Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 72114-72117 [2019-28161]

Download as PDF khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 72114 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 249 / Monday, December 30, 2019 / Notices data. For non-CDL holders, the Agency reviews the driving records from the State Driver’s Licensing Agency. These factors provide an adequate basis for predicting each driver’s ability to continue to safely operate a CMV in interstate commerce. Therefore, FMCSA concludes that extending the exemption for each renewal applicant for a period of 2 years is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the exemption. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), the following groups of drivers received renewed exemptions in the month of December and are discussed below. As of December 16, 2019, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), the following five individuals have satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers: William Brown (NC) Robert J. Forney (WI) Curtis Alan Hartman (MD) Wendell F. Headley (MO) Marion Legg (MD) The drivers were included in docket numbers FMCSA–2015–0115, FMCSA– 2015–0116, and FMCSA–2015–0119. Their exemptions are applicable as of December 16, 2019, and will expire on December 16, 2021. As of December 23, 2019, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), the following five individuals have satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers: Gary Freeman (WI) Aaron Gillette (SD) David Kestner (VA) Chad Smith (MA) Trever Williams (MN) The drivers were included in docket number FMCSA–2006–25854, FMCSA– 2013–0108, and FMCSA–2014–0382. Their exemptions are applicable as of December 23, 2019, and will expire on December 23, 2021. As of December 28, 2019, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), the following individual has satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers: David Pamperin (WI). This driver was included in docket number FMCSA–2017–0252. His exemption is applicable as of December 28, 2019, and will expire on December 28, 2021. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:00 Dec 27, 2019 Jkt 250001 V. Conditions and Requirements The exemptions are extended subject to the following conditions: (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. The exemption will be rescinded if: (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 before it was granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b). VI. Preemption During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with this exemption with respect to a person operating under the exemption. VII. Conclusion Based on its evaluation of the 11 exemption applications, FMCSA renews the exemptions of the aforementioned 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), each exemption will be valid for 2 years unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. Issued on: December 20, 2019. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2019–28159 Filed 12–27–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0019] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00225 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments. ACTION: 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 January 29, 2020. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0019 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0019. 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: I. Public Participation A. Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0019), 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\30DEN1.SGM 30DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 249 / Monday, December 30, 2019 / Notices 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-2019-0019. Click on the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ button and type your comment into the text box on the following screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual or on behalf of a third party and then submit. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81⁄2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. B. Viewing Documents and Comments To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this notice as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0019 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. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:00 Dec 27, 2019 Jkt 250001 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 11 individuals listed in this notice have requested an exemption from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate the qualifications of each applicant to determine whether granting an exemption will achieve the required level of safety mandated by statute. The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding vision found in § 391.41(b)(10) states that a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person has distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in each eye without corrective lenses or visual acuity separately corrected to 20/40 (Snellen) or better with corrective lenses, distant binocular acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in both eyes with or without corrective lenses, field of vision of at least 70° in the horizontal Meridian in each eye, and the ability to recognize the colors of traffic signals and devices showing standard red, green, and amber. On July 16, 1992, the Agency first published the criteria for the Vision Waiver Program, which listed the conditions and reporting standards that CMV drivers approved for participation would need to meet (57 FR 31458). The current Vision Exemption Program was established in 1998, following the enactment of amendments to the statutes governing exemptions made by § 4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA–21), Public Law 105–178, 112 Stat. 107, 401 (June 9, 1998). Vision exemptions are considered under the procedures established in 49 CFR part 381 subpart C, on a case-by-case basis upon application by CMV drivers who do not meet the vision standards of § 391.41(b)(10). To qualify for an exemption from the vision requirement, FMCSA requires a person to present verifiable evidence that he/she has driven a commercial vehicle safely in intrastate commerce 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. PO 00000 Frm 00226 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 72115 FMCSA believes it can properly apply the principle to monocular drivers, because data from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) former waiver study program clearly demonstrated the driving performance of experienced monocular drivers in the program is better than that of all CMV drivers collectively.1 The fact that experienced monocular drivers demonstrated safe driving records in the waiver program supports a conclusion that other monocular drivers, meeting the same qualifying conditions as those required by the waiver program, are also likely to have adapted to their vision deficiency and will continue to operate safely. The first major research correlating past and future performance was done in England by Greenwood and Yule in 1920. Subsequent studies, building on that model, concluded that crash rates for the same individual exposed to certain risks for two different time periods vary only slightly (See Bates and Neyman, University of California Publications in Statistics, April 1952). Other studies demonstrated theories of predicting crash proneness from crash history coupled with other factors. These factors—such as age, sex, geographic location, mileage driven and conviction history—are used every day by insurance companies and motor vehicle bureaus to predict the probability of an individual experiencing future crashes (See Weber, Donald C., ‘‘Accident Rate Potential: An Application of Multiple Regression Analysis of a Poisson Process,’’ Journal of American Statistical Association, June 1971). A 1964 California Driver Record Study prepared by the California Department of Motor Vehicles concluded that the best overall crash predictor for both concurrent and nonconcurrent events is the number of single convictions. This study used three consecutive years of data, comparing the experiences of drivers in the first two years with their experiences in the final year. III. Qualifications of Applicants Brian K. Boyd Mr. Boyd, 56, has had amblyopia in his left eye since childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/150. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my medical opinion Mr. Boyd’s condition is stable, nondeteriorating and has sufficient vision to 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\30DEN1.SGM 30DEN1 72116 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 249 / Monday, December 30, 2019 / Notices perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Boyd reported that he has driven straight trucks for two years, accumulating 21,000 miles, and tractortrailer combinations for 20 years, accumulating 1.98 million miles. He holds a Class AM CDL from Texas. