Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 60954-60957 [2018-25850]

Download as PDF 60954 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 228 / Tuesday, November 27, 2018 / Notices I. Public Participation amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 A. Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0320), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. 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, put the docket number, FMCSA–2018–0320, in the keyword box, and click ‘‘Search.’’ When the new screen appears, click on the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ button and type your comment into the text box on the following screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual or on behalf of a third party and then submit. 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, self-addressed postcard or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. B. Viewing Documents and Comments To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this notice as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Insert the docket number, FMCSA–2018–0320, in the keyword box, and click ‘‘Search.’’ Next, click the ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ button and choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. C. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Nov 26, 2018 Jkt 247001 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 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 individual listed in this notice has requested an exemption from 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8) and (9). Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate the qualifications of the applicant to determine whether granting the exemption will achieve the required level of safety mandated by statute. The physical qualification standard for drivers 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 loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a commercial motor vehicle. The physical qualification standard for drivers found in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(9) states that a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person has no mental, nervous, organic, or functional disease or psychiatric disorder likely to interfere with his/her ability to drive a commercial motor vehicle safely. In addition to the regulations, FMCSA has published advisory criteria1 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 that 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, 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. PO 00000 Frm 00134 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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. The advisory criteria also states that a variety of functional disorders can cause drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, weakness or paralysis that may lead to incoordination, inattention, loss of functional control and susceptibility to accidents while driving. 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 fully recovered from that condition, has no existing residual complications, and is not taking anti-seizure medication. III. Qualifications of Applicants Terry L. Curtner Mr. Curtner, is a commercial driver in Illinois. A letter dated August 10, 2018, from Mr. Curtner’s neurologist reports that at his last July 31, 2018, follow-up evaluation, he was stable on a moderate daily dose of Nuvigil, and has not had any narcoleptic attacks or cataplexy in over 20 years. IV. 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. Issued on: November 20, 2018. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2018–25848 Filed 11–26–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0208] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\27NON1.SGM 27NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 228 / Tuesday, November 27, 2018 / Notices FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 14 individuals for an exemption from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. If granted, the exemptions will enable these individuals to operate CMVs in interstate commerce without meeting the vision requirement in one eye. DATES: Comments must be received on or before December 27, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0208 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. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the ‘‘Public Participation’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for instructions on submitting comments. 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: SUMMARY: I. Public Participation amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 A. Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0208), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Nov 26, 2018 Jkt 247001 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, put the docket number, FMCSA–2018–0208, in the keyword box, and click ‘‘Search.’’ When the new screen appears, click on the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ button and type your comment into the text box on the following screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual or on behalf of a third party and then submit. 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, self-addressed postcard or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. B. Viewing Documents and Comments To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this notice as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Insert the docket number, FMCSA–2018–0208, in the keyword box, and click ‘‘Search.’’ Next, click the ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ button and choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. C. 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 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 PO 00000 Frm 00135 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60955 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 14 individuals listed in this notice have requested an exemption from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate the qualifications of each applicant to determine whether granting an exemption will achieve the required level of safety mandated by statute. The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding vision found in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10) states that a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV 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 at 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 standard red, green, and amber. In July 1992, the Agency first published the criteria for the Vision Waiver Program, which listed the conditions and reporting standards that CMV drivers approved for participation would need to meet (Qualification of Drivers; Vision Waivers, 57 FR 31458, July 16, 1992). The current Vision Exemption Program was established in 1998, following the enactment of amendments to the statutes governing exemptions made by § 4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA–21), Public Law 105–178, 112 Stat. 107, 401 (June 9, 1998). Vision exemptions are considered under the procedures established in 49 CFR part 381 subpart C, on a case-by-case basis upon application by CMV drivers who do not meet the vision standards of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). 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 E:\FR\FM\27NON1.SGM 27NON1 60956 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 228 / Tuesday, November 27, 2018 / Notices 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 demonstrated 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 three consecutive years of data, comparing the experiences of drivers in the first two years with their experiences in the final year. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 III. Qualifications of Applicants Doyle L. Bowen Mr. Bowen, 50, has had a retinal detachment in his right eye since childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is no light perception, and in his left eye, 20/15. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ‘‘My medical opinion is that the patient would be safe to operate a commercial vehicle even with the visual deficiency VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Nov 26, 2018 Jkt 247001 in his right eye.’’ Mr. Bowen reported that he has driven straight trucks for 12 years, accumulating 60,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 12 years, accumulating 12,000 miles. He holds an operator’s license from New Mexico. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Guillermo Casio Gamero Mr. Casio Gamero, 49, has complete loss of vision in his right eye due to a traumatic incident in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is no light perception, and in his left eye, 20/25. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my professional/ medical opinion, Guillermo has sufficient vision to perform all the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle, as he has been driving intrastate for many years.’’ Mr. Casio Gamero reported that he has driven straight trucks for eight years, accumulating 280,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for eight years, accumulating 280,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Washington. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. William L. Cave Mr. Cave, 59, has had a retinal detachment in his left eye since childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, light perception. Following an examination in 2018, his ophthalmologist stated, ‘‘In my opinion he has sufficient vision to obtain a commercial driving license and operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Cave reported that he has driven straight trucks for 40 years, accumulating 160,000 miles. He holds an operator’s license from Maryland. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Marc C. Goss Mr. Goss, 59, has had diabetic retinopathy in his right eye since 2014. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/ 400, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ‘‘It is in my opinion that Marc’s condition is stable and he is able to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Goss reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 32 years, accumulating 3.2 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Nebraska. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no PO 00000 Frm 00136 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Richard J. Hard Mr. Hard, 54, has had glaucoma in his right eye since childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/60, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my opinion, Mr. Hard has sufficient vision in his left (better) eye to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Hard reported that he has driven straight trucks for 20 years, accumulating 1.2 million miles. He holds an operator’s license from Indiana. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Dennis W. Johnson Mr. Johnson, 64, has had aphakia in his left eye due to a traumatic incident in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/25, and in his left eye, 20/40. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ‘‘I certify that Mr. Johnson has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Johnson reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 21 years, accumulating 147,420 miles. He holds a Class A CDL license from Missouri. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Ken I. Johnson Mr. Johnson, 47, has had amblyopia in his right eye since birth. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/60, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ‘‘Mr. Johnson has sufficient vision to perform driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Johnson reported that he has driven straight trucks for nine years, accumulating 324,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 14 years, accumulating 1.7 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Georgia. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Ibrahim F. Khashan Mr. Khashan, 54, has had macular drusen in his right eye since 2015. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/50, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my opinion Mr. Khashan has adequate vision to operate a commercial motor vehicle.’’ Mr. Khashan reported that he has driven tractor-trailer E:\FR\FM\27NON1.SGM 27NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 228 / Tuesday, November 27, 2018 / Notices combinations for eight years, accumulating 1.32 million miles. He holds a Class AM CDL from Georgia. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Shelby M. Kuehler Mr. Kuehler, 39, has had aphakia in his left eye since childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is light perception, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my medical opinion Shelby has sufficient vision to perform driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle and, in fact, he has been operating commercial vehicles for the past fifteen years.’’ Mr. Kuehler reported that he has driven straight trucks for 13 years, accumulating 455,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 13 years, accumulating 455,000 miles. He holds an operator’s license from Kansas. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Kendall S. Lane Mr. Lane, 25, has a corneal scar in his left eye due to a traumatic incident in 2014. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, no light perception. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ‘‘The fact that he has been doing his job operating a commercial vehicle with his currently stable condition is proof he has sufficient vision to perform his work duties as required.’’ Mr. Lane reported that he has driven straight trucks for 30 years, accumulating 300,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Oklahoma. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 Leonard Morris Mr. Morris, 63, has had a chorioretinal scar in his left eye since 2013. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, hand motion. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my opinion he has sufficient vision to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Morris reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 43 years, accumulating 2.15 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from New Jersey. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Nov 26, 2018 Jkt 247001 Gale L. O’Neil Mr. O’Neil, 60, has had amblyopia in his right eye since childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/100, and in his left eye, 20/25. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ‘‘He has sufficient vision to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. O’Neil reported that he has driven straight trucks for 44 years, accumulating 660,000 miles. He holds an operator’s license from Pennsylvania. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Issued on: November 21, 2018. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. Michael L. Sheldon Mr. Sheldon, 53, has a cataract in his right eye due to a traumatic incident in 2005. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/300, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my opinion Michael has sufficient vision to drive a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Sheldon reported that he has driven straight trucks for 22 years, accumulating 220,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 37 years, accumulating 1.48 million miles. He holds an operator’s license from Nebraska. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. AGENCY: Pedro T. Tellez Alvarez Mr. Tellez Alvarez, 26, has a chorioretinal scar in his right eye due to an infection in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/125, and in his left eye, 20/25. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ‘‘However, due to the childhood nature of this visual reduction Mr. Tellez Alvarez should have no difficulties operating a commercial vehicle due to the fact that recent onset visual losses impede drivers significantly more than longstanding vision losses.’’ Mr. Tellez Alvarez reported that he has driven tractortrailer combinations for three years, accumulating 255,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from California. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. IV. 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 and material received before the close of business on the closing date indicated in the dates section of the notice. PO 00000 Frm 00137 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60957 [FR Doc. 2018–25850 Filed 11–26–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [FMCSA Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0203] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes Mellitus Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT ACTION: Notice of final disposition. FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 46 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 October 11, 2018. The exemptions expire on October 11, 2020. 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., 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: SUMMARY: I. Public Participation A. Viewing Documents and Comments To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this notice as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Insert the docket number, FMCSA–2018–0203, in the keyword box, and click ‘‘Search.’’ Next, click the ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ button and choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. E:\FR\FM\27NON1.SGM 27NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 228 (Tuesday, November 27, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60954-60957]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-25850]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0208]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

