Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 47056-47057 [2019-19261]

Download as PDF 47056 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 173 / Friday, September 6, 2019 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0010] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt ten individuals from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. They are unable to meet the vision requirement in one eye for various reasons. The exemptions enable these individuals to operate CMVs in interstate commerce without meeting the vision requirement in one eye. DATES: The exemptions were applicable on July 20, 2019. The exemptions expire on July 20, 2021. 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, (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Public Participation A. Viewing Documents and Comments jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this notice as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0010 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:53 Sep 05, 2019 Jkt 247001 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 June 19, 2019, FMCSA published a notice announcing receipt of applications from ten individuals requesting an exemption from vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10) and requested comments from the public (84 FR 28619). The public comment period ended on July 19, 2019, and one comment was received. FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of these applicants and determined that granting the exemptions to these individuals would achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by complying with § 391.41(b)(10). The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding vision found in § 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 a least 20/40 (Snellen) in both eyes with or without corrective lenses, field of vision of at least 70° in the horizontal meridian in each eye, and the ability to recognize the colors of traffic signals and devices showing red, green, and amber. III. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received one comment in this proceeding. Charity Colleen Crouse submitted a comment expressing concern that these exemptions are being administered to persons other than the individuals listed in this notice, and may be used for illegal activity. FMCSA verifies the identity and vision deficiencies of individuals through multiple official documents submitted as part of their requests for an exemption from the vision requirements. Individuals must submit a certified motor vehicle record issued from their State Driver Licensing Agency (SDLA) and a copy of a valid CDL or non-CDL license. They must also submit information from their ophthalmologist or optometrist related to a recent medical examination, which verifies the existence and nature of the vision condition. FMCSA finds these steps sufficient for verifying the identity of individuals requesting an exemption and applicability of the exemption. IV. Basis for Exemption Determination Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), FMCSA may grant an PO 00000 Frm 00125 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 exemption from the FMCSRs for no longer than a 5-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 5-year period. FMCSA grants medical exemptions from the FMCSRs for a 2year period to align with the maximum duration of a driver’s medical certification. The Agency’s decision regarding these exemption applications is based on medical reports about the applicants’ vision, as well as their driving records and experience driving with the vision deficiency. The qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the June 19, 2019, Federal Register notice (84 FR 28619) and will not be repeated here. FMCSA recognizes that some drivers do not meet the vision requirement but have adapted their driving to accommodate their limitation and demonstrated their ability to drive safely. The ten exemption applicants listed in this notice are in this category. They are unable to meet the vision requirement in one eye for various reasons, including amblyopia, enucleation, hyphema, macular ischemia, retinal detachment, and subluxed lens. In most cases, their eye conditions did not develop recently. Eight of the applicants were either born with their vision impairments or have had them since childhood. The two individuals that developed their vision conditions as adults have had them for a range of four to six years. Although each applicant has one eye that does not meet the vision requirement in § 391.41(b)(10), each has at least 20/40 corrected vision in the other eye, and, in a doctor’s opinion, has sufficient vision to perform all the tasks necessary to operate a CMV. Doctors’ opinions are supported by the applicants’ possession of a valid license to operate a CMV. By meeting State licensing requirements, the applicants demonstrated their ability to operate a CMV with their limited vision in intrastate commerce, even though their vision disqualified them from driving in interstate commerce. We believe that the applicants’ intrastate driving experience and history provide an adequate basis for predicting their ability to drive safely in interstate commerce. Intrastate driving, like interstate operations, involves substantial driving on highways on the interstate system and on other roads