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Gary E. Collins Mr. Collins, 59, has had amblyopia in his left eye since childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/200. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my medical opinion, Mr. Collins has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Collins reported that he has driven tractortrailer combinations for 37 years, accumulating 2.4 million miles. He holds a Class AM CDL from Georgia. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Anthony A. DeCarlo Mr. DeCarlo, 58, has had a retinal vein occlusion in his right eye since 2015. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/ 400, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his ophthalmologist stated, ‘‘In my medical opinion, the patient has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. DeCarlo reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 30 years, accumulating 1.9 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from North Carolina. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Darrel G. Jenkins Mr. Jenkins, 61, has a prosthetic in his right eye due to a tumor in 2015. The visual acuity in his right eye is no light perception, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his ophthalmologist stated, ‘‘In my professional medical opinion, the patient is visually able to safely operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Jenkins reported that he has driven tractortrailer combinations for 41 years, accumulating 3 million miles. He holds a Class DA CDL from Kentucky. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:00 Dec 27, 2019 Jkt 250001 Travis London Mr. London, 43, has had optic neuropathy in his right eye since 2006. 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, ‘‘In my opinion, I feel there is no ocular contraindication to driving a commercial or recreational vehicle.’’ Mr. London reported that he has driven straight trucks for six years, accumulating 30,000 miles, and tractortrailer combinations for 15 years, accumulating 1.13 million miles. He holds a Class A3 CDL from North Carolina. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Vincent M. Najera Mr. Najera, 62, has had amblyopia in his right eye since birth. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/70, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘Mr. Najera has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Najera reported that he has driven straight trucks for 25 years, accumulating 375,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 25 years, accumulating 1.8 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from California. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Jameson A. Otto Mr. Otto, 44, has had optic nerve hypoplasia in his left eye since birth. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/ 20, and in his left eye, no light perception. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘I certify that he has sufficient vision to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Otto reported that he has driven straight trucks for one year, accumulating 18,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for seven years, accumulating 672,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from California. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Gerardo A. Padron Mr. Padron, 39, has a corneal scar in his left eye due to an infection in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/50. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my opinion, Mr. Padron Portilla [sic] has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial PO 00000 Frm 00227 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 vehicle.’’ Mr. Padron reported that he has driven straight trucks for 13 years, accumulating 52,000 miles. He holds an operator’s license from Florida. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Charles J. Rowsey Mr. Rowsey, 56, has a prosthetic in his right eye due to a traumatic incident in 1985. The visual acuity in his right eye is no light perception, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my opinion, Mr. Rowsey has sufficient vision to perform the task required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Rowsey reported that he has driven straight trucks for 32 years, accumulating 2.2 million miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 32 years, accumulating 1 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from North Carolina. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Kenneth C. Stump Mr. Stump, 50, has a macular scar in his left eye since 2016. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/100. Following an examination in 2019, his ophthalmologist stated, ‘‘In my opinion the patient has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle as long as he is wearing his glasses at the time.’’ Mr. Stump reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for six years, accumulating 1 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Florida. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Jose M. Vasquez Mr. Vasquez, 50, has macular scarring in his left eye due to an infection 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, ‘‘Based on the Snellen Visual Acuity Scale, and my professional opinion, the patient has sufficient vision to perform tasks of operating a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Vasquez reported that he has driven straight trucks for 18 years, accumulating 129,000 miles. He holds a Class B CDL from New York. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. E:\FR\FM\30DEN1.SGM 30DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 249 / Monday, December 30, 2019 / Notices IV. Request for Comments In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), FMCSA requests public comment from all interested persons on the exemption petitions described in this notice. We will consider all comments and material received before the close of business on the closing date indicated under the DATES section of the notice. Issued on: December 20, 2019. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2019–28161 Filed 12–27–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2014–0385; FMCSA– 2014–0387; FMCSA–2017–0058] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing FMCSA announces its decision to renew exemptions for 34 individuals from the hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The exemptions enable these hard of hearing and deaf individuals to continue to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. DATES: The exemptions were applicable on December 26, 2019. The exemptions expire on December 26, 2021. Comments must be received on or before January 29, 2020. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA–2014–0385, FMCSA–2014– 0387, or FMCSA–2017–0058 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=FMCSA-2014-0385 or http:// www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA2014-0387 or http:// www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA2017-0058. 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 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:00 Dec 27, 2019 Jkt 250001 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 Operations, (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. I. Public Participation 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. A. Submitting Comments Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemptions; request for comments. AGENCY: 72117 If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (Docket No. FMCSA–2014–0385; FMCSA–2014–0387; FMCSA–2017– 0058), 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-2014-0385 or http:// www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA2014-0387 or http:// www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA2017-0058. 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. PO 00000 Frm 00228 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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-2014-0385 or http:// www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA2014-0387 or http:// www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA2017-0058 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. C. Privacy Act 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 physical qualification standard for drivers regarding hearing found in 49 CFR 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. E:\FR\FM\30DEN1.SGM 30DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 249 (Monday, December 30, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 72114-72117]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-28161]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2019-0019]


