Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders, 47299-47300 [2017-21881]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 195 / Wednesday, October 11, 2017 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2017–0181] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments. AGENCY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from five individuals for an exemption from the prohibition in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) against persons with a clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition that is likely to cause a loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) to drive in interstate commerce. If granted, the exemptions would enable these individuals who have had one or more seizures and are taking anti-seizure medication to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. DATES: Comments must be received on or before November 13, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA– 2017–0181 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. Instructions: Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number(s) for this notice. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below for further information. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to http:// www.regulations.gov at any time or Room W12–140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 Oct 10, 2017 Jkt 244001 Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want acknowledgment that we received your comments, please include a selfaddressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments online. 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. 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 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., ET, 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. Background Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption from the FMCSRs for a five-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 five-year period. FMCSA grants exemptions from the FMCSRs for a twoyear period to align with the maximum duration of a driver’s medical certification. The five individuals listed in this notice have requested an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8). Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate the qualifications of each applicant to determine whether granting the exemption will achieve the required level of safety mandated by statute. The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding epilepsy found in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8) states that a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person: Has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other PO 00000 Frm 00129 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47299 condition which is likely to cause the loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a CMV. In addition to the regulations, FMCSA has published advisory criteria 1 to assist Medical Examiners in determining whether drivers with certain medical conditions are qualified to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. [49 CFR part 391, APPENDIX A TO PART 391—MEDICAL ADVISORY CRITERIA, section H. Epilepsy: § 391.41(b)(8), paragraphs 3, 4, and 5.] The advisory criteria states the following: If an individual has had a sudden episode of a non-epileptic seizure or loss of consciousness of unknown cause that did not require anti-seizure medication, the decision whether that person’s condition is likely to cause the loss of consciousness or loss of ability to control a CMV should be made on an individual basis by the Medical Examiner in consultation with the treating physician. Before certification is considered, it is suggested that a sixmonth waiting period elapse from the time of the episode. Following the waiting period, it is suggested that the individual have a complete neurological examination. If the results of the examination are negative and antiseizure medication is not required, then the driver may be qualified. In those individual cases where a driver had a seizure or an episode of loss of consciousness that resulted from a known medical condition (e.g., drug reaction, high temperature, acute infectious disease, dehydration, or acute metabolic disturbance), certification should be deferred until the driver has recovered fully from that condition, has no existing residual complications, and is not taking anti-seizure medication. Drivers who have a history of epilepsy/seizures, off anti-seizure medication and seizure-free for 10 years, may be qualified to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. Interstate drivers with a history of a single unprovoked seizure may be qualified to drive a CMV in interstate commerce if seizure-free and off anti-seizure medication for a five-year period or more. As a result of Medical Examiners misinterpreting advisory criteria as regulation, numerous drivers have been prohibited from operating a CMV in interstate commerce based on the fact that they have had one or more seizures 1 See http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID= e47b48a9ea42dd67d999246e23d97970&mc= true&node=pt49.5.391&rgn=div5#ap49.5.391_171.a and https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2015title49-vol5/pdf/CFR-2015-title49-vol5-part391appA.pdf. E:\FR\FM\11OCN1.SGM 11OCN1 47300 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 195 / Wednesday, October 11, 2017 / Notices and are taking anti-seizure medication, rather than an individual analysis of their circumstances by a qualified Medical Examiner based on the physical qualification standards and medical best practices. On January 15, 2013, FMCSA announced in a Notice of Final Disposition titled, Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders, (78 FR 3069), its decision to grant requests from 22 individuals for exemptions from the regulatory requirement that interstate CMV drivers have ‘‘no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition which is likely to cause loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a CMV.’’ Since the January 15, 2013 notice, the Agency has published additional notices granting requests from individuals for exemptions from the regulatory requirement regarding epilepsy found in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8). To be considered for an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8), applicants must meet the criteria in the 2007 recommendations of the Agency’s Medical Expert Panel (MEP) (78 FR 3069). II. Qualifications of Applicants Gary T. Clark Mr. Clark is a 44-year old Class A driver in Kentucky. He has a history of epilepsy and has remained seizure free since 2006. He takes anti-seizure medication, with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since 2015. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Clark receiving an exemption. Gary J. Gress Mr. Gress is a 58-year old Class AM driver in Pennsylvania. He has a history of post traumatic seizure due to traumatic brain injury and has remained seizure free since 2003. He takes antiseizure medication, with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Gress receiving an exemption. asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES Joseph R. Lamkin Mr. Lamkin is a 47-year old Class DB driver in Kentucky. He has a history of multiple past generalized seizures and has remained seizure free since 1998. He takes anti-seizure medications, with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since 2007. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Lamkin receiving an exemption. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 Oct 10, 2017 Jkt 244001 Kenneth L. Lewis Mr. Lewis is a 55-year old Class A driver in North Carolina. He has a history of epilepsy and has remained seizure free since 1984. He takes antiseizure medication, with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since 2004. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Lewis receiving an exemption. Sean C. Moran Mr. Moran is a 22-year old Class D driver in Massachusetts. He has a history of epilepsy and has remained seizure free since 2009. He takes antiseizure medication, with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since 2010. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Moran receiving an exemption. III. Request for Comments In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA requests public comment from all interested persons on the exemption petitions described in this notice. We will consider all comments received before the close of business on the closing date indicated in the dates section of the notice. IV. Submitting Comments You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that FMCSA can contact you if there are questions regarding your submission. To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and in the search box insert the docket number FMCSA–2017–0181 and click the search button. When the new screen appears, click on the blue ‘‘Comment Now!’’ button on the right hand side of the page. On the new page, enter information required including the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81⁄2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, selfaddressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and materials received during the comment period. FMCSA may issue a final determination at any time after the close of the comment period. PO 00000 Frm 00130 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 V. Viewing Comments and Documents To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this preamble, go to http://www.regulations.gov and in the search box insert the docket number FMCSA–2017–0181 and click ‘‘Search.’’ Next, click ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ and you will find all documents and comments related to this notice. Issued on: October 2, 2017. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2017–21881 Filed 10–10–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2014–0384] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: FMCSA announces decision to renew exemptions for five individuals from the hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The exemptions enable these hard of hearing and deaf individuals to continue to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. DATES: The exemptions were applicable June 10, 2017. The exemptions will expire on June 10, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christine A. Hydock, Chief, Medical Programs Division, 202–366–4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W64– 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: SUMMARY: I. Electronic Access You may see all the comments online through the Federal Document Management System (FDMS) at: http:// www.regulations.gov. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to http:// www.regulations.gov and/or Room W12–140 on the ground level of the E:\FR\FM\11OCN1.SGM 11OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 195 (Wednesday, October 11, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47299-47300]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-21881]



