Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing, 58440-58441 [2019-23754]

Download as PDF 58440 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 211 / Thursday, October 31, 2019 / Notices IV. Conclusion Based on its evaluation of the 14 renewal exemption applications and comment received, FMCSA announces its decision to exempt the following drivers from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in § 391.41(b)(8). In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), the following groups of drivers received renewed exemptions in the month of August and are discussed below. As of August 1, 2019, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), the following three individuals have satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers (84 FR 47036): Donnie Kuck (MT); Tye Moore (IN); and Rickie Rineer (PA). As of August 13, 2019, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), the following 11 individuals have satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers (84 FR 47036): khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Eric Barnwell (MI) John Boerth (WI) Don Darbyshire (IA) Todd Davis (WI) Daniel Dellaserra (CA) Charles Gray (OK) Eric Hilmer (WI) David Kietzman (WI) Dennis Klamm (MN) William Rainer, III (TX) Brian Wiggins (ID) The drivers were included in docket number FMCSA–2010–0203; FMCSA– 2011–0389; FMCSA–2012–0094; FMCSA–2012–0294; FMCSA–2014– 0381; FMCSA–2014–0382; FMCSA– 2015–0116; FMCSA–2015–0117. Their exemptions are applicable as of August 13, 2019, and will expire on August 13, 2021. 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). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Oct 30, 2019 Jkt 250001 Issued on: October 24, 2019. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2019–23756 Filed 10–30–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P 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. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION II. Background Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration On August 28, 2019, FMCSA published a notice announcing receipt of applications from 29 individuals requesting an exemption from the hearing requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) to operate a CMV in interstate commerce and requested comments from the public (84 FR 47048). The public comment period ended on October 7, 2019, and no comments were 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)(11). The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding hearing found in § 391.41(b)(11) states that a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person first perceives a forced whispered voice in the better ear at not less than 5 feet with or without the use of a hearing aid or, if tested by use of an audiometric device, does not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater than 40 decibels at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with or without a hearing aid when the audiometric device is calibrated to American National Standard (formerly ASA Standard) Z24.5—1951. This standard was adopted in 1970 and was revised in 1971 to allow drivers to be qualified under this standard while wearing a hearing aid, 35 FR 6458, 6463 (April 22, 1970) and 36 FR 12857 (July 3, 1971). [Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0109] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 29 individuals from the hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. The exemptions enable these hard of hearing and deaf individuals to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. DATES: The exemptions were applicable on October 10, 2019. The exemptions expire on October 10, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Christine A. Hydock, Chief, Medical Programs Division, (202) 366–4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W64–224, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have questions regarding viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Operations, (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: 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-2019-0109 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 Operations 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. PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 III. Discussion of Comments 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 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 E:\FR\FM\31OCN1.SGM 31OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 211 / Thursday, October 31, 2019 / Notices duration of a driver’s medical certification. The Agency’s decision regarding these exemption applications is based on current medical information and literature, and the 2008 Evidence Report, ‘‘Executive Summary on Hearing, Vestibular Function and Commercial Motor Driving Safety.’’ The evidence report reached two conclusions regarding the matter of hearing loss and CMV driver safety: (1) No studies that examined the relationship between hearing loss and crash risk exclusively among CMV drivers were identified; and (2) evidence from studies of the private driver’s license holder population does not support the contention that individuals with hearing impairment are at an increased risk for a crash. In addition, the Agency reviewed each applicant’s driving record found in the Commercial Driver’s License Information System, for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders, and 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. Each applicant’s record demonstrated a safe driving history. Based on an individual assessment of each applicant that focused on whether an equal or greater level of safety is likely to be achieved by permitting each of these drivers to drive in interstate commerce as opposed to restricting him or her to driving in intrastate commerce, the Agency believes the drivers granted this exemption have demonstrated that they do not pose a risk to public safety. Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these applicants from the hearing standard in § 391.41(b)(11) is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the exemption. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 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 report any crashes or accidents as defined in § 390.5; (2) each driver must report all citations and convictions for disqualifying offenses under 49 CFR 383 and 49 CFR 391 to FMCSA; and (3) each driver is prohibited from operating a motorcoach or bus with passengers in interstate commerce. The driver must also have a copy of the exemption when driving, for presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement official. In addition, the exemption does not exempt the individual from meeting VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Oct 30, 2019 Jkt 250001 58441 the applicable CDL testing requirements. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION VI. Preemption Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 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 29 exemption applications, FMCSA exempts the following drivers from the hearing standard, § 391.41(b)(11), subject to the requirements cited above. Erin Barnes (OK) Alicia Batiste (TX) Jeremy Benoit (LA) Kurt Bernabei (IL) Jessica L. Driver (TX) Donald P. Dunten (IN) Steven Edwards (KS) Debbie Gaskill (GA) Steven J. Gandee (PA) Daniel S. Geathers (VA) Gregory A. Hale (AZ) Richard Harrison (MO) Charles Hine (MD) Robert B. Mahan (OK) Michael Penn (IN) Ernest Pratt (PA) James R. Quinn (TN) Matthew Ramirez (SC) Steven Robelia (WI) Timothy Roberts (TN) Willis O. Ryan (GA) Kerry Stewart (IN) Mark J. Tabangcora (CA) Yenter Tu (TX) Alan Vandermeulen (IA) Yvon Victor (NJ) Bret E. Wanner (PA) Rodney Warfield (MD) David Whisman (GA) 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: October 24, 2019. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2019–23754 Filed 10–30–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 [Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0017] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments. AGENCY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 11 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 December 2, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0017 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0017. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Operations; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the ‘‘Public Participation’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for instructions on submitting comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Christine A. Hydock, Chief, Medical Programs Division, (202) 366–4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W64–224, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have questions regarding viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Operations, (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\31OCN1.SGM 31OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 211 (Thursday, October 31, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 58440-58441]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-23754]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2019-0109]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 29 individuals from the 
hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 
(FMCSRs) to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate 
commerce. The exemptions enable these hard of hearing and deaf 
individuals to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