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 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 January 29, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2019-0019 using any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0019. 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, [email protected], FMCSA, 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W64-224, 
Washington, DC 20590-0001. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., ET, 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have questions 
regarding viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket 
Operations, (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Public Participation

A. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
notice (Docket No. FMCSA-2019-0019), 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

[[Page 72115]]

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-2019-0019. 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-2019-0019 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.

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 11 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.
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    \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.
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    The first major research correlating past and future performance 
was done in England by Greenwood and Yule in 1920. Subsequent studies, 
building on that model, concluded that crash rates for the same 
individual exposed to certain risks for two different time periods vary 
only slightly (See Bates and Neyman, University of California 
Publications in Statistics, April 1952). Other studies demonstrated 
theories of predicting crash proneness from crash history coupled with 
other factors. These factors--such as age, sex, geographic location, 
mileage driven and conviction history--are used every day by insurance 
companies and motor vehicle bureaus to predict the probability of an 
individual experiencing future crashes (See Weber, Donald C., 
``Accident Rate Potential: An Application of Multiple Regression 
Analysis of a Poisson Process,'' Journal of American Statistical 
Association, June 1971). A 1964 California Driver Record Study prepared 
by the California Department of Motor Vehicles concluded that the best 
overall crash predictor for both concurrent and nonconcurrent events is 
the number of single convictions. This study used three consecutive 
years of data, comparing the experiences of drivers in the first two 
years with their experiences in the final year.

III. Qualifications of Applicants

Brian K. Boyd

    Mr. Boyd, 56, 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/
150. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ``In my 
medical opinion Mr. Boyd's condition is stable, non-deteriorating and 
has sufficient vision to

[[Page 72116]]

perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' 
Mr. Boyd reported that he has driven straight trucks for two years, 
accumulating 21,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 20 
years, accumulating 1.98 million miles. He holds a Class AM CDL from 
Texas. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and 
no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Gary E. Collins

    Mr. Collins, 59, has had amblyopia in his left eye since childhood. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/
200. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ``In my 
medical opinion, Mr. Collins has sufficient vision to perform the 
driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Collins 
reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 37 years, 
accumulating 2.4 million miles. He holds a Class AM CDL from Georgia. 
His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes and no 
convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Anthony A. DeCarlo