[[Page 47299]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0181]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and 
Seizure Disorders

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

ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from five individuals 
for an exemption from the prohibition in the Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) against persons with a clinical diagnosis 
of epilepsy or any other condition that is likely to cause a loss of 
consciousness or any loss of ability to control a commercial motor 
vehicle (CMV) to drive in interstate commerce. If granted, the 
exemptions would enable these individuals who have had one or more 
seizures and are taking anti-seizure medication to operate CMVs in 
interstate commerce.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before November 13, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0181 using any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Instructions: Each submission must include the Agency name and the 
docket number(s) for this notice. Note that all comments received will 
be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any 
personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below 
for further information.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time or Room W12-140 
on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 
days each year. If you want acknowledgment that we received your 
comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard 
or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting 
comments online.
    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.

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 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., ET, 
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. Background

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption 
from the FMCSRs for a five-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 
five-year period. FMCSA grants exemptions from the FMCSRs for a two-
year period to align with the maximum duration of a driver's medical 
certification.
    The five individuals listed in this notice have requested an 
exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in 49 CFR 
391.41(b)(8). Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate the qualifications 
of each applicant to determine whether granting the exemption will 
achieve the required level of safety mandated by statute.
    The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding epilepsy 
found in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8) states that a person is physically 
qualified to drive a CMV if that person:

    Has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of 
epilepsy or any other condition which is likely to cause the loss of 
consciousness or any loss of ability to control a CMV.

