Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 47050-47052 [2019-19281]

Download as PDF 47050 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 173 / Friday, September 6, 2019 / Notices Matthew Ramirez DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION I. Public Participation Mr. Ramirez, 36 years-old, holds an operator’s license in South Carolina. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration A. Submitting Comments Steven Robelia [Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0014] Mr. Robelia, 55 years-old, holds a class A CDL in Wisconsin. Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Timothy Roberts AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments. Mr. Roberts, 29 years-old, holds an operator’s license in Tennessee. Willis O. Ryan Kerry Stewart Mr. Stewart, 54 years-old, holds an operator’s license in Indiana. Mark J. Tabangcora Mr. Tabangcora, 37 years-old, holds an operator’s license in California. Yenter Tu Mr. Tu, 46 years-old, holds an operator’s license in Texas. Alan Vandermeulen Mr. Vandermeulen, 89 years-old, holds a class A CDL in Iowa. Yvon Victor Mr. Victor, 42 years-old, holds a class A CDL in New Jersey. Bret E. Wanner Mr. Wanner, 30 years-old, holds an operator’s license in Pennsylvania. Rodney Warfield Mr. Warfield, 33 years-old, holds an operator’s license in Maryland. David Whisman Mr. Whisman, 57 years-old, holds a class A CDL in Georgia. jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 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. 2019–19255 Filed 9–5–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:53 Sep 05, 2019 FMCSA announces receipt of applications from ten 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 October 7, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0014 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0014. 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 Services, (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Mr. Ryan, 53 years-old, holds a class A CDL in Georgia. Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00119 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0014), 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-2019-0014. 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/ docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0014 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– E:\FR\FM\06SEN1.SGM 06SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 173 / Friday, September 6, 2019 / Notices jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 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 ten 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 § 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. On July 16, 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 (57 FR 31458). 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 § 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 in intrastate commerce VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:53 Sep 05, 2019 Jkt 247001 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 studies may be found at https://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=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.1 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 1 A thorough discussion of this issue may be found in a FHWA final rule published in the Federal Register on March 26, 1996 and available on the internet at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/ pkg/FR-1996-03-26/pdf/96-7226.pdf. PO 00000 Frm 00120 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47051 the first two years with their experiences in the final year. III. Qualifications of Applicants Alex T. Balk Mr. Balk, 34, has had optic atrophy in his left eye since birth. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/2000. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘It is my medical opinion that Mr. Balk has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Balk reported that he has driven straight trucks for 12 years, accumulating 50,400 miles. He holds an operator’s license from Arizona. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Brian K. Egbert Mr. Egbert, 48, has had amblyopia in his left eye since childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/200. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my medical opinion, I believe that Mr. Egbert does have adequate and sufficient vision to perform and operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Egbert reported that he has driven straight trucks for 18 years, accumulating 126,000 miles. He holds an operator’s license from Missouri. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Joseph M. Morgan Mr. Morgan, 61, has an enucleated 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 2019, his ophthalmologist stated, ‘‘It is my opinion he has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Morgan reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 45 years, accumulating 4.3 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Florida. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Chris J. Orphan, Jr. Mr. Orphan, 48, has a prosthetic left eye due to a traumatic incident in 1990. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/ 20, and in his left eye is no light perception. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘It is my opinion that Mr. Orphan has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required in the operation of a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Orphan reported that he has driven straight E:\FR\FM\06SEN1.SGM 06SEN1 47052 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 173 / Friday, September 6, 2019 / Notices trucks for four years, accumulating 50,000 miles. He holds an operator’s license from South Carolina. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Wayne E. Page Mr. Page, 57, has had amblyopia in the left eye since childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/150. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my medical opinion, as long as he wears his glasses, he has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a CMV.’’ Mr. Page reported that he has driven tractortrailer combinations for 20 years, accumulating 1.6 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from North Carolina. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Joaquin A. Sandoval Mr. Sandoval, 55, has complete loss of vision in the right eye due to a traumatic incident in 1994. The visual acuity in his right eye is no light perception and in his left eye, 20/15. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘I see him suitable to operate a CDL visually and mentally.’’ Mr. Sandoval reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for five years, accumulating 45,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Oregon. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Donald J. Thoel Mr. Thoel, 58, has aphakia in his left eye due to a traumatic incident in 1983. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/ 20, and in his left eye, counting fingers. Following an examination in 2019, his ophthalmologist stated, ‘‘In my opinion Mr. Thoel has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Thoel reported that he has driven straight trucks for 25 years, accumulating 875,000 miles. He holds a Class CA Enhanced CDL from Michigan. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Harold W. Via Mr. Via, 56, has had a retinal detachment in his right eye since 1976. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/ 80, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his ophthalmologist stated, ‘‘If abiding by VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:53 Sep 05, 2019 Jkt 247001 applicable regulations, medical opinion suggests that he has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle since he already does this with an intrastate license.’’ Mr. Via reported that he has driven straight trucks for 30 years, accumulating 900,000 miles. He holds a Class B CDL from Virginia. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Milton D. Voepel Mr. Voepel, 66, has had a retinal scar in his left eye since 2006. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/400. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my medical opinion Milton has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Voepel reported that he has driven straight trucks for four years, accumulating 68,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 14 years, accumulating 1.82 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Missouri. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Andrew L. Walker Mr. Walker, 37, has chorioretinal scarring in his right eye due to retinal detachment in 2004. The visual acuity in his right eye is counting fingers, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘It is my opinion based on examination findings that Mr. Andrew Walker is safe to operate a commercial vehicle as in my judgement his vision is sufficient to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Walker reported that he has driven straight trucks for 16 years, accumulating 1.44 million miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 15 years, accumulating 1.8 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Minnesota. 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(b), 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 under the DATES section of the notice. PO 00000 Frm 00121 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Issued on: August 29, 2019. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2019–19281 Filed 9–5–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2001–9561; FMCSA– 2003–15892; FMCSA–2005–20560; FMCSA– 2005–21254; FMCSA–2005–21711; FMCSA– 2007–25246; FMCSA–2007–27897; FMCSA– 2008–0266; FMCSA–2009–0121; FMCSA– 2009–0154; FMCSA–2010–0327; FMCSA– 2010–0385; FMCSA–2011–0024; FMCSA– 2011–0092; FMCSA–2011–0124; FMCSA– 2011–0140; FMCSA–2011–0142; FMCSA– 2011–0189; FMCSA–2013–0026; FMCSA– 2013–0027; FMCSA–2013–0029; FMCSA– 2013–0030; FMCSA–2013–0165; FMCSA– 2014–0302; FMCSA–2015–0048; FMCSA– 2015–0049; FMCSA–2015–0052; FMCSA– 2015–0053; FMCSA–2015–0055; FMCSA– 2016–0212; FMCSA–2016–0214; FMCSA– 2017–0016; FMCSA–2017–0018; FMCSA– 2017–0019; FMCSA–2017–0020; FMCSA– 2017–0023] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemptions; request for comments. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew exemptions for 95 individuals from the vision requirement 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 requirements in one eye. DATES: Each group of renewed exemptions were applicable on the dates stated in the discussions below and will expire on the dates stated in the discussions below. 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–2001–9561, FMCSA–2003– 15892, FMCSA–2005–20560, FMCSA– 2005–21254, FMCSA–2005–21711, FMCSA–2007–25246, FMCSA–2007– 27897, FMCSA–2008–0266, FMCSA– 2009–0121, FMCSA–2009–0154, FMCSA–2010–0327, FMCSA–2010– 0385, FMCSA–2011–0024, FMCSA– 2011–0092, FMCSA–2011–0124, FMCSA–2011–0140, FMCSA–2011– 0142, FMCSA–2011–0189, FMCSA– SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\06SEN1.SGM 06SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 173 (Friday, September 6, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47050-47052]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-19281]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2019-0014]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