    Mr. DeCarlo, 58, has had a retinal vein occlusion in his right eye 
since 2015. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/400, and in his 
left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his ophthalmologist 
stated, ``In my medical opinion, the patient has sufficient vision to 
perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' 
Mr. DeCarlo reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations 
for 30 years, accumulating 1.9 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL 
from North Carolina. His driving record for the last three years shows 
no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Darrel G. Jenkins

    Mr. Jenkins, 61, has a prosthetic in his right eye due to a tumor 
in 2015. The visual acuity in his right eye is no light perception, and 
in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his 
ophthalmologist stated, ``In my professional medical opinion, the 
patient is visually able to safely operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. 
Jenkins reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 41 
years, accumulating 3 million miles. He holds a Class DA CDL from 
Kentucky. His driving record for the last three years shows no crashes 
and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Travis London

    Mr. London, 43, has had optic neuropathy in his right eye since 
2006. 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, 
``In my opinion, I feel there is no ocular contraindication to driving 
a commercial or recreational vehicle.'' Mr. London reported that he has 
driven straight trucks for six years, accumulating 30,000 miles, and 
tractor-trailer combinations for 15 years, accumulating 1.13 million 
miles. He holds a Class A3 CDL from North Carolina. His driving record 
for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving 
violations in a CMV.

Vincent M. Najera

    Mr. Najera, 62, has had amblyopia in his right eye since birth. The 
visual acuity in his right eye is 20/70, and in his left eye, 20/20. 
Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ``Mr. Najera 
has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required operate a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Najera reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 25 years, accumulating 375,000 miles, and tractor-trailer 
combinations for 25 years, accumulating 1.8 million miles. He holds a 
Class A CDL from California. His driving record for the last three 
years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
CMV.

Jameson A. Otto

    Mr. Otto, 44, has had optic nerve hypoplasia in his left eye since 
birth. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left 
eye, no light perception. Following an examination in 2019, his 
optometrist stated, ``I certify that he has sufficient vision to 
operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Otto reported that he has driven 
straight trucks for one year, accumulating 18,000 miles, and tractor-
trailer combinations for seven years, accumulating 672,000 miles. He 
holds a Class A CDL from California. His driving record for the last 
three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations 
in a CMV.

Gerardo A. Padron

    Mr. Padron, 39, has a corneal scar in his left eye due to an 
infection in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, 
and in his left eye, 20/50. Following an examination in 2019, his 
optometrist stated, ``In my opinion, Mr. Padron Portilla [sic] has 
sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Padron reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 13 years, accumulating 52,000 miles. He holds an operator's 
license from Florida. His driving record for the last three years shows 
no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Charles J. Rowsey

    Mr. Rowsey, 56, has a prosthetic in his right eye due to a 
traumatic incident in 1985. The visual acuity in his right eye is no 
light perception, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination 
in 2019, his optometrist stated, ``In my opinion, Mr. Rowsey has 
sufficient vision to perform the task required to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Rowsey reported that he has driven straight trucks for 
32 years, accumulating 2.2 million miles, and tractor-trailer 
combinations for 32 years, accumulating 1 million miles. He holds a 
Class A CDL from North Carolina. His driving record for the last three 
years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
CMV.

Kenneth C. Stump

    Mr. Stump, 50, has a macular scar in his left eye since 2016. The 
visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/100. 
Following an examination in 2019, his ophthalmologist stated, ``In my 
opinion the patient has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks 
required to operate a commercial vehicle as long as he is wearing his 
glasses at the time.'' Mr. Stump reported that he has driven tractor-
trailer combinations for six years, accumulating 1 million miles. He 
holds a Class A CDL from Florida. His driving record for the last three 
years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
CMV.

Jose M. Vasquez

    Mr. Vasquez, 50, has macular scarring in his left eye due to an 
infection 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, ``Based on the Snellen Visual Acuity 
Scale, and my professional opinion, the patient has sufficient vision 
to perform tasks of operating a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Vasquez 
reported that he has driven straight trucks for 18 years, accumulating 
129,000 miles. He holds a Class B CDL from New York. His driving record 
for the last three years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving 
violations in a CMV.

[[Page 72117]]

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: December 20, 2019.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2019-28161 Filed 12-27-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P