Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 52160-52163 [2019-21285]

Download as PDF 52160 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 190 / Tuesday, October 1, 2019 / Notices 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. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES II. Background On May 22, 2019, FMCSA published a FR notice (84 FR 23632) announcing receipt of applications from three individuals treated with ICDs and requested comments from the public. These three individuals requested an exemption from 49 CFR 391.41(b)(4) which prohibits operation of a CMV in interstate commerce by persons with a current clinical diagnosis of myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, coronary insufficiency, thrombosis, or any other cardiovascular disease of a variety known to be accompanied by syncope, dyspnea, collapse, or congestive heart failure. The public comment period closed on June 21, 2019, and no comments were received. FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of these applicants and concluded that granting these exemptions would not provide a level of safety that would be equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained by complying with § 391.41(b)(4). A summary of each applicant’s medical history related to their ICD exemption request was discussed in the May 22, 2019, Federal Register notice and will not be repeated here. The Agency’s decision regarding these exemption applications is based on information from the Cardiovascular Medical Advisory Criteria, an April 2007 evidence report titled ‘‘Cardiovascular Disease and Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Safety,’’ 1 and a December 2014 focused research report titled ‘‘Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators and the Impact of a Shock in a Patient When Deployed.’’ Copies of these reports are included in the docket. FMCSA has published advisory criteria to assist medical examiners in determining whether drivers with certain medical conditions are qualified to operate a CMV in interstate commerce.2 The advisory criteria for § 391.41(b)(4) indicates that coronary artery bypass surgery and pacemaker 1 The reports are available on the internet at https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/16462; https:// rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/21199. 2 These criteria may be found in 49 CFR part 391, APPENDIX A TO PART 391—MEDICAL ADVISORY CRITERIA, section D. Cardiovascular: § 391.41(b)(4), paragraph 4, which is available on the internet at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR2015-title49-vol5/pdf/CFR-2015-title49-vol5part391-appA.pdf. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Sep 30, 2019 Jkt 250001 implantation are remedial procedures and thus, not medically disqualifying. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators are disqualifying due to risk of syncope. Issued on: September 25, 2019. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. III. Discussion of Comments BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P FMCSA received no comments in this proceeding. 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 Agency’s decision regarding these exemption applications is based on an individualized assessment of each applicant’s medical information, available medical and scientific data concerning ICDs, and any relevant public comments received. In the case of persons with ICDs, the underlying condition for which the ICD was implanted places the individual at high risk for syncope or other unpredictable events known to result in gradual or sudden incapacitation. ICDs may discharge, which could result in loss of ability to safely control a CMV. The December 2014 focused research report referenced previously upholds the findings of the April 2007 report and indicates that the available scientific data on persons with ICDs and CMV driving does not support that persons with ICDs who operate CMVs are able to meet an equal or greater level of safety. V. Conclusion The Agency has determined that the available medical and scientific literature and research provides insufficient data to enable the Agency to conclude that granting these exemptions would achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety maintained without the exemption. Therefore, the following three applicants have been denied exemptions from the physical qualification standards in § 391.41(b)(4): Martin Carter (ME) Vincent Collelo (WI) Richard D. Siske (OH) Each applicant has, prior to this notice, received a letter of final disposition regarding his/her exemption request. Those decision letters fully outlined the basis for the denial and constitute final action by the Agency. The list published today summarizes the Agency’s recent denials as required under 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(4). PO 00000 Frm 00101 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 [FR Doc. 2019–21282 Filed 9–30–19; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0015] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 15 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 31, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0015 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/docket? D=FMCSA-2019-0015. 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, E:\FR\FM\01OCN1.SGM 01OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 190 / Tuesday, October 1, 2019 / Notices 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–2019–0015), 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-2019-0015. 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. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES 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-2019-0015 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Sep 30, 2019 Jkt 250001 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 15 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). PO 00000 Frm 00102 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52161 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. 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 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. E:\FR\FM\01OCN1.SGM 01OCN1 52162 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 190 / Tuesday, October 1, 2019 / Notices 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. tractor-trailer combinations for five years, accumulating 75,000 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. III. Qualifications of Applicants Robert K. Eggleston Mr. Eggleston, 31, has had amblyopia in the left eye since birth. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/400. Following an examination in 2019, his ophthalmologist stated, ‘‘In my opinion this patient has sufficient vision to perform all driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Eggleston reported that he has driven straight trucks for six years, accumulating 249,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for one year, accumulating 1,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Ohio. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. David E. Bryant, Jr. Mr. Bryant, has a macular scar in the right eye due to sarcoidosis in 1993. The visual acuity in his right eye is hand motion, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my medical opinion, Mr. Bryant has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Bryant reported that he has driven straight trucks for 30 years, accumulating 750,000 miles, tractortrailer combinations for 25 years, accumulating 1.5 million miles, and buses for 30 years, accumulating 90,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from North Carolina. His driving record for the last three years shows two crashes, for which he was not cited, and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Zackary C. Crichton Mr. Crichton, 31, has retinopathy in his right eye due to toxoplasmosis in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/400, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘Zachary [sic] has had this condition since he was 12. At this time in my medical opinion, I do believe Zachary [sic] can safely operate a commercial vehicle as he has for many years with this condition.’’ Mr. Crichton reported that he has driven straight trucks for six years, accumulating 150,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for six years, accumulating 300,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Wyoming. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Terence P. Dailey Mr. Dailey, 63, has corneal scars in his left eye due to a traumatic incident in childhood. 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, ‘‘According to my medical opinion based on his August 12, 2019 dilated comprehensive eye examination, he is capable of operating a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Dailey reported that he has driven straight trucks for 49 years, accumulating 1.2 million miles, and VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Sep 30, 2019 Jkt 250001 Luiz Gonzalez Mr. Gonzalez, 33, has had amblyopia in his right eye since birth. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/400, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘He has lived his entire life with his vision exactly the way it is now and poses no threat while driving a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Gonzalez reported that he has driven straight trucks for five years, accumulating 130,000 miles. He holds an operator’s license from New Jersey. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Ahmed M. Gutale Mr. Gutale, 46, has a prosthetic in his left eye due to a traumatic incident in 2004. 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, ‘‘I certify that in my opinion he has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Gutale reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 19 years, accumulating 1.5 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. James W. Harris Mr. Harris, 68, has had a paracentral scotoma in his right eye since birth. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/150, and in his left eye, 20/30. Following an PO 00000 Frm 00103 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘Due to the long standing nature of his vision deficiency and driving record, I feel he has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Harris reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 50 years, accumulating 1.6 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Texas. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Dobbin L. Kirkbride Mr. Kirkbride, 54, has a cataract in his left eye due to a traumatic incident in 2011. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, light perception. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘After an in-depth conversation with Mr. Kirkbride . . . it is my opinion that he has sufficient vision to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Kirkbride reported that he has driven straight trucks for ten years, accumulating 520,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 33 years, accumulating 2.6 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Ohio. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Daniel F. Large Mr. Large, 40, has a retinal detachment in his right eye due to a traumatic incident in 2007. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/200, and in his left eye, 20/15. Following an examination in 2019, his ophthalmologist stated, ‘‘In summary, I believe Mr. Large has sufficient vision to perform his tasks of operating a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Large reported that he has driven straight trucks for 12 years, accumulating 132,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 12 years, accumulating 168,000 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. Jonathan D. Matlasz Mr. Matlasz, 44, has had lenticonus in his right eye since birth. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/100, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘He has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Matlasz reported that he has driven straight trucks for eight years, accumulating 120,000 miles. He holds a Class B CDL from Connecticut. His driving record for the last three years E:\FR\FM\01OCN1.SGM 01OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 190 / Tuesday, October 1, 2019 / Notices shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. James Muldoon Mr. Muldoon, 57, has a cataract in his left eye due to a traumatic incident in 1966. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, hand motion. Following an examination in 2019, his ophthalmologist stated, ‘‘Based of records I have seen from 2011 he has no interval changes in his vision and his commercial license status should not be changed, as in my opinion he has sufficient vision to drive a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Muldoon reported that he has driven tractortrailer combinations for 13 years, accumulating 1.17 million miles. He holds a Class AM CDL from New York. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Andrew R. Peel Mr. Peel, 44, has a retinal detachment in his left eye due to a traumatic incident in childhood. 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 opinion, Andrew has sufficient vision to operate a commercial vehicle, as he has been doing this for the past 20 years, as long as he is wearing his glasses prescription and has appropriate mirrors for a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Peel reported that he has driven straight trucks for 17 years, accumulating 391,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 17 years, accumulating 459,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Montana. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. William D. Shelt Mr. Shelt, 43, has had amblyopia in his left eye since birth. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/100. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘Patient has sufficient vision to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Shelt reported that he has driven straight trucks for 20 years, accumulating 600,000 miles. He holds an operator’s license from Alabama. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. James L. Stacy Mr. Stacy, 53, has a macular hole in his right eye due to a traumatic incident in 2008. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/200, and in his left eye, 20/20. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Sep 30, 2019 Jkt 250001 52163 Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘Due to Mr. Stacy’s intact visual fields and 20/20 O.U. acuity at distance and near, I believe Mr. Stacy has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Stacy reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for ten years, accumulating 500,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Arkansas. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) by persons with a current clinical diagnosis of myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, coronary insufficiency, thrombosis, or any other cardiovascular disease of a variety known to be accompanied by syncope (transient loss of consciousness), dyspnea (shortness of breath), collapse, or congestive heart failure. If granted, the exemptions would enable these individuals with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. James J. Walsh Mr. Walsh, 42, has had amblyopia in his left eye since childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/60. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘I do feel he has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Walsh reported that he has driven straight trucks for 21 years, accumulating 850,000 miles. He holds a Class B CDL from New Hampshire. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Comments must be received on or before October 31, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA–2019–0167 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/docket? D=FMCSA-2019-0167. 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 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: 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: September 25, 2019. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2019–21285 Filed 9–30–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0167] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from four individuals for an exemption from the prohibition in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) against operation PO 00000 Frm 00104 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DATES: I. Public Participation A. Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0167), 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 E:\FR\FM\01OCN1.SGM 01OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 190 (Tuesday, October 1, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52160-52163]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-21285]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2019-0015]