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

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

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from ten 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 October 7, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2019-0014 using any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0014. 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 
Services, (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-2019-0014), 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-2019-0014. 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-2019-0014 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-

[[Page 47051]]

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 ten 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 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 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.
    On July 16, 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 (57 FR 31458). 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 Sec.  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 in intrastate commerce 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 studies may be found 
at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=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.\1\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ A thorough discussion of this issue may be found in a FHWA 
final rule published in the Federal Register on March 26, 1996 and 
available on the internet at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-1996-03-26/pdf/96-7226.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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

Alex T. Balk

    Mr. Balk, 34, has had optic atrophy in his left eye since birth. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/
2000. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ``It is 
my medical opinion that Mr. Balk has sufficient vision to perform the 
driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Balk 
reported that he has driven straight trucks for 12 years, accumulating 
50,400 miles. He holds an operator's license from Arizona. His driving 
record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for 
moving violations in a CMV.

Brian K. Egbert

    Mr. Egbert, 48, has had amblyopia in his left eye since childhood. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/
200. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ``In my 
medical opinion, I believe that Mr. Egbert does have adequate and 
sufficient vision to perform and operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. 
Egbert reported that he has driven straight trucks for 18 years, 
accumulating 126,000 miles. He holds an operator's license from 
Missouri. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes 
and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Joseph M. Morgan

    Mr. Morgan, 61, has an enucleated 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 2019, 
his ophthalmologist stated, ``It is my opinion he has sufficient vision 
to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Morgan reported that he has driven tractor-trailer 
combinations for 45 years, accumulating 4.3 million miles. He holds a 
Class A CDL from Florida. His driving record for the last three years 
shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Chris J. Orphan, Jr.

    Mr. Orphan, 48, has a prosthetic left eye due to a traumatic 
incident in 1990. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in 
his left eye is no light perception. Following an examination in 2019, 
his optometrist stated, ``It is my opinion that Mr. Orphan has 
sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required in the 
operation of a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Orphan reported that he has 
driven straight

[[Page 47052]]

trucks for four years, accumulating 50,000 miles. He holds an 
operator's license from South Carolina. His driving record for the last 
three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations 
in a CMV.

Wayne E. Page

    Mr. Page, 57, has had amblyopia in the left eye since childhood. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/
150. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ``In my 
medical opinion, as long as he wears his glasses, he has sufficient 
vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a CMV.'' Mr. 
Page reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 20 
years, accumulating 1.6 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from 
North Carolina. His driving record for the last three years shows no 
crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Joaquin A. Sandoval

    Mr. Sandoval, 55, has complete loss of vision in the right eye due 
to a traumatic incident in 1994. The visual acuity in his right eye is 
no light perception and in his left eye, 20/15. Following an 
examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ``I see him suitable to 
operate a CDL visually and mentally.'' Mr. Sandoval reported that he 
has driven tractor-trailer combinations for five years, accumulating 
45,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Oregon. His driving record 
for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving 
violations in a CMV.

Donald J. Thoel

    Mr. Thoel, 58, has aphakia in his left eye due to a traumatic 
incident in 1983. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in 
his left eye, counting fingers. Following an examination in 2019, his 
ophthalmologist stated, ``In my opinion Mr. Thoel has sufficient vision 
to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Thoel reported that he has driven straight trucks for 25 
years, accumulating 875,000 miles. He holds a Class CA Enhanced CDL 
from Michigan. His driving record for the last three years shows no 
crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Harold W. Via

    Mr. Via, 56, has had a retinal detachment in his right eye since 
1976. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/80, and in his left eye, 
20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his ophthalmologist stated, 
``If abiding by applicable regulations, medical opinion suggests that 
he has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to 
operate a commercial vehicle since he already does this with an 
intrastate license.'' Mr. Via reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 30 years, accumulating 900,000 miles. He holds a Class B CDL 
from Virginia. His driving record for the last three years shows no 
crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Milton D. Voepel

    Mr. Voepel, 66, has had a retinal scar in his left eye since 2006. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/
400. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ``In my 
medical opinion Milton has sufficient vision to perform the driving 
tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Voepel reported 
that he has driven straight trucks for four years, accumulating 68,000 
miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 14 years, accumulating 1.82 
million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Missouri. His driving record 
for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving 
violations in a CMV.

Andrew L. Walker

    Mr. Walker, 37, has chorioretinal scarring in his right eye due to 
retinal detachment in 2004. The visual acuity in his right eye is 
counting fingers, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination 
in 2019, his optometrist stated, ``It is my opinion based on 
examination findings that Mr. Andrew Walker is safe to operate a 
commercial vehicle as in my judgement his vision is sufficient to 
perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' 
Mr. Walker reported that he has driven straight trucks for 16 years, 
accumulating 1.44 million miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 
15 years, accumulating 1.8 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from 
Minnesota. 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(b), 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 
under the DATES section of the notice.

    Issued on: August 29, 2019.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2019-19281 Filed 9-5-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P