Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders, 47042-47043 [2019-19265]

Download as PDF 47042 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 173 / Friday, September 6, 2019 / Notices exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained before it was granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b). 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. VI. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the 104 exemption applications, FMCSA renews the exemptions of the aforementioned drivers from the vision requirement in § 391.41(b)(10), subject to the requirements cited above. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), each exemption will be valid for two years unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. Issued on: August 29, 2019. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2019–19266 Filed 9–5–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0034] I. Public Participation Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments. AGENCY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from six individuals for an exemption from the prohibition in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) against persons with a clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition that is likely to cause a loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) to drive in interstate commerce. If granted, the exemptions would enable these individuals who have had one or more seizures and are taking anti-seizure medication to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 7, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0034 using any of the following methods: jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:53 Sep 05, 2019 Jkt 247001 • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0034. 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: (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 Operations, (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (Docket No. FMCSA—http:// www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA2019-0034), 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/ docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0034. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00111 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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/ docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0034 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(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 2year period to align with the maximum duration of a driver’s medical certification. The six individuals listed in this notice have requested an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8). Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate the qualifications of each applicant to determine whether granting the exemption will achieve the required level of safety mandated by statute. The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding epilepsy found in § 391.41(b)(8) states that a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if E:\FR\FM\06SEN1.SGM 06SEN1 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 173 / Friday, September 6, 2019 / Notices that person has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition which is likely to cause the loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a CMV. In addition to the regulations, FMCSA has published advisory criteria 1 to assist medical examiners (MEs) in determining whether drivers with certain medical conditions are qualified to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. The criteria states that if an individual has had a sudden episode of a nonepileptic seizure or loss of consciousness of unknown cause that did not require anti-seizure medication, the decision whether that person’s condition is likely to cause the loss of consciousness or loss of ability to control a CMV should be made on an individual basis by the ME in consultation with the treating physician. Before certification is considered, it is suggested that a 6-month waiting period elapse from the time of the episode. Following the waiting period, it is suggested that the individual have a complete neurological examination. If the results of the examination are negative and anti-seizure medication is not required, then the driver may be qualified. In those individual cases where a driver has had a seizure or an episode of loss of consciousness that resulted from a known medical condition (e.g., drug reaction, high temperature, acute infectious disease, dehydration, or acute metabolic disturbance), certification should be deferred until the driver has recovered fully from that condition, has no existing residual complications, and is not taking anti-seizure medication. Drivers who have a history of epilepsy/seizures, off anti-seizure medication and seizure-free for 10 years, may be qualified to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. Interstate drivers with a history of a single unprovoked seizure may be qualified to drive a CMV in interstate commerce if seizure-free and off anti-seizure medication for a 5year period or more. As a result of MEs misinterpreting advisory criteria as regulation, numerous drivers have been prohibited from operating a CMV in interstate commerce based on the fact that they have had one or more seizures and are taking anti-seizure medication, rather than an individual analysis of their circumstances by a qualified ME based 1 These criteria may be found in APPENDIX A TO PART 391—MEDICAL ADVISORY CRITERIA, section H. Epilepsy: § 391.41(b)(8), paragraphs 3, 4, and 5, which is available on the internet at https:// www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2015-title49-vol5/pdf/ CFR-2015-title49-vol5-part391-appA.pdf. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:53 Sep 05, 2019 Jkt 247001 on the physical qualification standards and medical best practices. On January 15, 2013, FMCSA announced in a Notice of Final Disposition titled, ‘‘Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders,’’ (78 FR 3069), its decision to grant requests from 22 individuals for exemptions from the regulatory requirement that interstate CMV drivers have ‘‘no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition which is likely to cause loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a CMV.’’ Since that time, the Agency has published additional notices granting requests from individuals for exemptions from the regulatory requirement regarding epilepsy found in § 391.41(b)(8). To be considered for an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in § 391.41(b)(8), applicants must meet the criteria in the 2007 recommendations of the Agency’s Medical Expert Panel (78 FR 3069). III. Qualifications of Applicants Taylor D. Bonvillain Mr. Bonvillain is a 25 year-old class R driver in Mississippi. He has a history of epilepsy and has been seizure free since 2007. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since 2015. His physician states that she is supportive of Mr. Bonvillain receiving an exemption. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Mershon receiving an exemption. Brian Ranger Mr. Ranger is a 31 year-old class A CDL holder in Nevada. He has a history of seizure disorder and has been seizure free since 2009. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since 2009. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Ranger receiving an exemption. Adam Wilson Mr. Wilson is a 35 year-old class D driver in Minnesota. He has a history of seizure disorder and has been seizure free since 2004. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since 2004. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Wilson receiving an exemption. IV. Request for Comments In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), 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 under the DATES section of the notice. Issued on: August 29, 2019. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2019–19265 Filed 9–5–19; 8:45 am] James Klucas Mr. Klucas is a 50 year-old class A CDL holder in Kansas. He has a history of a epilepsy and has been seizure free since 1999. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since 2017. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Klucas receiving an exemption. BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P Larry Lintelman Mr. Lintelman is a 53 year-old class A CDL holder in Alaska. He has a history of a seizure disorder and has been seizure free since 2011. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since 1997. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Lintelman receiving an exemption. AGENCY: Charles Mershon Mr. Mershon is a 30 year-old class D driver in Minnesota. He has a history of epilepsy and has been seizure free since 2010. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since October 2010. PO 00000 Frm 00112 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47043 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2014–0386] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemptions; request for comments. FMCSA announces its decision to renew exemptions for 2 individuals from the hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The exemptions enable these hard of hearing and deaf individuals to continue to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. DATES: The exemptions were applicable on September 12, 2019. The exemptions expire on September 12, 2021. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\06SEN1.SGM 06SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 173 (Friday, September 6, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47042-47043]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-19265]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2019-0034]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and 
Seizure Disorders