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 15 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 31, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2019-0015 using any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0015. 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,

[[Page 52161]]

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-2019-0015), 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-2019-0015. 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-2019-0015 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 15 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

[[Page 52162]]

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

David E. Bryant, Jr.

    Mr. Bryant, has a macular scar in the right eye due to sarcoidosis 
in 1993. The visual acuity in his right eye is hand motion, and in his 
left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist 
stated, ``In my medical opinion, Mr. Bryant has sufficient vision to 
perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' 
Mr. Bryant reported that he has driven straight trucks for 30 years, 
accumulating 750,000 miles, tractor-trailer combinations for 25 years, 
accumulating 1.5 million miles, and buses for 30 years, accumulating 
90,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from North Carolina. His driving 
record for the last three years shows two crashes, for which he was not 
cited, and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Zackary C. Crichton

    Mr. Crichton, 31, has retinopathy in his right eye due to 
toxoplasmosis in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/
400, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his 
optometrist stated, ``Zachary [sic] has had this condition since he was 
12. At this time in my medical opinion, I do believe Zachary [sic] can 
safely operate a commercial vehicle as he has for many years with this 
condition.'' Mr. Crichton reported that he has driven straight trucks 
for six years, accumulating 150,000 miles, and tractor-trailer 
combinations for six years, accumulating 300,000 miles. He holds a 
Class A CDL from Wyoming. His driving record for the last three years 
shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Terence P. Dailey

    Mr. Dailey, 63, has corneal scars in his left eye due to a 
traumatic incident in childhood. 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, ``According to my medical opinion 
based on his August 12, 2019 dilated comprehensive eye examination, he 
is capable of operating a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Dailey reported 
that he has driven straight trucks for 49 years, accumulating 1.2 
million miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for five years, 
accumulating 75,000 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.

Robert K. Eggleston

    Mr. Eggleston, 31, has had amblyopia in the left eye since birth. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/
400. Following an examination in 2019, his ophthalmologist stated, ``In 
my opinion this patient has sufficient vision to perform all driving 
tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Eggleston 
reported that he has driven straight trucks for six years, accumulating 
249,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for one year, 
accumulating 1,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Ohio. His driving 
record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for 
moving violations in a CMV.

Luiz Gonzalez

    Mr. Gonzalez, 33, has had amblyopia in his right eye since birth. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/400, and in his left eye, 20/
20. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ``He has 
lived his entire life with his vision exactly the way it is now and 
poses no threat while driving a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Gonzalez 
reported that he has driven straight trucks for five years, 
accumulating 130,000 miles. He holds an operator's license from New 
Jersey. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes 
and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Ahmed M. Gutale

    Mr. Gutale, 46, has a prosthetic in his left eye due to a traumatic 
incident in 2004. 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, ``I certify that in my opinion he has 
sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Gutale reported that he has driven tractor-
trailer combinations for 19 years, accumulating 1.5 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.

