Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 37499-37502 [2017-16857]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 153 / Thursday, August 10, 2017 / Notices obtaining an exemption from the rule prohibiting drivers with ITDM from driving CMVs in interstate commerce (79 FR 14579; 79 FR 28590): Schylor M. Altenhofen (IA) Don R. Anderson III (IN) Thomas A. Barnes (MI) Alvin L. Carpenter (MT) Richard J. D’Ambrosia (NY) Jefferey F. Deane (MA) Keith M. Dickerson (WI) Carl A. Federighi (CA) Bradley J. Frazier (IL) Carl R. Gentry (WA) Robert M. Hutchison (NY) Craig A. Keese, Jr. (NY) Amos L. Lapp (PA) Edward J. Lulay (IL) Donald S. Middleton (MO) Alva D. Moffatt (WA) John M. Muske (MN) Stephen R. Newlin (IL) Antonio Pepiciello (NY) David R. Petitt (WA) James K. Popp (MN) Dustin P. Russell (PA) Sean L. Shidell (WI) Randall L. Shultz (MO) Kenneth R. Soult (OH) Chad B. Spidell (PA) Cameron M. Sprinkle (IN) Douglas E. Stewart (MS) Thomas L. Williams (MN) The drivers were included in docket No. FMCSA–2014–0013. Their exemptions are effective as of May 16, 2016, and will expire on May 16, 2018. As of May 17, 2016, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, the following 30 individuals have satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the rule prohibiting drivers with ITDM from driving CMVs in interstate commerce (75 FR 13647; 75 FR 27616; 77 FR 18302; 77 FR 29446): Mark S. Boettcher (MN) Steven C. Boudreau (MA) Roy L. Brokaw (WI) Chris D. Chambers (LA) Charles A. Cinert, Sr. (IL) Dale J. Cleaver (PA) James H. Collins (FL) Bert R. Duncan II (UT) Lance L. Fuller (MN) Johnny Gardner, Jr. (SC) Mark D. Golden (MI) Nathaniel W. Gorham (IN) DeVere E. Hansen (UT) Grant C. Huftalin (IA) Steven M. Janczak (WI) Sheldon R. Koehn (KS) Jason R. Kropp (OK) James W. McClintock, III (AR) Adolfo Moreno, Jr. (WA) John W. Morrison (CA) Bruce V. Oppegard (MN) Steven G. Petersen (MN) VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Aug 09, 2017 Jkt 241001 Damian J. Porter (NY) David L. Rice (ME) Wayne F. Richards (PA) Gary G. Sironen (MT) Rodney L. Stoltenberg (IA) Wade D. Street (MT) Charles M. Sweat (VA) Stanley C. Tarvidas (IL) The drivers were included in one of the following docket Nos: FMCSA– 2009–0322; FMCSA–2012–0043. Their exemptions are effective as of May 17, 2016, and will expire on May 17, 2018. As of May 21, 2016, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, the following 52 individuals have satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the rule prohibiting drivers with ITDM from driving CMVs in interstate commerce (75 FR 14652; 75 FR 28684; 79 FR 18400; 79 FR 29262): Douglas L. Atkins (GA) Bradley E. Bradshaw (NC) Phillip W. Bulen (ID) Robert L. Buol (IA) Carlos V. Candelaria (NM) Suellen M. Civiello (ME) Michael T. Clements (WI) Daniel G. Conery (NJ) John A. Conness (MO) James R. Crawford (WA) Alan Curtis (UT) David P. Dengate (PA) Alan D. Ekberg (NE) Richard A. Flieth (ND) Neil G. Ford (PA) Alden J. Haskins, Sr. (MD) James Herrada (NE) Gary W. Hochstein (MN) Harold D. Hoggard II (PA) Terry L. Horn (NC) Wayne L. Hurley (MD) Gerald A. Johnson (WI) Frank J. Katzbeck (IL) Frank T. Katzele (WI) Cory M. Kobernick (KY) Thomas G. Lamberton (WA) Lee H. Lewis (PA) James K. Libke (IN) Gordon E. Lindley (WY) Edwin J. Ludwig (OH) Edwin H. Maranville (OR) Joseph R. Marcelewski (OH) Douglas J. Murray (NY) David R. Norton (OH) Eugene P. OQuendo (MA) Curtis J. Pitt (OR) Larry J. Reese (PA) William O. Ruiz III (AZ) James P. Rushing, Jr. (VA) Harold D. Russman (SD) Hector M. Sanchez (NM) Scott W. Shindledecker (IN) Shirliann F. Skroch (NV) Ross L. Smith, Sr. (NJ) Thomas G. Sosnoski (FL) Christopher Starghill (DC) PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 37499 Richard L. Stark (OH) Philip E. Stegeman (ID) Kevin L. Upmann (IL) Brandon L. Weaver (PA) Matthew G. Williams (KY) Michael B. Wilson (OH) The drivers were included in one of the following docket Nos: FMCSA– 2010–0051; FMCSA–2014–0014. Their exemptions are effective as of May 21, 2016, and will expire on May 21, 2018. As of May 23, 2016, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, Derald E. Moenning (NE) has satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the rule prohibiting drivers with ITDM from driving CMVs in interstate commerce (79 FR 22573; 79 FR 35855). This driver was included in docket No. FMCSA–2014–0015. The exemption is effective as of May 23, 2016, and will expire on May 23, 2018. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315, each exemption will be valid for two years from the effective date unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be revoked if the following occurs: (1) The person fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained prior to being granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136 and 31315. Issued on: August 4, 2017. