Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 72642-72644 [2016-25381]

Download as PDF 72642 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 203 / Thursday, October 20, 2016 / Notices MEDICAL ADVISORY CRITERIA, section H. Epilepsy: § 391.41(b)(8), paragraphs 3, 4, and 5.] mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES III. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received three comments in this proceeding. Eva Gonzales supports granting seizure exemptions to drivers who have maintained a safe driving record. Liam McMillin expressed concern for the risk of seizure while driving, and stated that ‘‘motorists cannot predict when they will have their next episode’’. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety expressed support for three of the applicants included in this notice and concern about health issues and the driving record of an applicant Shaen Smith. In response to this comment, Mr. Smith has been seizure-free over 18 years and meets the physical qualification standards to drive commercially. His five-year driving record includes no violations or accidents and the Agency has reviewed his ten-year driving history and concludes that he meets the requisite level of safety to drive commercially within the terms and conditions of his exemption. IV. Basis for Exemption Determination Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), FMCSA may grant an exemption from the epilepsy/seizure standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8) if the exemption is likely to achieve an equivalent or greater level of safety than would be achieved without the exemption. The exemption allows the applicants to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. In reaching the decision to grant these exemption requests, FMCSA considered the 2007 recommendations of the Agency’s Medical Expert Panel (MEP). The January 15, 2013, Federal Register notice (78 FR 3069) provides the current MEP recommendations, which is the criteria the Agency uses to grant seizure exemptions. The Agency’s decision regarding these exemption applications is based on an individualized assessment of each applicant’s medical information, including the root cause of the respective seizure(s) and medical information about the applicant’s seizure history, the length of time that has elapsed since the individual’s last seizure, the stability of each individual’s treatment regimen and the duration of time on or off of anti-seizure medication. In addition, the Agency reviewed the treating clinician’s medical opinion related to the ability of the driver to safely operate a CMV with a history of seizure and each applicant’s driving record found in the Commercial VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:40 Oct 19, 2016 Jkt 241001 Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders, and interstate and intrastate inspections recorded in the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). For non-CDL holders, the Agency reviewed the driving records from the State Driver’s Licensing Agency (SDLA). These 17 applicants have been seizure-free over a range of six to 36 years while taking anti-seizure medication and maintained a stable medication treatment regimen for the last two years. In each case, the applicant’s treating physician verified his or her seizure history and supports the ability to drive commercially. A summary of each applicant’s seizure history was discussed in the May 9, 2016, Federal Register notice (81 FR 28131). The Agency acknowledges the potential consequences of a driver experiencing a seizure while operating a CMV. However, the Agency believes the drivers granted this exemption have demonstrated that they are unlikely to have a seizure and their medical condition does not pose a risk to public safety. Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these applicants from the epilepsy/seizure standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8) is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the exemption. IV. Conditions and Requirements The terms and conditions of the exemption are provided to the applicants in the exemption document and includes the following: (1) Each driver must remain seizure-free and maintain a stable treatment during the two-year exemption period; (2) each driver must submit annual reports from their treating physicians attesting to the stability of treatment and that the driver has remained seizure-free; (3) each driver must undergo an annual medical examination by a certified Medical Examiner, as defined by 49 CFR 390.5; and (4) each driver must provide a copy of the annual medical certification to the employer for retention in the driver’s qualification file, or keep a copy of his/her driver’s qualification file if he/she is self-employed. The driver must also have a copy of the exemption when driving, for presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement official. V. Preemption During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with this PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 exemption with respect to a person operating under the exemption. VI. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the 17 exemption applications, FMCSA exempts the following drivers from the epilepsy/seizure standard, 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8), subject to the requirements cited above: Hamilton Barnard (CA) Edward J. Carder, Jr. (OH) Timothy M. Crampton (CT) Henry Dennis Counts, Jr. (MD) Michael D. Davis (ME) Charlie E. Getchell (WI) Dennis R. Giles (IN) Robert W. Goddard (NH) Larry G. Hediger (IL) Martin Lancaster (ME) Philip A. Logan (SC) Eric J. McVetty (NH) Donald John Richmond (SC) Shaen Smith (MN) Kevin Lee Sprinkle (NC) Patrick Trimbo (MN) Alan Washabaugh (PA) In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(1), each exemption is valid for two years unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be revoked if the following occurs: (1) The individual 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. Issued on: October 12, 2016. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2016–25387 Filed 10–19–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2016–0206] 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 12 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 E:\FR\FM\20OCN1.SGM 20OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 203 / Thursday, October 20, 2016 / Notices 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 October 1, 2016. The exemptions expire on October 1, 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. 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. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES II. Background On August 31, 2016, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the public (81 FR 60115). That notice listed 12 applicants’ case histories. The 12 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:40 Oct 19, 2016 Jkt 241001 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 12 applications on their merits and made a determination to grant exemptions to each of them. III. Vision and Driving Experience of the Applicants The vision requirement in the FMCSRs provides: A person is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if that person has distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in each eye without corrective lenses or visual acuity separately corrected to 20/40 (Snellen) or better with corrective lenses, distant binocular acuity of a least 20/40 (Snellen) in both eyes with or without corrective lenses, field of vision of at least 70° in the horizontal meridian in each eye, and the ability to recognize the colors of traffic signals and devices showing red, green, and amber (49 CFR 391.41(b)(10)). FMCSA recognizes that some drivers do not meet the vision requirement but have adapted their driving to accommodate their limitation and demonstrated their ability to drive safely. The 12 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 amblyopia, aniosometropia, cerebrovascular accident, complete loss of vision, glaucoma, macular scar, prosthetic eye, and retinal detachment. In most cases, their eye conditions were not recently developed. Nine of the applicants were either born with their vision impairments or have had them since childhood. The 3 individuals that sustained their vision conditions as adults have had it for a range of 7 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 PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 72643 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 12 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 50 years. In the past three years, no drivers were involved in crashes, and no 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 August 31, 2016 notice (81 FR 60115). 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 E:\FR\FM\20OCN1.SGM 20OCN1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES 72644 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 203 / Thursday, October 20, 2016 / Notices 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 12 applicants, no drivers were involved in crashes, and no 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:40 Oct 19, 2016 Jkt 241001 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 12 applicants listed in the notice of August 31, 2016 (81 FR 60115). 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 12 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. PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 V. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received no comments in this proceeding. IV. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the 12 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): Timothy D. Beaulier (MI) Earl D. Edland (MN) David M. Field (NH) Jerry D. Gartman (TX) William I. Innskeep (OH) Spencer B. Jacobs (TX) Edison Joe (NM) Duane A. McCord (IL) Odilio Monterroso De Leon (TX) James M. Moore (MS) Raymond White (NC) Brian C. Wittenburg (NC) 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: October 14, 2016. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2016–25381 Filed 10–19–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2016–0223] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes Mellitus AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). ACTION: Notice of applications for exemptions; request for comments. SUMMARY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 46 individuals for exemption from the prohibition against persons with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. If granted, the exemptions E:\FR\FM\20OCN1.SGM 20OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 203 (Thursday, October 20, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 72642-72644]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-25381]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2016-0206]