James W. Harris

    Mr. Harris, 68, has had a paracentral scotoma in his right eye 
since birth. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/150, and in his 
left eye, 20/30. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist 
stated, ``Due to the long standing nature of his vision deficiency and 
driving record, I feel he has sufficient vision to perform the driving 
tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Harris reported 
that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 50 years, 
accumulating 1.6 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Texas. His 
driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no 
convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Dobbin L. Kirkbride

    Mr. Kirkbride, 54, has a cataract in his left eye due to a 
traumatic incident in 2011. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/
20, and in his left eye, light perception. Following an examination in 
2019, his optometrist stated, ``After an in-depth conversation with Mr. 
Kirkbride . . . it is my opinion that he has sufficient vision to 
operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Kirkbride reported that he has 
driven straight trucks for ten years, accumulating 520,000 miles, and 
tractor-trailer combinations for 33 years, accumulating 2.6 million 
miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Ohio. His driving record for the 
last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving 
violations in a CMV.

Daniel F. Large

    Mr. Large, 40, has a retinal detachment in his right eye due to a 
traumatic incident in 2007. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/
200, and in his left eye, 20/15. Following an examination in 2019, his 
ophthalmologist stated, ``In summary, I believe Mr. Large has 
sufficient vision to perform his tasks of operating a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Large reported that he has driven straight trucks for 12 
years, accumulating 132,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 
12 years, accumulating 168,000 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.

Jonathan D. Matlasz

    Mr. Matlasz, 44, has had lenticonus in his right eye since birth. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/100, and in his left eye, 20/
20. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ``He has 
sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Matlasz reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for eight years, accumulating 120,000 miles. He holds a Class B 
CDL from Connecticut. His driving record for the last three years

[[Page 52163]]

shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

James Muldoon

    Mr. Muldoon, 57, has a cataract in his left eye due to a traumatic 
incident in 1966. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in 
his left eye, hand motion. Following an examination in 2019, his 
ophthalmologist stated, ``Based of records I have seen from 2011 he has 
no interval changes in his vision and his commercial license status 
should not be changed, as in my opinion he has sufficient vision to 
drive a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Muldoon reported that he has driven 
tractor-trailer combinations for 13 years, accumulating 1.17 million 
miles. He holds a Class AM CDL from New York. His driving record for 
the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving 
violations in a CMV.

Andrew R. Peel

    Mr. Peel, 44, has a retinal detachment in his left eye due to a 
traumatic incident in childhood. 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 opinion, Andrew has sufficient vision 
to operate a commercial vehicle, as he has been doing this for the past 
20 years, as long as he is wearing his glasses prescription and has 
appropriate mirrors for a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Peel reported that 
he has driven straight trucks for 17 years, accumulating 391,000 miles, 
and tractor-trailer combinations for 17 years, accumulating 459,000 
miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Montana. His driving record for the 
last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving 
violations in a CMV.

William D. Shelt

    Mr. Shelt, 43, has had amblyopia in his left eye since birth. The 
visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/100. 
Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ``Patient has 
sufficient vision to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Shelt reported 
that he has driven straight trucks for 20 years, accumulating 600,000 
miles. He holds an operator's license from Alabama. His driving record 
for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving 
violations in a CMV.

James L. Stacy

    Mr. Stacy, 53, has a macular hole in his right eye due to a 
traumatic incident in 2008. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/
200, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his 
optometrist stated, ``Due to Mr. Stacy's intact visual fields and 20/20 
O.U. acuity at distance and near, I believe Mr. Stacy has sufficient 
vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Stacy reported that he has driven tractor-trailer 
combinations for ten years, accumulating 500,000 miles. He holds a 
Class A CDL from Arkansas. His driving record for the last three years 
shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

James J. Walsh

    Mr. Walsh, 42, 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/
60. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ``I do 
feel he has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to 
operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Walsh reported that he has driven 
straight trucks for 21 years, accumulating 850,000 miles. He holds a 
Class B CDL from New Hampshire. 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: September 25, 2019.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2019-21285 Filed 9-30-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P