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2017–16855 Filed 8–9–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2017–0017] 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 36 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 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\10AUN1.SGM 10AUN1 37500 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 153 / Thursday, August 10, 2017 / Notices 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 June 6, 2017. The exemptions expire on June 6, 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. mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES II. Background On May 4, 2017, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the public (82 FR 20962). That notice listed 36 applicants’ case histories. The 36 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 two 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Aug 09, 2017 Jkt 241001 exemptions at the end of the two year period. Accordingly, FMCSA has evaluated the 36 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 36 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, central vision loss, chorioretinal scarring, choroidal neovascular membrane, coats disease, complete loss of vision, degenerated globe, enucleation, exotropia, glaucoma, macular scar, optic atrophy, optic nerve damage, prosthetic eye, retinal detachment, and scarring. In most cases, their eye conditions were not recently developed. Twenty-four of the applicants were either born with their vision impairments or have had them since childhood. The 12 individuals that sustained their vision conditions as adults have had it for a range of 4 to 36 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 PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 36 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, one driver was involved in a crash and three 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 May 4, 2017 notice (82 FR 20962). 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 three 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\10AUN1.SGM 10AUN1 mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 153 / Thursday, August 10, 2017 / 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 three consecutive years of data, comparing the experiences of drivers in the first two years with their experiences in the final year. Applying principles from these studies to the past three year record of the 36 applicants, one driver was involved in a crash and three 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Aug 09, 2017 Jkt 241001 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 three 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 two year period allowed by 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to the 36 applicants listed in the notice of May 4, 2017 (82 FR 20962). 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 36 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 00084 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 37501 V. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received one comment that is outside the scope of this proceeding and will not be addressed in this notice. This one comment was from Mr. Reginald Jackson asking ‘‘why does any moving violations have to stay on a CDL Driver record for three years if no one was injured or lost there [sic] life or the CDL Driver did not receive a citation for careless or reckless driving?’’ He also asked ‘‘If the citation must [be] on the drivers record why it cannot [sic] be for one year for a speeding ticket and not three years? [sic]’’ Mr. Jackson suggested ‘‘changing the law and shorting the time down to 1 year? [sic] ’’ He also suggested ‘‘the driver can pay [a] 300 dollar fine and not have anything be paced on his or her mvr [sic] record.’’ IV. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the 36 exemption applications, FMCSA exempts the following drivers from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10): David A. Buchanan (SC) Brian E. Burrows (TX) Esta Cadet (FL) Gary G. Colby (UT) Herman A. Davis (AL) Brandon G. Dills (NC) Jeremy L. Fricke (ND) Scott J. Geritano (NC) Jonathen M. Gilligan (NY) Jeffrey J. Graham (MI) Dustin L. Hawkins (MO) Michael S. Higham (IL) Travis R. Honzel (CA) Lloyd M. Hoover (PA) Roy W. Houser, II (NC) Maurice R. Jones, Jr. (MD) Robert B. Jordahl (ND) Damian Klyza (NJ) John J. Lackey (CA) Zachary J. McCluskey (PA) Adam Merges (MN) Jimmy L. Metcalf (NC) John R. Miller (PA) David G. Neff (KY) Matthew J. Neufer (PA) Vincent R. Neville (MN) Willie L. Nez, Jr. (UT) Kevin B. Patterson (GA) Stuart W. Penner (KS) Brock E. Peterson (ND) Efren J. Soliz (NM) Anthony J.M. Thornburg (MI) Eric J. Wickman (MI) Don S. Williams (AL) Garfield M. Williams (TX) James J. Wyles (NC) In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, each exemption will be valid for two years unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be revoked if: (1) The person fails to comply with E:\FR\FM\10AUN1.SGM 10AUN1 37502 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 153 / Thursday, August 10, 2017 / Notices 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 two year period, the person may apply to FMCSA for a renewal under procedures in effect at that time. Issued on: August 4, 2017. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2017–16857 Filed 8–9–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [FMCSA Docket No. FMCSA–2017–0035] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes Mellitus Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 42 individuals from the prohibition in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) against persons with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. The exemptions enable these individuals with ITDM to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. DATES: The exemptions were applicable on July 7, 2017. The exemptions expire on July 7, 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– 224, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Office hours are from 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: mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES 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:// VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Aug 09, 2017 Jkt 241001 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 http://www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL–14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at http://www.dot.gov/ privacy. II. Background On June 6, 2017, FMCSA published a notice announcing receipt of applications from 42 individuals requesting an exemption from diabetes requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) and requested comments from the public (82 FR 26211). The public comment period ended on July 6, 2017, and no comments were received. FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of these applicants and determined that granting the exemptions to these individuals would achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved by complying with the current regulation 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3). The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding diabetes found in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) states that a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person: Has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus currently requiring insulin for control. III. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received no comments in this proceeding. IV. Basis for Exemption Determination Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption from the diabetes standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) 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. The Agency’s decision regarding these exemption applications is based on the program eligibility criteria and an individualized assessment of information submitted by each applicant. These 42 applicants have had ITDM over a range of 1 to 25 years. These applicants report no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 of consciousness or seizure, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning symptoms, in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the past five years. In each case, an endocrinologist verified that the driver has demonstrated a willingness to properly monitor and manage his/her diabetes mellitus, received education related to diabetes management, and is on a stable insulin regimen. These drivers report no other disqualifying conditions, including diabetes related complications. Each meets the vision requirement at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). The qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the June 6, 2017, Federal Register notice (82 FR 26211) and will not be repeated in this notice. Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these applicants from the diabetes requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the exemption. V. 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 submit a quarterly monitoring checklist completed by the treating endocrinologist as well as an annual checklist with a comprehensive medical evaluation; (2) each driver must report within two business days of occurrence, all episodes of severe hypoglycemia, significant complications, or inability to manage diabetes; also, any involvement in an accident or any other adverse event in a CMV or personal vehicle, whether or not it is related to an episode of hypoglycemia; (3) each driver must provide a copy of the ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s report to the Medical Examiner at the time of the annual medical examination; 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 keeping a copy in 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. VI. Preemption During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with this E:\FR\FM\10AUN1.SGM 10AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 153 (Thursday, August 10, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 37499-37502]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-16857]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0017]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 36 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