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

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

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[[Page 60955]]

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 14 individuals 
for an exemption from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor 
Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to operate a commercial motor 
vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. If granted, the exemptions will 
enable these individuals to operate CMVs in interstate commerce without 
meeting the vision requirement in one eye.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before December 27, 2018.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0208 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.
    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. 
See the ``Public Participation'' portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section for instructions on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Christine A. Hydock, Chief, 
Medical Programs Division, (202) 366-4001, [email protected], 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. Public Participation

A. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
notice (Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0208), indicate the specific section of 
this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for 
each suggestion or recommendation. 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, 
put the docket number, FMCSA-2018-0208, in the keyword box, and click 
``Search.'' When the new screen appears, click on the ``Comment Now!'' 
button and type your comment into the text box on the following screen. 
Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual or on 
behalf of a third party and then submit.
    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.
    FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the 
comment period.

B. Viewing Documents and Comments

    To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this notice 
as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. 
Insert the docket number, FMCSA-2018-0208, in the keyword box, and 
click ``Search.'' Next, click the ``Open Docket Folder'' button and 
choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the 
internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket 
Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West 
Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

C. 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

    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 14 individuals listed in this notice have requested an 
exemption from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). 
Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate the qualifications of each 
applicant to determine whether granting an exemption will achieve the 
required level of safety mandated by statute.
    The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding vision 
found in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10) states that a person is physically 
qualified to drive a CMV 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 at 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 standard 
red, green, and amber.
    In July 1992, the Agency first published the criteria for the 
Vision Waiver Program, which listed the conditions and reporting 
standards that CMV drivers approved for participation would need to 
meet (Qualification of Drivers; Vision Waivers, 57 FR 31458, July 16, 
1992). The current Vision Exemption Program was established in 1998, 
following the enactment of amendments to the statutes governing 
exemptions made by Sec.  4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 
21st Century (TEA-21), Public Law 105-178, 112 Stat. 107, 401 (June 9, 
1998). Vision exemptions are considered under the procedures 
established in 49 CFR part 381 subpart C, on a case-by-case basis upon 
application by CMV drivers who do not meet the vision standards of 49 
CFR 391.41(b)(10).
    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

[[Page 60956]]

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 demonstrated 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 three consecutive 
years of data, comparing the experiences of drivers in the first two 
years with their experiences in the final year.

III. Qualifications of Applicants

Doyle L. Bowen

    Mr. Bowen, 50, has had a retinal detachment in his right eye since 
childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is no light perception, 
and in his left eye, 20/15. Following an examination in 2018, his 
optometrist stated, ``My medical opinion is that the patient would be 
safe to operate a commercial vehicle even with the visual deficiency in 
his right eye.'' Mr. Bowen reported that he has driven straight trucks 
for 12 years, accumulating 60,000 miles, and tractor-trailer 
combinations for 12 years, accumulating 12,000 miles. He holds an 
operator's license from New Mexico. His driving record for the last 
three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations 
in a CMV.

Guillermo Casio Gamero

    Mr. Casio Gamero, 49, has complete loss of vision in his right eye 
due to a traumatic incident in childhood. The visual acuity in his 
right eye is no light perception, and in his left eye, 20/25. Following 
an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ``In my professional/
medical opinion, Guillermo has sufficient vision to perform all the 
driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle, as he has been 
driving intrastate for many years.'' Mr. Casio Gamero reported that he 
has driven straight trucks for eight years, accumulating 280,000 miles, 
and tractor-trailer combinations for eight years, accumulating 280,000 
miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Washington. His driving record for 
the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving 
violations in a CMV.

William L. Cave

    Mr. Cave, 59, has had a retinal detachment in his left eye since 
childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left 
eye, light perception. Following an examination in 2018, his 
ophthalmologist stated, ``In my opinion he has sufficient vision to 
obtain a commercial driving license and operate a commercial vehicle.'' 
Mr. Cave reported that he has driven straight trucks for 40 years, 
accumulating 160,000 miles. He holds an operator's license from 
Maryland. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes 
and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Marc C. Goss

    Mr. Goss, 59, has had diabetic retinopathy in his right eye since 
2014. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/400, and in his left 
eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, 
``It is in my opinion that Marc's condition is stable and he is able to 
perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' 
Mr. Goss reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 
32 years, accumulating 3.2 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from 
Nebraska. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes 
and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Richard J. Hard

