Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders, 49377-49378 [2019-20238]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 182 / Thursday, September 19, 2019 / Notices 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, selfaddressed postcard or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the comment period and may grant or not grant this application based on your comments. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES II. Legal Basis FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must provide an opportunity for public comment on the request. The Agency reviews the safety analyses and the public comments, and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)) with the reason for the grant or denial and, if granted, the specific person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the regulatory provision or provisions from which exemption is granted. The notice must specify the effective period of the exemption (up to 5 years), and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)). III. Request for Exemption Navistar has applied for an exemption for five drivers from 49 CFR 383.23, which prescribes licensing requirements for drivers operating CMVs in interstate or intrastate commerce. Navistar requests the exemption because these drivers are all citizens of Sweden and therefore cannot apply for a CDL in any of the U.S. States due to their lack of residency in this country. A copy of the individual applications is in Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0347. The exemption would allow five drivers to operate CMVs in interstate or intrastate commerce as part of Navistar field tests designed to meet future vehicle safety and environmental requirements and to promote the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Sep 18, 2019 Jkt 247001 development of new and advanced emissions reduction systems and fuel efficiency improvements. According to Navistar, the drivers will typically drive for no more than 8 hours per day for 2 consecutive days, and that 50 percent of the test driving will be on two-lane State highways, while 50 percent will be on interstate highways. The driving for each driver will consist of no more than 300 miles per day, and in all cases the drivers will be accompanied by a holder of a U.S. CDL who is familiar with the routes to be traveled. The drivers are Jonas Hellstrom, Sofie Svanstrom, Erik Holma, Jonas Udd, and Mikael Oun. The drivers hold valid Swedish commercial licenses and, as explained by Navistar in its exemption request, the requirements for that license ensure that, operating under the exemption, the drivers would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation. Navistar requests that the exemptions cover a five-year period for each driver. Copies of Navistar’s applications for exemption for these five drivers are available in the docket for this notice. Issued on: September 10, 2019. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2019–20237 Filed 9–18–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [FMCSA Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0031] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt ten individuals from the requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) that interstate commercial motor vehicle (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.’’ The exemptions enable these individuals who have had one or more seizures and are taking anti-seizure medication to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. DATES: The exemptions were applicable on August 21, 2019. The exemptions expire on August 21, 2021. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00133 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 49377 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: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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-2019-0031 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 July 15, 2019, FMCSA published a notice announcing receipt of applications from ten individuals requesting an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8) and requested comments from the public (84 FR 33805). The public comment period ended on August 14, 2019, and one comment was 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 § 391.41(b)(8). 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 that person has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy E:\FR\FM\19SEN1.SGM 19SEN1 49378 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 182 / Thursday, September 19, 2019 / Notices 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. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES III. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received one comment in this proceeding. This comment supported granting the exemptions. 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 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 the 2007 recommendations of the Agency’s Medical Expert Panel (MEP). The Agency conducted an individualized assessment of each applicant’s medical information, including the root cause of the respective seizure(s) and medical information about the applicant’s seizure history, the length of time that has elapsed since the individual’s last seizure, the stability of each individual’s treatment regimen and the duration of time on or off of anti-seizure medication. In addition, the Agency reviewed the treating clinician’s medical opinion related to the ability of the driver to safely operate a CMV with a history of seizure and each applicant’s driving record found in the Commercial Driver’s License Information System for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders, and interstate and intrastate inspections recorded in the Motor Carrier Management Information System. For non-CDL holders, the Agency reviewed the driving records from the State Driver’s Licensing Agency (SDLA). A summary of each applicant’s seizure history was discussed in the July 15, 2019, Federal 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 17:30 Sep 18, 2019 Jkt 247001 Register notice (84 FR 33805) and will not be repeated in this notice. These ten applicants have been seizure-free over a range of 15 years while taking anti-seizure medication and maintained a stable medication treatment regimen for the last 2 years. In each case, the applicant’s treating physician verified his or her seizure history and supports the ability to drive commercially. The Agency acknowledges the potential consequences of a driver experiencing a seizure while operating a CMV. However, the Agency believes the drivers granted this exemption have demonstrated that they are unlikely to have a seizure and their medical condition does not pose a risk to public safety. Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these applicants from the epilepsy and seizure disorder prohibition in § 391.41(b)(8) 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 remain seizure-free and maintain a stable treatment during the 2-year exemption period; (2) each driver must submit annual reports from their treating physicians attesting to the stability of treatment and that the driver has remained seizure-free; (3) each driver must undergo an annual medical examination by a certified ME, as defined by § 390.5; and (4) 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 of his/her driver’s qualification file if he/she is selfemployed. 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 epilepsy and seizure disorder prohibition, § 391.41(b)(8), subject to the requirements cited above: Aaron Ashford (MI) Elton Behnken (MN) PO 00000 Frm 00134 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Tina Farmer (PA) Elizabeth Galvin (GA) Roderick Haslip (NY) Brian Kinkade (MO) Barbara Miller (TX) Ryan Moore (NC) Roger Prynn (NY) Jerel Sayers (ID) In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 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. 2019–20238 Filed 9–18–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket Number FRA–2008–0097] Petition for Waiver of Compliance Under part 211 of title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), this document provides the public notice that on August 2, 2019, NJ TRANSIT Rail Operations (NJT) petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to renew its waiver of compliance from certain provisions of the Federal railroad safety regulations contained at 49 CFR 218.29, Alternate methods of protection. FRA assigned the petition Docket Number FRA–2008–0097. Specifically, NJT requests relief from § 218.29(c)(1), regarding the alternate requirement to provide a derail capable of restricting access to a track positioned no less than 150 feet from the end of such equipment; when workers are on, under, or between rolling equipment, when a manually operated switch as required by § 218.29(b)(2) is not feasible. NJT seeks to utilize § 218.29(a)(4) to provide protection for workers by restricting the speed to not more than 5 miles per hour and permitting the location of locked derails no less than 50 feet from the end of the equipment under conditions that would normally require protection under § 218.27, Workers on track other than main track. A transportation department employee (yardmaster) is present to control train E:\FR\FM\19SEN1.SGM 19SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 182 (Thursday, September 19, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 49377-49378]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-20238]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[FMCSA Docket No. FMCSA-2019-0031]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and 
Seizure Disorders