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

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

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

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

DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 7, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2019-0034 using any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0034. 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: (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 
Operations, (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--http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0034), 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/docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0034. 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/docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0034 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(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 six individuals listed in this notice have requested an 
exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in 49 CFR 
391.41(b)(8). Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate the qualifications 
of each applicant to determine whether granting the exemption will 
achieve the required level of safety mandated by statute.
    The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding epilepsy 
found in Sec.  391.41(b)(8) states that a person is physically 
qualified to drive a CMV if

[[Page 47043]]

that person has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of 
epilepsy or any other condition which is likely to cause the loss of 
consciousness or any loss of ability to control a CMV.
    In addition to the regulations, FMCSA has published advisory 
criteria \1\ to assist medical examiners (MEs) in determining whether 
drivers with certain medical conditions are qualified to operate a CMV 
in interstate commerce.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ These criteria may be found in APPENDIX A TO PART 391--
MEDICAL ADVISORY CRITERIA, section H. Epilepsy: Sec.  391.41(b)(8), 
paragraphs 3, 4, and 5, which is available on the internet at 
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2015-title49-vol5/pdf/CFR-2015-title49-vol5-part391-appA.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The 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, 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 ME in consultation with the treating physician. Before 
certification is considered, it is suggested that a 6-month waiting 
period elapse from the time of the episode. Following the waiting 
period, it is suggested that the individual have a complete 
neurological examination. If the results of the examination are 
negative and anti-seizure medication is not required, then the driver 
may be qualified.
    In those individual cases where a driver has had a seizure or an 
episode of loss of consciousness that resulted from a known medical 
condition (e.g., drug reaction, high temperature, acute infectious 
disease, dehydration, or acute metabolic disturbance), certification 
should be deferred until the driver has recovered fully from that 
condition, has no existing residual complications, and is not taking 
anti-seizure medication.
    Drivers who have a history of epilepsy/seizures, off anti-seizure 
medication and seizure-free for 10 years, may be qualified to operate a 
CMV in interstate commerce. Interstate drivers with a history of a 
single unprovoked seizure may be qualified to drive a CMV in interstate 
commerce if seizure-free and off anti-seizure medication for a 5-year 
period or more.
    As a result of MEs misinterpreting advisory criteria as regulation, 
numerous drivers have been prohibited from operating a CMV in 
interstate commerce based on the fact that they have had one or more 
seizures and are taking anti-seizure medication, rather than an 
individual analysis of their circumstances by a qualified ME based on 
the physical qualification standards and medical best practices.
    On January 15, 2013, FMCSA announced in a Notice of Final 
Disposition titled, ``Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; 
Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders,'' (78 FR 3069), its decision to grant 
requests from 22 individuals for exemptions from the regulatory 
requirement that interstate CMV drivers have ``no established medical 
history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition which 
is likely to cause loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to 
control a CMV.'' Since that time, the Agency has published additional 
notices granting requests from individuals for exemptions from the 
regulatory requirement regarding epilepsy found in Sec.  391.41(b)(8).
    To be considered for an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure 
disorders prohibition in Sec.  391.41(b)(8), applicants must meet the 
criteria in the 2007 recommendations of the Agency's Medical Expert 
Panel (78 FR 3069).

III. Qualifications of Applicants

Taylor D. Bonvillain

    Mr. Bonvillain is a 25 year-old class R driver in Mississippi. He 
has a history of epilepsy and has been seizure free since 2007. He 
takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining 
the same since 2015. His physician states that she is supportive of Mr. 
Bonvillain receiving an exemption.

James Klucas

    Mr. Klucas is a 50 year-old class A CDL holder in Kansas. He has a 
history of a epilepsy and has been seizure free since 1999. He takes 
anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the 
same since 2017. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. 
Klucas receiving an exemption.

Larry Lintelman

    Mr. Lintelman is a 53 year-old class A CDL holder in Alaska. He has 
a history of a seizure disorder and has been seizure free since 2011. 
He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency 
remaining the same since 1997. His physician states that he is 
supportive of Mr. Lintelman receiving an exemption.

Charles Mershon

    Mr. Mershon is a 30 year-old class D driver in Minnesota. He has a 
history of epilepsy and has been seizure free since 2010. He takes 
anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the 
same since October 2010. His physician states that he is supportive of 
Mr. Mershon receiving an exemption.

Brian Ranger

    Mr. Ranger is a 31 year-old class A CDL holder in Nevada. He has a 
history of seizure disorder and has been seizure free since 2009. He 
takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining 
the same since 2009. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. 
Ranger receiving an exemption.

Adam Wilson

    Mr. Wilson is a 35 year-old class D driver in Minnesota. He has a 
history of seizure disorder and has been seizure free since 2004. He 
takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining 
the same since 2004. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. 
Wilson receiving an exemption.

IV. Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), 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 under the DATES 
section of the notice.

    Issued on: August 29, 2019.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2019-19265 Filed 9-5-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P