Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 28734-28736 [2017-13128]

Download as PDF 28734 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 120 / Friday, June 23, 2017 / Notices (LWCF) (16 U.S.C. 4601–4604); Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) (42 U.S.C. 300f–300j–26)); Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 401– 406); Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1271–1287); Emergency Wetlands Resources Act, (16 U.S.C. 3901, 3921); Wetlands Mitigation (23 U.S.C. 119(g) and 133(b)(14)); Flood Disaster Protection Act, 42 U.S.C. 4012a, 4106). 8. Executive Orders: E.O. 11990 Protection of Wetlands; E.O. 11988 Floodplain Management; E.O. 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low Income Populations; E.O. 11593 Protection and Enhancement of Cultural Resources; E.O. 13007 Indian Sacred Sites; E.O. 13287 Preserve America; E.O. 13175 Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments; E.O. 11514 Protection and Enhancement of Environmental Quality; E.O. 13112 Invasive Species. 9. Navigation: Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 [33 U.SC. 403]; General Bridge Act of 1946 [33 U.S.C 9 and 11]. 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 May 25, 2017. The exemptions expire on May 25, 2019. 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 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 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., 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. [Docket No. FMCSA–2017–0016] II. Background (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). Issued on: June 13, 2017. Daniel M. Mathis, Division Administrator, Olympia, Washington. [FR Doc. 2017–12814 Filed 6–22–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–RY–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 10 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 asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:21 Jun 22, 2017 Jkt 241001 On April 24, 2017, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the public (82 FR 18954). That notice listed 10 applicants’ case histories. The 10 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 PO 00000 Frm 00117 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 at the end of the 2-year period. Accordingly, FMCSA has evaluated the 10 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 10 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, complete loss of vision, enucleation, glaucoma, and prosthetic eye. 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 one individual that sustained their vision condition as an adult has had it for 12 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 10 drivers have been E:\FR\FM\23JNN1.SGM 23JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 120 / Friday, June 23, 2017 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES 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 5 to 52 years. In the past three years, no drivers were involved in crashes and one driver was convicted of a moving violation in a CMV. The qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the April 24, 2017 notice (82 FR 18954). 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:21 Jun 22, 2017 Jkt 241001 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 10 applicants, no drivers were involved in crashes and one driver was convicted of a moving violation 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 PO 00000 Frm 00118 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 28735 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 10 applicants listed in the notice of April 24, 2017 (82 FR 18954). 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 10 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 oaf the annual medical examination; and (3) that each individual provide a copy of the annual medical certification to the employer for retention in the driver’s qualification file, or keep a copy in his/her driver’s qualification file if he/she is selfemployed. The driver must have a copy of the certification when driving, for presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement official. V. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received one comment in this proceeding. Cheyenne Imlay stated she is against granting the exemptions due to safety concerns. FMCSA is required to evaluate medical reports regarding each applicant’s vision deficiency, as well as each applicant’s driving records, E:\FR\FM\23JNN1.SGM 23JNN1 28736 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 120 / Friday, June 23, 2017 / Notices in order to determine if an equal or greater level of safety is likely to be achieved by permitting each of the applicants to drive in interstate commerce as opposed to restricting him or her to driving in intrastate commerce. The Agency completed this evaluation for each of the 10 applicants listed in this notice and determined that an equivalent or greater level of safety is likely to be achieved by granting the exemptions as would be without the exemptions. IV. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the 10 exemption applications, FMCSA exempts the following drivers from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10): Russel R. Dixon (VA) Robert A. Fasset (MI) William M. Hanes (OH) Ryan P. Lambert (UT) Richard D. Patterson (TN) Jonathan W. Pryor (OK) Ernesto Silva (NM) Dennis L. Spence (WA) Gordon R. Ulm (OH) Gary L. Warner (VA) 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: June 14, 2017. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2017–13128 Filed 6–22–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES [Docket No. NHTSA–2016–0141; Notice 2] Spartan Motors USA, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Grant of petition. AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:21 Jun 22, 2017 Jkt 241001 Spartan Motors USA, Inc. (Spartan), has determined that certain model year (MY) 2017 Spartan Emergency Response Metro Star motor vehicles do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 120, Tire selection and rims and motor home/recreation vehicle trailer load carrying capacity information for motor vehicles with a GVWR of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds). Spartan filed a noncompliance information report dated December 6, 2016. Spartan also petitioned NHTSA on January 4, 2017, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. ADDRESSES: For further information on this decision contact Kerrin Bressant, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366–1110, facsimile (202) 366– 5930. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Overview: Spartan Motors USA, Inc. (Spartan), has determined that certain model year (MY) 2017 Spartan Emergency Response Metro Star motor vehicles do not fully comply with paragraph S5.2(b) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 120, Tire selection and rims and motor home/recreation vehicle trailer load carrying capacity information for motor vehicles with a GVWR of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds). Spartan filed a noncompliance report dated December 6, 2016, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. Spartan also petitioned NHTSA on January 4, 2017, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and 49 CFR part 556, for an exemption from the notification and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. Notice of receipt of the petition was published, with a 30-day public comment period on April 11, 2017, in the Federal Register (82 FR 17520). No comments were received. To view the petition and all supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web page at: http://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online search instruction to locate docket number ‘‘NHTSA–2016– 0141.’’ II. Vehicles Involved: Approximately 19 MY 2017 Spartan Emergency Response Metro Star motor vehicles manufactured between September 6, 2016, and October 24, 2016, are potentially involved. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00119 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 III. Noncompliance: Spartan explains that the noncompliance is that the wheels on the subject vehicles incorrectly identify the rim size as 24.5″ x 8.25″ instead of 22.5″ x 8.25″, and therefore do not meet the requirements of paragraph S5.2(b) of FMVSS No. 120. IV. Rule Text: paragraph S5.2 of FMVSS No. 120 states: S5.2 Rim marking. Each rim or, at the option of the manufacturer in the case of a single-piece wheel, wheel disc shall be marked with the information listed in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this paragraph, in lettering not less than 3 millimeters high, impressed to a depth or, at the option of the manufacturer, embossed to a height of not less than 0.125 millimeters . . . (b) The rim size designation, and in case of multipiece rims, the rim type designation. For example: 20 x 5.50, or 20 x 5.5. V. Summary of Spartan’s Petition: Spartan described the subject noncompliance and stated its belief that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. In support of its petition, Spartan provided the following: Chassis cabs affected by this condition are manufactured in two or more stages. While in general, Spartan is the incomplete vehicle manufacturer, in this case, Spartan provides a label that contains the requirements identified in 49 CFR 567.5(a)(2)(iv), which states that a label must be affixed to an incomplete vehicle that contains the ‘‘GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING’’ or ‘‘GVWR’’, followed by the appropriate value in kilograms and (pounds) for each axle, identified in order from front to rear (e.g., front, first intermediate, second intermediate, rear). The ratings for any consecutive axles having identical gross axle weight ratings when equipped with tires having the same tire size designation may be stated as a single value, with the label indicating to which axles the ratings apply. Similar information must be included in the incomplete vehicle document or IVD that must be furnished by the incomplete vehicle manufacturer, as required by 49 CFR 568.4(a)(5). While the actual wheel stamping may be 24.5, the physical size (outside diameter) is 22.5. If a service provider were to reference the rim size of the incorrectly stamped rim, and attempt to install a tire with an inside diameter of 24.5, it would be too large for the 22.5 size rim and thus not fit. Given the label being provided and the construction details sheet provided in accordance with NFPA® 1901 Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus 2016 edition, Spartan believes the E:\FR\FM\23JNN1.SGM 23JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 120 (Friday, June 23, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 28734-28736]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-13128]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0016]