DATES: The exemptions were applicable on October 10, 2019. The 
exemptions expire on October 10, 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 Operations, (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-2019-0109 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 Operations 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 August 28, 2019, FMCSA published a notice announcing receipt of 
applications from 29 individuals requesting an exemption from the 
hearing requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) to operate a CMV in 
interstate commerce and requested comments from the public (84 FR 
47048). The public comment period ended on October 7, 2019, and no 
comments were 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)(11).
    The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding hearing 
found in Sec.  391.41(b)(11) states that a person is physically 
qualified to drive a CMV if that person first perceives a forced 
whispered voice in the better ear at not less than 5 feet with or 
without the use of a hearing aid or, if tested by use of an audiometric 
device, does not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater 
than 40 decibels at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with or without a 
hearing aid when the audiometric device is calibrated to American 
National Standard (formerly ASA Standard) Z24.5--1951.
    This standard was adopted in 1970 and was revised in 1971 to allow 
drivers to be qualified under this standard while wearing a hearing 
aid, 35 FR 6458, 6463 (April 22, 1970) and 36 FR 12857 (July 3, 1971).

III. Discussion of Comments

    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 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

[[Page 58441]]

duration of a driver's medical certification.
    The Agency's decision regarding these exemption applications is 
based on current medical information and literature, and the 2008 
Evidence Report, ``Executive Summary on Hearing, Vestibular Function 
and Commercial Motor Driving Safety.'' The evidence report reached two 
conclusions regarding the matter of hearing loss and CMV driver safety: 
(1) No studies that examined the relationship between hearing loss and 
crash risk exclusively among CMV drivers were identified; and (2) 
evidence from studies of the private driver's license holder population 
does not support the contention that individuals with hearing 
impairment are at an increased risk for a crash. In addition, the 
Agency reviewed each applicant's driving record found in the Commercial 
Driver's License Information System, for commercial driver's license 
(CDL) holders, and 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. Each 
applicant's record demonstrated a safe driving history. Based on an 
individual assessment of each applicant that focused on whether an 
equal or greater level of safety is likely to be achieved by permitting 
each of these drivers to drive in interstate commerce as opposed to 
restricting him or her to driving in intrastate commerce, the Agency 
believes the drivers granted this exemption have demonstrated that they 
do not pose a risk to public safety.
    Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these 
applicants from the hearing standard in Sec.  391.41(b)(11) 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 report any crashes or accidents as defined in Sec.  
390.5; (2) each driver must report all citations and convictions for 
disqualifying offenses under 49 CFR 383 and 49 CFR 391 to FMCSA; and 
(3) each driver is prohibited from operating a motorcoach or bus with 
passengers in interstate commerce. The driver must also have a copy of 
the exemption when driving, for presentation to a duly authorized 
Federal, State, or local enforcement official. In addition, the 
exemption does not exempt the individual from meeting the applicable 
CDL testing requirements.

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 29 exemption applications, FMCSA 
exempts the following drivers from the hearing standard, Sec.  
391.41(b)(11), subject to the requirements cited above.

Erin Barnes (OK)
Alicia Batiste (TX)
Jeremy Benoit (LA)
Kurt Bernabei (IL)
Jessica L. Driver (TX)
Donald P. Dunten (IN)
Steven Edwards (KS)
Debbie Gaskill (GA)
Steven J. Gandee (PA)
Daniel S. Geathers (VA)
Gregory A. Hale (AZ)
Richard Harrison (MO)
Charles Hine (MD)
Robert B. Mahan (OK)
Michael Penn (IN)
Ernest Pratt (PA)
James R. Quinn (TN)
Matthew Ramirez (SC)
Steven Robelia (WI)
Timothy Roberts (TN)
Willis O. Ryan (GA)
Kerry Stewart (IN)
Mark J. Tabangcora (CA)
Yenter Tu (TX)
Alan Vandermeulen (IA)
Yvon Victor (NJ)
Bret E. Wanner (PA)
Rodney Warfield (MD)
David Whisman (GA)

    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: October 24, 2019.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2019-23754 Filed 10-30-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P