    Mr. Hard, 54, has had glaucoma in his right eye since childhood. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/60, and in his left eye, 20/
20. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ``In my 
opinion, Mr. Hard has sufficient vision in his left (better) eye to 
perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' 
Mr. Hard reported that he has driven straight trucks for 20 years, 
accumulating 1.2 million miles. He holds an operator's license from 
Indiana. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes 
and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Dennis W. Johnson

    Mr. Johnson, 64, has had aphakia in his left eye due to a traumatic 
incident in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/25, and 
in his left eye, 20/40. Following an examination in 2018, his 
optometrist stated, ``I certify that Mr. Johnson has sufficient vision 
to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Johnson reported that he has driven tractor-trailer 
combinations for 21 years, accumulating 147,420 miles. He holds a Class 
A CDL license from Missouri. His driving record for the last three 
years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
CMV.

Ken I. Johnson

    Mr. Johnson, 47, has had amblyopia in his right eye since birth. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/60, and in his left eye, 20/
20. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ``Mr. 
Johnson has sufficient vision to perform driving tasks required to 
operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Johnson reported that he has driven 
straight trucks for nine years, accumulating 324,000 miles, and 
tractor-trailer combinations for 14 years, accumulating 1.7 million 
miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Georgia. His driving record for the 
last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving 
violations in a CMV.

Ibrahim F. Khashan

    Mr. Khashan, 54, has had macular drusen in his right eye since 
2015. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/50, and in his left eye, 
20/20. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ``In 
my opinion Mr. Khashan has adequate vision to operate a commercial 
motor vehicle.'' Mr. Khashan reported that he has driven tractor-
trailer

[[Page 60957]]

combinations for eight years, accumulating 1.32 million miles. He holds 
a Class AM CDL from Georgia. His driving record for the last three 
years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
CMV.

Shelby M. Kuehler

    Mr. Kuehler, 39, has had aphakia in his left eye since childhood. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is light perception, and in his left 
eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, 
``In my medical opinion Shelby has sufficient vision to perform driving 
tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle and, in fact, he has 
been operating commercial vehicles for the past fifteen years.'' Mr. 
Kuehler reported that he has driven straight trucks for 13 years, 
accumulating 455,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 13 
years, accumulating 455,000 miles. He holds an operator's license from 
Kansas. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes 
and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Kendall S. Lane

    Mr. Lane, 25, has a corneal scar in his left eye due to a traumatic 
incident in 2014. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in 
his left eye, no light perception. Following an examination in 2018, 
his optometrist stated, ``The fact that he has been doing his job 
operating a commercial vehicle with his currently stable condition is 
proof he has sufficient vision to perform his work duties as 
required.'' Mr. Lane reported that he has driven straight trucks for 30 
years, accumulating 300,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from 
Oklahoma. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes 
and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Leonard Morris

    Mr. Morris, 63, has had a chorioretinal scar in his left eye since 
2013. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 
hand motion. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, 
``In my opinion he has sufficient vision to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Morris reported that he has driven tractor-trailer 
combinations for 43 years, accumulating 2.15 million miles. He holds a 
Class A CDL from New Jersey. His driving record for the last three 
years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
CMV.

Gale L. O'Neil

    Mr. O'Neil, 60, has had amblyopia in his right eye since childhood. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/100, and in his left eye, 20/
25. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist stated, ``He has 
sufficient vision to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. O'Neil 
reported that he has driven straight trucks for 44 years, accumulating 
660,000 miles. He holds an operator's license from Pennsylvania. His 
driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no 
convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Michael L. Sheldon

    Mr. Sheldon, 53, has a cataract in his right eye due to a traumatic 
incident in 2005. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/300, and in 
his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2018, his optometrist 
stated, ``In my opinion Michael has sufficient vision to drive a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Sheldon reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 22 years, accumulating 220,000 miles, and tractor-trailer 
combinations for 37 years, accumulating 1.48 million miles. He holds an 
operator's license from Nebraska. His driving record for the last three 
years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
CMV.

Pedro T. Tellez Alvarez

    Mr. Tellez Alvarez, 26, has a chorioretinal scar in his right eye 
due to an infection in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 
20/125, and in his left eye, 20/25. Following an examination in 2018, 
his optometrist stated, ``However, due to the childhood nature of this 
visual reduction Mr. Tellez Alvarez should have no difficulties 
operating a commercial vehicle due to the fact that recent onset visual 
losses impede drivers significantly more than longstanding vision 
losses.'' Mr. Tellez Alvarez reported that he has driven tractor-
trailer combinations for three years, accumulating 255,000 miles. He 
holds a Class A CDL from California. His driving record for the last 
three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations 
in a CMV.

IV. 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 and material 
received before the close of business on the closing date indicated in 
the dates section of the notice.

    Issued on: November 21, 2018.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2018-25850 Filed 11-26-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P