built to interstate standards. Moreover, E:\FR\FM\06SEN1.SGM 06SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 173 / Friday, September 6, 2019 / Notices driving in congested urban areas exposes the driver to more pedestrian and vehicular traffic than exists on interstate highways. Faster reaction to traffic and traffic signals is generally required because distances between them are more compact. These conditions tax visual capacity and driver response just as intensely as interstate driving conditions. The applicants in this notice have driven CMVs with their limited vision in careers ranging for 4 to 84 years. In the past three years, no drivers were involved in crashes, and one driver was convicted of a moving violation in CMVs. All the applicants achieved a record of safety while driving with their vision impairment that demonstrates the likelihood that they have adapted their driving skills to accommodate their condition. As the applicants’ ample driving histories with their vision deficiencies are good predictors of future performance, FMCSA concludes their ability to drive safely can be projected into the future. Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these applicants from the vision requirement in § 391.41(b)(10) is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the exemption. jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES V. Conditions and Requirements Issued on: August 29, 2019. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2005–20560; FMCSA– 2006–24783; FMCSA–2006–26653; FMCSA– 2009–0054; FMCSA–2009–0121; FMCSA– 2009–0321; FMCSA–2010–0287; FMCSA– 2010–0372; FMCSA–2011–0057; FMCSA– 2011–0092; FMCSA–2011–0102; FMCSA– 2012–0161; FMCSA–2012–0280; FMCSA– 2012–0337; FMCSA–2012–0338; FMCSA– 2013–0022; FMCSA–2013–0027; FMCSA– 2013–0028; FMCSA–2014–0298; FMCSA– 2014–0301; FMCSA–2014–0302; FMCSA– 2014–0304; FMCSA–2014–0305; FMCSA– 2015–0049; FMCSA–2015–0052; FMCSA– 2016–0207; FMCSA–2016–0209; FMCSA– 2016–0213; FMCSA–2016–0377; FMCSA– 2017–0014; FMCSA–2017–0017; FMCSA– 2017–0018] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: VI. 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. 16:53 Sep 05, 2019 Based upon its evaluation of the ten exemption applications, FMCSA exempts the following drivers from the vision requirement, § 391.41(b)(10), subject to the requirements cited above: Joseph A. Cardazone (NJ) Daniel R. Cope, Sr. (IA) Timothy E. Coultas (IL) Edwin Figueroa (IL) Robert F. LaMark (PA) Con May (IN) Justin E. Schwada (MO) Jeffrey A. Sherman (OH) Chadwick L. St. John (AL) Clinton A. Vandervoort (TX) In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), each exemption will be valid for 2 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(e) and 31315(b). [FR Doc. 2019–19261 Filed 9–5–19; 8:45 am] The terms and conditions of the exemption are provided to the applicants in the exemption document and includes the following: (1) Each driver must be physically examined every year (a) by an ophthalmologist or optometrist who attests that the vision in the better eye continues to meet the standard in § 391.41(b)(10) and (b) by a certified medical examiner (ME) who attests that the individual is otherwise physically qualified under § 391.41; (2) each driver must provide a copy of the ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s report to the ME at the time of the annual medical examination; and (3) each driver must provide a copy of the annual medical certification to the employer for retention in the driver’s qualification file, or keep a copy in his/ her driver’s qualification file if he/she is self-employed. The driver must also have a copy of the exemption when driving, for presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement official. VerDate Sep<11>2014 VII. Conclusion Jkt 247001 FMCSA announces its decision to renew exemptions for 74 individuals from the vision requirement SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00126 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47057 in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The exemptions enable these individuals to continue to operate CMVs in interstate commerce without meeting the vision requirement in one eye. Each group of renewed exemptions were applicable on the dates stated in the discussions below and will expire on the dates provided below. DATES: 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, (202) 366–9826. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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- FMCSA–2005– 20560; FMCSA–2006–24783; FMCSA– 2006–26653; FMCSA–2009–0054; FMCSA–2009–0121; FMCSA–2009– 0321; FMCSA–2010–0287; FMCSA– 2010–0372; FMCSA–2011–0057; FMCSA–2011–0092; FMCSA–2011– 0102; FMCSA–2012–0161; FMCSA– 2012–0280; FMCSA–2012–0337; FMCSA–2012–0338; FMCSA–2013– 0022; FMCSA–2013–0027; FMCSA– 2013–0028; FMCSA–2014–0298; FMCSA–2014–0301; FMCSA–2014– 0302; FMCSA–2014–0304; FMCSA– 2014–0305; FMCSA–2015–0049; FMCSA–2015–0052; FMCSA–2016– 0207; FMCSA–2016–0209; FMCSA– 2016–0213; FMCSA–2016–0377; FMCSA–2017–0014; FMCSA–2017– 0017; or FMCSA–2017–0018, 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\06SEN1.SGM 06SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 173 (Friday, September 6, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47056-47057]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-19261]



