childhood. The 9 individuals that sustained their vision conditions as adults have had it for a range of 6 to 44 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 28 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 for 3 to 59 years. In the past three years, no drivers were involved in crashes, and 3 drivers 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 January 12, 2016 notice (81 FR 1474). 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:27 Jul 22, 2016 Jkt 238001 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 PO 00000 Frm 00120 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 28 applicants, no drivers were involved in crashes, and 3 drivers 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 28 applicants listed in the notice of January 12, 2016 (81 FR 1474). 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 28 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 E:\FR\FM\25JYN1.SGM 25JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 142 / Monday, July 25, 2016 / Notices 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 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES IV. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the 28 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)): David W. Anderson (OR) Charles H. Baim (PA) Troy C. Blackburn (OH) Johnnie E. Byler (PA) Raymond E. Catanio (NJ) Dana L. Colberg (OR) Peter D. Costas (NY) Darrin G. Davis (WI) Rene Hernandez Gonzalez (FL) Johnnie W. Hines, Jr. (FL) Dean L. Knutson (SD) Melvin L. Lester (MS) Gerald R. Metzler (PA) Kory M. Nelson (MD) Douglas L. Peterson (WI) Ramon S. Puente (IA) Dennis W. Rhoades (VT) Jose H. Rivas (NM) Joseph T. Saba (MN) LeRoy W. Scharkey (MN) Roger H. Schwisow (NE) Walton W. Smith, Jr. (VA) Dustin W. Tharp (IA) Aaron D. Tillman (DE) Larry J. Weber (WI) Richard N. Wescott (ME) Oscar M. Wilkins (ME) Rodney W. Wright (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 18:27 Jul 22, 2016 Issued on: July 19, 2016. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2016–17458 Filed 7–22–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Jkt 238001 Hours of Service of Drivers: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); FAST Act Extension of Expiration Date Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice; extension of exemption. AGENCY: FMCSA announces the extension of the hours-of-service (HOS) exemption granted to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on June 30, 2015, for certain commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The Agency extends the expiration date of the exemption to June 29, 2020 in response to section 5206(b)(2)(A) of the ‘‘Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act’’ (FAST Act). That section extends the expiration date of all HOS exemptions in effect on the date of enactment to 5 years from the date of issuance of the exemptions. The DOE exemption from the Agency’s 30-minute rest break requirement is limited to DOE’s contract motor carriers and their employeedrivers engaged in the transportation of security-sensitive radioactive materials. The Agency previously determined that CMV operations under this exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety that would be obtained in the absence of the exemption. DATES: This limited exemption is effective from June 30, 2015, through June 29, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; Telephone: 614–942–6477. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00121 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Legal Basis 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)]. Section 5206(b)(2)(A) of the FAST Act requires FMCSA to extend all exemptions from the HOS regulations (49 CFR part 395) that were in effect on the date of enactment of the Act to a period of 5 years from the date the exemption was granted. The exemption may be renewed. Because this action merely implements a statutory mandate that took effect on the date of enactment of the FAST Act, notice and comment are not required. DOE Exemption [Docket No. FMCSA–2012–0370] FMCSA received no comments in this proceeding. VerDate Sep<11>2014 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. 48495 From 2013 to 2015, DOE held a limited exemption from the mandatory 30-minute rest break requirement of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii) that allowed DOE contract carriers and their drivers transporting security-sensitive radioactive materials to be treated the same as drivers transporting explosives pursuant to § 395.1(q). As that exemption neared expiration, DOE applied for its renewal. FMCSA reviewed DOE’s request and the public comments and reaffirmed its previous conclusion that allowing these drivers to count on-duty time ‘‘attending’’ their CMVs toward the required 30-minute break, would promote safety at least as effectively as the break itself. The notice renewing the DOE exemption was published on June 22, 2015 [80 FR 35703]. The substance of the 2015 exemption is not affected by this extension. The DOE exemption covers only the 30minute break requirement [49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii)] and is restricted to contract motor carriers and their drivers employed by DOE transporting securitysensitive radioactive materials. On each trip, the drivers are allowed to use 30 minutes or more of ‘‘attendance time’’ to meet the requirements for a rest break in the manner provided in 49 CFR 395.1(q), provided they perform no other on-duty activities during the rest break. The FMCSA does not believe the safety record of any driver operating under this exemption will deteriorate. However, should deterioration in safety occur, FMCSA will take all steps necessary to protect the public interest, including revocation of the exemption. The FMCSA has the authority to terminate the exemption at any time the Agency has the data/information to E:\FR\FM\25JYN1.SGM 25JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 142 (Monday, July 25, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48493-48495]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-17458]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0347]


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 28 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 February 12, 2016. The exemptions 
expire on February 12, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christine A. Hydock, Chief, Medical 
Programs Division, (202) 366-4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W64-113, 
Washington, DC 20590-0001. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have questions 
regarding 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 January 12, 2016, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of 
exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments 
from the public (81 FR 1474). That notice listed 28 applicants' case 
histories. The 28 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 28 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 28 
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 age-related macular degeneration, amblyopia, 
complete loss of vision, corneal scar, embryonic cataract, macular 
scar, optic atrophy, optic nerve damage, prosthetic eye, reduced 
vision, refractive amblyopia, retinal detachment, and strabismic 
amblyopia. In most cases, their eye conditions were not recently 
developed. Nineteen of the applicants were either

[[Page 48494]]

born with their vision impairments or have had them since childhood.
    The 9 individuals that sustained their vision conditions as adults 
have had it for a range of 6 to 44 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 28 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 for 3 to 59 
years. In the past three years, no drivers were involved in crashes, 
and 3 drivers 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 January 12, 2016 
notice (81 FR 1474).

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 28 applicants, no drivers were involved in crashes, and 3 drivers 
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 28 applicants listed in the notice of January 
12, 2016 (81 FR 1474).
    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 28 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

[[Page 48495]]

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 28 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)):

David W. Anderson (OR)
Charles H. Baim (PA)
Troy C. Blackburn (OH)
Johnnie E. Byler (PA)
Raymond E. Catanio (NJ)
Dana L. Colberg (OR)
Peter D. Costas (NY)
Darrin G. Davis (WI)
Rene Hernandez Gonzalez (FL)
Johnnie W. Hines, Jr. (FL)
Dean L. Knutson (SD)
Melvin L. Lester (MS)
Gerald R. Metzler (PA)
Kory M. Nelson (MD)
Douglas L. Peterson (WI)
Ramon S. Puente (IA)
Dennis W. Rhoades (VT)
Jose H. Rivas (NM)
Joseph T. Saba (MN)
LeRoy W. Scharkey (MN)
Roger H. Schwisow (NE)
Walton W. Smith, Jr. (VA)
Dustin W. Tharp (IA)
Aaron D. Tillman (DE)
Larry J. Weber (WI)
Richard N. Wescott (ME)
Oscar M. Wilkins (ME)
Rodney W. Wright (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: July 19, 2016.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2016-17458 Filed 7-22-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P