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 10 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 May 25, 2017. The exemptions expire 
on May 25, 2019.

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., 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.

II. Background

    On April 24, 2017, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption 
applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the 
public (82 FR 18954). That notice listed 10 applicants' case histories. 
The 10 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 10 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 10 
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, complete loss of vision, enucleation, 
glaucoma, and prosthetic eye. 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 one individual that sustained their vision condition as an 
adult has had it for 12 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 10 drivers have been

[[Page 28735]]

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 5 to 52 
years. In the past three years, no drivers were involved in crashes and 
one driver was convicted of a moving violation in a CMV.
    The qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each 
applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the April 24, 2017 
notice (82 FR 18954).

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 10 applicants, no drivers were involved in crashes and one driver 
was convicted of a moving violation 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 10 applicants listed in the notice of April 
24, 2017 (82 FR 18954).
    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 10 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 oaf 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 one comment in this proceeding. Cheyenne Imlay 
stated she is against granting the exemptions due to safety concerns. 
FMCSA is required to evaluate medical reports regarding each 
applicant's vision deficiency, as well as each applicant's driving 
records,

[[Page 28736]]

in order to determine if an equal or greater level of safety is likely 
to be achieved by permitting each of the applicants to drive in 
interstate commerce as opposed to restricting him or her to driving in 
intrastate commerce. The Agency completed this evaluation for each of 
the 10 applicants listed in this notice and determined that an 
equivalent or greater level of safety is likely to be achieved by 
granting the exemptions as would be without the exemptions.

IV. Conclusion

    Based upon its evaluation of the 10 exemption applications, FMCSA 
exempts the following drivers from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 
391.41(b)(10):

Russel R. Dixon (VA)
Robert A. Fasset (MI)
William M. Hanes (OH)
Ryan P. Lambert (UT)
Richard D. Patterson (TN)
Jonathan W. Pryor (OK)
Ernesto Silva (NM)
Dennis L. Spence (WA)
Gordon R. Ulm (OH)
Gary L. Warner (VA)

    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: June 14, 2017.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2017-13128 Filed 6-22-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P