[[Page 47056]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2019-0010]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt ten individuals from 
the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 
(FMCSRs) to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate 
commerce. They are unable to meet the vision requirement in one eye for 
various reasons. The exemptions enable these individuals to operate 
CMVs in interstate commerce without meeting the vision requirement in 
one eye.

DATES: The exemptions were applicable on July 20, 2019. The exemptions 
expire on July 20, 2021.

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 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, (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/docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0010 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 June 19, 2019, FMCSA published a notice announcing receipt of 
applications from ten individuals requesting an exemption from vision 
requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10) and requested comments from the 
public (84 FR 28619). The public comment period ended on July 19, 2019, 
and one comment was received.
    FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of these applicants and 
determined that granting the exemptions to these individuals would 
achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level 
that would be achieved by complying with Sec.  391.41(b)(10).
    The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding vision 
found in Sec.  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 a least 20/40 (Snellen) 
in both eyes with or without corrective lenses, field of vision of at 
least 70[deg] in the horizontal meridian in each eye, and the ability 
to recognize the colors of traffic signals and devices showing red, 
green, and amber.

III. Discussion of Comments

    FMCSA received one comment in this proceeding. Charity Colleen 
Crouse submitted a comment expressing concern that these exemptions are 
being administered to persons other than the individuals listed in this 
notice, and may be used for illegal activity.
    FMCSA verifies the identity and vision deficiencies of individuals 
through multiple official documents submitted as part of their requests 
for an exemption from the vision requirements. Individuals must submit 
a certified motor vehicle record issued from their State Driver 
Licensing Agency (SDLA) and a copy of a valid CDL or non-CDL license. 
They must also submit information from their ophthalmologist or 
optometrist related to a recent medical examination, which verifies the 
existence and nature of the vision condition. FMCSA finds these steps 
sufficient for verifying the identity of individuals requesting an 
exemption and applicability of the exemption.

IV. Basis for Exemption Determination

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), FMCSA may grant an exemption 
from the FMCSRs for no longer than a 5-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 5-year period. FMCSA grants medical exemptions from the 
FMCSRs for a 2-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 medical reports about the applicants' vision, as well as their 
driving records and experience driving with the vision deficiency. The 
qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each applicant 
were stated and discussed in detail in the June 19, 2019, Federal 
Register notice (84 FR 28619) and will not be repeated here.
    FMCSA recognizes that some drivers do not meet the vision 
requirement but have adapted their driving to accommodate their 
limitation and demonstrated their ability to drive safely. The ten 
exemption applicants listed in this notice are in this category. They 
are unable to meet the vision requirement in one eye for various 
reasons, including amblyopia, enucleation, hyphema, macular ischemia, 
retinal detachment, and subluxed lens. In most cases, their eye 
conditions did not develop recently. Eight of the applicants were 
either born with their vision impairments or have had them since 
childhood. The two individuals that developed their vision conditions 
as adults have had them for a range of four to six years. Although each 
applicant has one eye that does not meet the vision requirement in 
Sec.  391.41(b)(10), each has at least 20/40 corrected vision in the 
other eye, and, in a doctor's opinion, has sufficient vision to perform 
all the tasks necessary to operate a CMV.
    Doctors' opinions are supported by the applicants' possession of a 
valid license to operate a CMV. By meeting State licensing 
requirements, the applicants demonstrated their ability to operate a 
CMV with their limited vision in intrastate commerce, even though their 
vision disqualified them from driving in interstate commerce. We 
believe that the applicants' intrastate driving experience and history 
provide an adequate basis for predicting their ability to drive safely 
in interstate commerce. Intrastate driving, like interstate operations, 
involves substantial driving on highways on the interstate system and 
on other roads built to interstate standards. Moreover,

[[Page 47057]]

driving in congested urban areas exposes the driver to more pedestrian 
and vehicular traffic than exists on interstate highways. Faster 
reaction to traffic and traffic signals is generally required because 
distances between them are more compact. These conditions tax visual 
capacity and driver response just as intensely as interstate driving 
conditions.
    The applicants in this notice have driven CMVs with their limited 
vision in careers ranging for 4 to 84 years. In the past three years, 
no drivers were involved in crashes, and one driver was convicted of a 
moving violation in CMVs. All the applicants achieved a record of 
safety while driving with their vision impairment that demonstrates the 
likelihood that they have adapted their driving skills to accommodate 
their condition. As the applicants' ample driving histories with their 
vision deficiencies are good predictors of future performance, FMCSA 
concludes their ability to drive safely can be projected into the 
future.
    Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these 
applicants from the vision requirement in Sec.  391.41(b)(10) is likely 
to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the 
exemption.

V. Conditions and Requirements

    The terms and conditions of the exemption are provided to the 
applicants in the exemption document and includes the following: (1) 
Each driver must be physically examined every year (a) by an 
ophthalmologist or optometrist who attests that the vision in the 
better eye continues to meet the standard in Sec.  391.41(b)(10) and 
(b) by a certified medical examiner (ME) who attests that the 
individual is otherwise physically qualified under Sec.  391.41; (2) 
each driver must provide a copy of the ophthalmologist's or 
optometrist's report to the ME at the time of the annual medical 
examination; and (3) each driver must provide a copy of the annual 
medical certification to the employer for retention in the driver's 
qualification file, or keep a copy in his/her driver's qualification 
file if he/she is self-employed. The driver must also have a copy of 
the exemption when driving, for presentation to a duly authorized 
Federal, State, or local enforcement official.

VI. Preemption

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

VII. Conclusion

    Based upon its evaluation of the ten exemption applications, FMCSA 
exempts the following drivers from the vision requirement, Sec.  
391.41(b)(10), subject to the requirements cited above:

Joseph A. Cardazone (NJ)
Daniel R. Cope, Sr. (IA)
Timothy E. Coultas (IL)
Edwin Figueroa (IL)
Robert F. LaMark (PA)
Con May (IN)
Justin E. Schwada (MO)
Jeffrey A. Sherman (OH)
Chadwick L. St. John (AL)
Clinton A. Vandervoort (TX)

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), each exemption 
will be valid for 2 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(e) and 31315(b).

    Issued on: August 29, 2019.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2019-19261 Filed 9-5-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P