[[Page 37500]]

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 June 6, 2017. The exemptions expire 
on June 6, 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 May 4, 2017, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of exemption 
applications from certain individuals, and requested comments from the 
public (82 FR 20962). That notice listed 36 applicants' case histories. 
The 36 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 two 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 two year period. 
Accordingly, FMCSA has evaluated the 36 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 36 
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, central 
vision loss, chorioretinal scarring, choroidal neovascular membrane, 
coats disease, complete loss of vision, degenerated globe, enucleation, 
exotropia, glaucoma, macular scar, optic atrophy, optic nerve damage, 
prosthetic eye, retinal detachment, and scarring. In most cases, their 
eye conditions were not recently developed. Twenty-four of the 
applicants were either born with their vision impairments or have had 
them since childhood.
    The 12 individuals that sustained their vision conditions as adults 
have had it for a range of 4 to 36 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 36 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, one driver was involved in a crash and 
three 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 May 4, 2017 notice 
(82 FR 20962).

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 
three 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 37501]]

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 three consecutive 
years of data, comparing the experiences of drivers in the first two 
years with their experiences in the final year.
    Applying principles from these studies to the past three year 
record of the 36 applicants, one driver was involved in a crash and 
three 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 three 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 two year period allowed by 49 U.S.C. 
31136(e) and 31315 to the 36 applicants listed in the notice of May 4, 
2017 (82 FR 20962).
    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 36 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 one comment that is outside the scope of this 
proceeding and will not be addressed in this notice. This one comment 
was from Mr. Reginald Jackson asking ``why does any moving violations 
have to stay on a CDL Driver record for three years if no one was 
injured or lost there [sic] life or the CDL Driver did not receive a 
citation for careless or reckless driving?'' He also asked ``If the 
citation must [be] on the drivers record why it cannot [sic] be for one 
year for a speeding ticket and not three years? [sic]'' Mr. Jackson 
suggested ``changing the law and shorting the time down to 1 year? 
[sic] '' He also suggested ``the driver can pay [a] 300 dollar fine and 
not have anything be paced on his or her mvr [sic] record.''

IV. Conclusion

    Based upon its evaluation of the 36 exemption applications, FMCSA 
exempts the following drivers from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 
391.41(b)(10):

David A. Buchanan (SC)
Brian E. Burrows (TX)
Esta Cadet (FL)
Gary G. Colby (UT)
Herman A. Davis (AL)
Brandon G. Dills (NC)
Jeremy L. Fricke (ND)
Scott J. Geritano (NC)
Jonathen M. Gilligan (NY)
Jeffrey J. Graham (MI)
Dustin L. Hawkins (MO)
Michael S. Higham (IL)
Travis R. Honzel (CA)
Lloyd M. Hoover (PA)
Roy W. Houser, II (NC)
Maurice R. Jones, Jr. (MD)
Robert B. Jordahl (ND)
Damian Klyza (NJ)
John J. Lackey (CA)
Zachary J. McCluskey (PA)
Adam Merges (MN)
Jimmy L. Metcalf (NC)
John R. Miller (PA)
David G. Neff (KY)
Matthew J. Neufer (PA)
Vincent R. Neville (MN)
Willie L. Nez, Jr. (UT)
Kevin B. Patterson (GA)
Stuart W. Penner (KS)
Brock E. Peterson (ND)
Efren J. Soliz (NM)
Anthony J.M. Thornburg (MI)
Eric J. Wickman (MI)
Don S. Williams (AL)
Garfield M. Williams (TX)
James J. Wyles (NC)

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, each exemption 
will be valid for two years unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The 
exemption will be revoked if: (1) The person fails to comply with

[[Page 37502]]

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 two year 
period, the person may apply to FMCSA for a renewal under procedures in 
effect at that time.

    Issued on: August 4, 2017.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2017-16857 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P