Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing, 2322-2323 [2019-01258]

Download as PDF 2322 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 25 / Wednesday, February 6, 2019 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0136] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 30 individuals from the hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. The exemptions enable these hard of hearing and deaf individuals to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. DATES: The exemptions were applicable on December 16, 2018. The exemptions expire on December 16, 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 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 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–2018–0136, 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. B. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:09 Feb 05, 2019 Jkt 247001 the system of records notice (DOT/ALL– 14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy. II. Background On November 14, 2018, FMCSA published a notice announcing receipt of applications from 30 individuals requesting an exemption from the hearing requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) to operate a CMV in interstate commerce and requested comments from the public (83 FR 56897). The public comment period ended on December 14, 2018, and two comments were received. FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of these applicants and determined that granting 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)(11). The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding hearing found in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) states that a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person first perceives a forced whispered voice in the better ear at not less than 5 feet with or without the use of a hearing aid or, if tested by use of an audiometric device, does not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater than 40 decibels at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with or without a hearing aid when the audiometric device is calibrated to American National Standard (formerly ASA Standard) Z24.5—1951. 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) was adopted in 1970, with a revision in 1971 to allow drivers to be qualified under this standard while wearing a hearing aid, 35 FR 6458, 6463 (April 22, 1970) and 36 FR 12857 (July 3, 1971). III. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received two comments in this preceeding. An anonymous commenter noted that he does not see an issue in allowing the applicants an exemption, since previous applicants have been granted exemptions. Billy Gann of Plymouth, Indiana noted that he has a hearing exemption and medical certificate. Basis for Exemption Determination Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), FMCSA may grant an exemption for up to five years from the hearing standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) 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. FMCSA grants PO 00000 Frm 00184 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 exemptions from the FMCSRs for a twoyear period to align with the maximum duration of a driver’s medical certification. The Agency’s decision regarding these exemption applications is based on current medical information and literature, and the 2008 Evidence Report, ‘‘Executive Summary on Hearing, Vestibular Function and Commercial Motor Driving Safety.’’ The evidence report reached two conclusions regarding the matter of hearing loss and CMV driver safety: (1) No studies that examined the relationship between hearing loss and crash risk exclusively among CMV drivers were identified; and (2) evidence from studies of the private driver’s license holder population does not support the contention that individuals with hearing impairment are at an increased risk for a crash. In addition, the Agency reviewed each applicant’s driving record found in the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS), for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders, and inspections recorded in the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). For nonCDL holders, the Agency reviewed the driving records from the State Driver’s Licensing Agency (SDLA). Each applicant’s record demonstrated a safe driving history. Based on an individual assessment of each applicant that focused 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, the Agency believes the drivers granted this exemption have demonstrated that they do not pose a risk to public safety. Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these applicants from the hearing standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the exemption. IV. Conditions and Requirements The terms and conditions of the exemption are provided to the applicants in the exemption document and includes the following: (1) Each driver must report any crashes or accidents as defined in 49 CFR 390.5; (2) each driver must report all citations and convictions for disqualifying offenses under 49 CFR part 383 and 49 CFR 391 to FMCSA; and (3) each driver is prohibited from operating a motorcoach or bus with passengers in interstate commerce. The driver must also have a copy of the exemption when driving, for presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local E:\FR\FM\06FEN1.SGM 06FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 25 / Wednesday, February 6, 2019 / Notices enforcement official. In addition, the exemption does not exempt the individual from meeting the applicable CDL testing requirements. V. Preemption During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with this exemption with respect to a person operating under the exemption. VI. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the 30 exemption applications, FMCSA exempts the following drivers from the hearing standard, 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11), subject to the requirements cited above. Andy R. Bernard, (OH) .. Robert Chavez, (TX) ...... Joshua P. Cogan, (MD) Ronald E. Cottrell, (OR) Janet Donaldson, (CA) ... Ahmed Gabr, (NC) ......... Jaymes Harr, (IA) ........... Daniel R. Hanson, (PA) Nima Jafari, (KS) ............ Donte Mason, (TN) ........ Eric B. Oberhausen, (CA). Melvin R. Ross, (OH) ..... Jerry Shortland, (OH) ..... John Whitlock, (IL) ......... William Brogni, (FL) David Chellin, (MN) Joseph A. Conversa, (IL) Joseph N. Dooley, (MO) Heath Focken, (NE) Stephen A. Goen, (GA) Michael J. Hague, (RI) Arnold Hatton, (DE) Raymond L. Levine, (CA) Xavier Matthews, (FL) Taryn Peterson, (IA) Greivin Salazar, (MI) John Sylvester, (TX) Eric Woods, (MD) 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: January 30, 2019. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2019–01258 Filed 2–5–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 [Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0209] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments. AGENCY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 11 individuals for an VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:09 Feb 05, 2019 Jkt 247001 I. Public Participation A. Submitting Comments Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration SUMMARY: 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 March 8, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0209 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: If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0209), 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 PO 00000 Frm 00185 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2323 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–2018–0209, 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–2018–0209, 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 E:\FR\FM\06FEN1.SGM 06FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 25 (Wednesday, February 6, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2322-2323]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-01258]



[[Page 2322]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0136]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 30 individuals from the 
hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 
(FMCSRs) to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate 
commerce. The exemptions enable these hard of hearing and deaf 
individuals to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

DATES: The exemptions were applicable on December 16, 2018. The 
exemptions expire on December 16, 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: 

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-2018-0136, 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.