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 requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 
(FMCSRs) that interstate commercial motor vehicle (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.'' The exemptions enable these 
individuals who have had one or more seizures and are taking anti-
seizure medication to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

DATES: The exemptions were applicable on August 21, 2019. The 
exemptions expire on August 21, 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-2019-0031 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 July 15, 2019, FMCSA published a notice announcing receipt of 
applications from ten individuals requesting an exemption from the 
epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8) and 
requested comments from the public (84 FR 33805). The public comment 
period ended on August 14, 2019, and one comment was 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 Sec.  391.41(b)(8).
    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 that person has no established medical 
history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy

[[Page 49378]]

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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. Discussion of Comments

    FMCSA received one comment in this proceeding. This comment 
supported granting the exemptions.

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 the 2007 recommendations of the Agency's Medical Expert Panel 
(MEP). The Agency conducted an individualized assessment of each 
applicant's medical information, including the root cause of the 
respective seizure(s) and medical information about the applicant's 
seizure history, the length of time that has elapsed since the 
individual's last seizure, the stability of each individual's treatment 
regimen and the duration of time on or off of anti-seizure medication. 
In addition, the Agency reviewed the treating clinician's medical 
opinion related to the ability of the driver to safely operate a CMV 
with a history of seizure and each applicant's driving record found in 
the Commercial Driver's License Information System for commercial 
driver's license (CDL) holders, and interstate and intrastate 
inspections recorded in the Motor Carrier Management Information 
System. For non-CDL holders, the Agency reviewed the driving records 
from the State Driver's Licensing Agency (SDLA). A summary of each 
applicant's seizure history was discussed in the July 15, 2019, Federal 
Register notice (84 FR 33805) and will not be repeated in this notice.
    These ten applicants have been seizure-free over a range of 15 
years while taking anti-seizure medication and maintained a stable 
medication treatment regimen for the last 2 years. In each case, the 
applicant's treating physician verified his or her seizure history and 
supports the ability to drive commercially.
    The Agency acknowledges the potential consequences of a driver 
experiencing a seizure while operating a CMV. However, the Agency 
believes the drivers granted this exemption have demonstrated that they 
are unlikely to have a seizure and their medical condition does not 
pose a risk to public safety.
    Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these 
applicants from the epilepsy and seizure disorder prohibition in Sec.  
391.41(b)(8) 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 remain seizure-free and maintain a stable treatment 
during the 2-year exemption period; (2) each driver must submit annual 
reports from their treating physicians attesting to the stability of 
treatment and that the driver has remained seizure-free; (3) each 
driver must undergo an annual medical examination by a certified ME, as 
defined by Sec.  390.5; and (4) 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 of 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 epilepsy and seizure disorder 
prohibition, Sec.  391.41(b)(8), subject to the requirements cited 
above:

Aaron Ashford (MI)
Elton Behnken (MN)
Tina Farmer (PA)
Elizabeth Galvin (GA)
Roderick Haslip (NY)
Brian Kinkade (MO)
Barbara Miller (TX)
Ryan Moore (NC)
Roger Prynn (NY)
Jerel Sayers (ID)

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 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. 2019-20238 Filed 9-18-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P