    In addition to the regulations, FMCSA has published advisory 
criteria \1\ to assist Medical Examiners in determining whether drivers 
with certain medical conditions are qualified to operate a CMV in 
interstate commerce. [49 CFR part 391, APPENDIX A TO PART 391--MEDICAL 
ADVISORY CRITERIA, section H. Epilepsy: Sec.  391.41(b)(8), paragraphs 
3, 4, and 5.]
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=e47b48a9ea42dd67d999246e23d97970&mc=true&node=pt49.5.391&rgn=div5#ap49.5.391_171.a and https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2015-title49-vol5/pdf/CFR-2015-title49-vol5-part391-appA.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The advisory criteria states the following:
    If an individual has had a sudden episode of a non-epileptic 
seizure or loss of consciousness of unknown cause that did not require 
anti-seizure medication, the decision whether that person's condition 
is likely to cause the loss of consciousness or loss of ability to 
control a CMV should be made on an individual basis by the Medical 
Examiner in consultation with the treating physician. Before 
certification is considered, it is suggested that a six-month waiting 
period elapse from the time of the episode. Following the waiting 
period, it is suggested that the individual have a complete 
neurological examination. If the results of the examination are 
negative and anti-seizure medication is not required, then the driver 
may be qualified.
    In those individual cases where a driver had a seizure or an 
episode of loss of consciousness that resulted from a known medical 
condition (e.g., drug reaction, high temperature, acute infectious 
disease, dehydration, or acute metabolic disturbance), certification 
should be deferred until the driver has recovered fully from that 
condition, has no existing residual complications, and is not taking 
anti-seizure medication.
    Drivers who have a history of epilepsy/seizures, off anti-seizure 
medication and seizure-free for 10 years, may be qualified to operate a 
CMV in interstate commerce. Interstate drivers with a history of a 
single unprovoked seizure may be qualified to drive a CMV in interstate 
commerce if seizure-free and off anti-seizure medication for a five-
year period or more.
    As a result of Medical Examiners misinterpreting advisory criteria 
as regulation, numerous drivers have been prohibited from operating a 
CMV in interstate commerce based on the fact that they have had one or 
more seizures

[[Page 47300]]

and are taking anti-seizure medication, rather than an individual 
analysis of their circumstances by a qualified Medical Examiner based 
on the physical qualification standards and medical best practices.
    On January 15, 2013, FMCSA announced in a Notice of Final 
Disposition titled, Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; 
Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders, (78 FR 3069), its decision to grant 
requests from 22 individuals for exemptions from the regulatory 
requirement that interstate CMV drivers have ``no established medical 
history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition which 
is likely to cause loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to 
control a CMV.'' Since the January 15, 2013 notice, the Agency has 
published additional notices granting requests from individuals for 
exemptions from the regulatory requirement regarding epilepsy found in 
49 CFR 391.41(b)(8).
    To be considered for an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure 
disorders prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8), applicants must meet the 
criteria in the 2007 recommendations of the Agency's Medical Expert 
Panel (MEP) (78 FR 3069).

II. Qualifications of Applicants

Gary T. Clark

    Mr. Clark is a 44-year old Class A driver in Kentucky. He has a 
history of epilepsy and has remained seizure free since 2006. He takes 
anti-seizure medication, with the dosage and frequency remaining the 
same since 2015. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. 
Clark receiving an exemption.

Gary J. Gress

    Mr. Gress is a 58-year old Class AM driver in Pennsylvania. He has 
a history of post traumatic seizure due to traumatic brain injury and 
has remained seizure free since 2003. He takes anti-seizure medication, 
with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. His 
physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Gress receiving an 
exemption.

Joseph R. Lamkin

    Mr. Lamkin is a 47-year old Class DB driver in Kentucky. He has a 
history of multiple past generalized seizures and has remained seizure 
free since 1998. He takes anti-seizure medications, with the dosage and 
frequency remaining the same since 2007. His physician states that he 
is supportive of Mr. Lamkin receiving an exemption.

Kenneth L. Lewis

    Mr. Lewis is a 55-year old Class A driver in North Carolina. He has 
a history of epilepsy and has remained seizure free since 1984. He 
takes anti-seizure medication, with the dosage and frequency remaining 
the same since 2004. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. 
Lewis receiving an exemption.

Sean C. Moran

    Mr. Moran is a 22-year old Class D driver in Massachusetts. He has 
a history of epilepsy and has remained seizure free since 2009. He 
takes anti-seizure medication, with the dosage and frequency remaining 
the same since 2010. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. 
Moran receiving an exemption.

III. Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA requests 
public comment from all interested persons on the exemption petitions 
described in this notice. We will consider all comments received before 
the close of business on the closing date indicated in the dates 
section of the notice.

IV. Submitting Comments

    You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, 
or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. FMCSA 
recommends that you include your name and a mailing address, an email 
address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that FMCSA 
can contact you if there are questions regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
in the search box insert the docket number FMCSA-2017-0181 and click 
the search button. When the new screen appears, click on the blue 
``Comment Now!'' button on the right hand side of the page. On the new 
page, enter information required including the specific section of this 
document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each 
suggestion or recommendation. If you submit your comments by mail or 
hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 8\1/2\ 
by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit 
comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, 
please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.
    We will consider all comments and materials received during the 
comment period. FMCSA may issue a final determination at any time after 
the close of the comment period.

V. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this 
preamble, go to http://www.regulations.gov and in the search box insert 
the docket number FMCSA-2017-0181 and click ``Search.'' Next, click 
``Open Docket Folder'' and you will find all documents and comments 
related to this notice.

    Issued on: October 2, 2017.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2017-21881 Filed 10-10-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P