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 12 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

[[Page 72643]]

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 October 1, 2016. The exemptions 
expire on October 1, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. 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 August 31, 2016, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of 
exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments 
from the public (81 FR 60115). That notice listed 12 applicants' case 
histories. The 12 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 12 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 
limitation and demonstrated their ability to drive safely. The 12 
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 amblyopia, aniosometropia, cerebrovascular accident, 
complete loss of vision, glaucoma, macular scar, prosthetic eye, and 
retinal detachment. In most cases, their eye conditions were not 
recently developed. Nine of the applicants were either born with their 
vision impairments or have had them since childhood.
    The 3 individuals that sustained their vision conditions as adults 
have had it for a range of 7 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 12 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 50 
years. In the past three years, no drivers were involved in crashes, 
and no 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 August 31, 2016 
notice (81 FR 60115).

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

[[Page 72644]]

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 12 applicants, no drivers were involved in crashes, and no 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 12 applicants listed in the notice of August 
31, 2016 (81 FR 60115).
    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 12 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 12 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):

Timothy D. Beaulier (MI)
Earl D. Edland (MN)
David M. Field (NH)
Jerry D. Gartman (TX)
William I. Innskeep (OH)
Spencer B. Jacobs (TX)
Edison Joe (NM)
Duane A. McCord (IL)
Odilio Monterroso De Leon (TX)
James M. Moore (MS)
Raymond White (NC)
Brian C. Wittenburg (NC)

    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: October 14, 2016.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2016-25381 Filed 10-19-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P