B. 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 November 14, 2018, FMCSA published a notice announcing receipt 
of applications from 30 individuals requesting an exemption from the 
hearing requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) to operate a CMV in 
interstate commerce and requested comments from the public (83 FR 
56897). The public comment period ended on December 14, 2018, and two 
comments were received.
    FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of these applicants and 
determined that granting 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)(11).
    The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding hearing 
found in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) states that a person is physically 
qualified to drive a CMV if that person first perceives a forced 
whispered voice in the better ear at not less than 5 feet with or 
without the use of a hearing aid or, if tested by use of an audiometric 
device, does not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater 
than 40 decibels at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with or without a 
hearing aid when the audiometric device is calibrated to American 
National Standard (formerly ASA Standard) Z24.5--1951.
    49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) was adopted in 1970, with a revision in 1971 
to allow drivers to be qualified under this standard while wearing a 
hearing aid, 35 FR 6458, 6463 (April 22, 1970) and 36 FR 12857 (July 3, 
1971).

III. Discussion of Comments

    FMCSA received two comments in this preceeding. An anonymous 
commenter noted that he does not see an issue in allowing the 
applicants an exemption, since previous applicants have been granted 
exemptions. Billy Gann of Plymouth, Indiana noted that he has a hearing 
exemption and medical certificate.
Basis for Exemption Determination
    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), FMCSA may grant an exemption 
for up to five years from the hearing standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) 
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. FMCSA 
grants exemptions from the FMCSRs for a two-year period to align with 
the maximum duration of a driver's medical certification.
    The Agency's decision regarding these exemption applications is 
based on current medical information and literature, and the 2008 
Evidence Report, ``Executive Summary on Hearing, Vestibular Function 
and Commercial Motor Driving Safety.'' The evidence report reached two 
conclusions regarding the matter of hearing loss and CMV driver safety: 
(1) No studies that examined the relationship between hearing loss and 
crash risk exclusively among CMV drivers were identified; and (2) 
evidence from studies of the private driver's license holder population 
does not support the contention that individuals with hearing 
impairment are at an increased risk for a crash. In addition, the 
Agency reviewed each applicant's driving record found in the Commercial 
Driver's License Information System (CDLIS), for commercial driver's 
license (CDL) holders, and inspections recorded in the Motor Carrier 
Management Information System (MCMIS). For non-CDL holders, the Agency 
reviewed the driving records from the State Driver's Licensing Agency 
(SDLA). Each applicant's record demonstrated a safe driving history. 
Based on an individual assessment of each applicant that focused 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, 
the Agency believes the drivers granted this exemption have 
demonstrated that they do not pose a risk to public safety.
    Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these 
applicants from the hearing standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) is likely 
to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the 
exemption.

IV. Conditions and Requirements

    The terms and conditions of the exemption are provided to the 
applicants in the exemption document and includes the following: (1) 
Each driver must report any crashes or accidents as defined in 49 CFR 
390.5; (2) each driver must report all citations and convictions for 
disqualifying offenses under 49 CFR part 383 and 49 CFR 391 to FMCSA; 
and (3) each driver is prohibited from operating a motorcoach or bus 
with passengers in interstate commerce. The driver must also have a 
copy of the exemption when driving, for presentation to a duly 
authorized Federal, State, or local

[[Page 2323]]

enforcement official. In addition, the exemption does not exempt the 
individual from meeting the applicable CDL testing requirements.

V. Preemption

    During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall 
enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with this exemption with 
respect to a person operating under the exemption.

VI. Conclusion

    Based upon its evaluation of the 30 exemption applications, FMCSA 
exempts the following drivers from the hearing standard, 49 CFR 
391.41(b)(11), subject to the requirements cited above.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Andy R. Bernard, (OH)...............  William Brogni, (FL)
Robert Chavez, (TX).................  David Chellin, (MN)
Joshua P. Cogan, (MD)...............  Joseph A. Conversa, (IL)
Ronald E. Cottrell, (OR)............  Joseph N. Dooley, (MO)
Janet Donaldson, (CA)...............  Heath Focken, (NE)
Ahmed Gabr, (NC)....................  Stephen A. Goen, (GA)
Jaymes Harr, (IA)...................  Michael J. Hague, (RI)
Daniel R. Hanson, (PA)..............  Arnold Hatton, (DE)
Nima Jafari, (KS)...................  Raymond L. Levine, (CA)
Donte Mason, (TN)...................  Xavier Matthews, (FL)
Eric B. Oberhausen, (CA)............  Taryn Peterson, (IA)
Melvin R. Ross, (OH)................  Greivin Salazar, (MI)
Jerry Shortland, (OH)...............  John Sylvester, (TX)
John Whitlock, (IL).................  Eric Woods, (MD)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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: January 30, 2019.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2019-01258 Filed 2-5-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P