Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 54623-54624 [2020-19360]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 171 / Wednesday, September 2, 2020 / Notices 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 3 consecutive years of data, comparing the experiences of drivers in the first 2 years with their experiences in the final year. III. Qualifications of Applicants Tanner L. Batey Mr. Batey, 21, has had glaucoma in his right eye since birth. The visual acuity in his right eye is counting fingers, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2019, his ophthalmologist stated, ‘‘I certify that this patient has sufficient vision to perform all required driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Batey reported that he has driven straight trucks for 6 years, accumulating 60,000 miles and tractortrailer combinations for 5 years, accumulating 185,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Montana. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Martin G. Burley, Jr. Mr. Burley, 57, has had chorioretinal scarring in his right eye due to myopia for five years. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/70, and in his left eye, 20/25. Following an examination in 2019, his optometrist stated, ‘‘He has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Burley reported that he has driven straight trucks for 11 years, accumulating 221,000 miles and tractortrailer combinations for 1 year, accumulating 210,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Idaho. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Mr. Casillas Lucio, 36, 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 2020, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my professional opinion, vision wise, patient is stable and able to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Lucio reported that he has driven straight trucks for 3 years, accumulating 56,016 miles. He holds a Class B CDL from California. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no 17:33 Sep 01, 2020 Franz E. Fehr Mr. Fehr, 29, has had amblyopia in his right eye since 2006. 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, ‘‘Based on my findings Franz Fehr has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Fehr reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 4 years, accumulating 580,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Texas. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Jonathan D. Steen Mr. Steen, 39, has macular scarring in his right eye due to an infection in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/125, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my medical opinion, Mr. Jonathan Steen has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Steen reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 20 years, accumulating 3 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Minnesota. His driving record for the last 3 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. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2020–19359 Filed 9–1–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P Fernando Casillas Lucio VerDate Sep<11>2014 crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Jkt 250001 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2020–0009] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 54623 FMCSA announces its decision to exempt six individuals from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. They are unable to meet the vision requirement in one eye for various reasons. The exemptions enable these individuals to operate CMVs in interstate commerce without meeting the vision requirement in one eye. DATES: The exemptions were applicable on August 14, 2020. The exemptions expire on August 14, 2020. 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-2020-0009 and choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting 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. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 366–9317 or (202) 366–9826 before visiting Docket Operations. 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.transportation.gov/privacy. II. Background On July 14, 2020, FMCSA published a notice announcing receipt of applications from six individuals requesting an exemption from vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10) E:\FR\FM\02SEN1.SGM 02SEN1 54624 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 171 / Wednesday, September 2, 2020 / Notices and requested comments from the public (85 FR 42484). The public comment period ended on August 13, 2020, and no comments were received. FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of these applicants and determined that granting the 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)(10). 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 a 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 red, green, and amber. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 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 duration of a driver’s medical certification. The Agency’s decision regarding these exemption applications is based on medical reports about the applicants’ vision, as well as their driving records and experience driving with the vision deficiency. The qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each applicant were stated and discussed in detail in the July 14, 2020, Federal Register notice (85 FR 42484) and will not be repeated here. FMCSA recognizes that some drivers do not meet the vision requirement but have adapted their driving to accommodate their limitation and demonstrated their ability to drive safely. The six exemption applicants listed in this notice are in this category. They are unable to meet the vision requirement in one eye for various reasons, including amblyopia, complete VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:33 Sep 01, 2020 Jkt 250001 loss of vision, corneal scar, macular scar, and prosthesis. In most cases, their eye conditions did not develop recently. Three of the applicants were either born with their vision impairments or have had them since childhood. The three individuals that developed their vision conditions as adults have had them for a range of 9 to 20 years. Although each applicant has one eye that does not meet the vision requirement in § 391.41(b)(10), each has at least 20/40 corrected vision in the other eye, and, in a doctor’s opinion, has sufficient vision to perform all the tasks necessary to operate a CMV. Doctors’ opinions are supported by the applicants’ possession of a valid license to operate a CMV. By meeting State licensing requirements, the applicants demonstrated their ability to operate a CMV with their limited vision in intrastate commerce, even though their vision disqualified them from driving in interstate commerce. We believe that the applicants’ intrastate driving experience and history provide an adequate basis for predicting their ability to drive safely in interstate commerce. Intrastate driving, like interstate operations, involves substantial driving on highways on the interstate system and on other roads built to interstate standards. Moreover, driving in congested urban areas exposes the driver to more pedestrian and vehicular traffic than exists on interstate highways. Faster reaction to traffic and traffic signals is generally required because distances between them are more compact. These conditions tax visual capacity and driver response just as intensely as interstate driving conditions. The applicants in this notice have driven CMVs with their limited vision in careers ranging for 7 to 54 years. In the past 3 years, no drivers were involved in crashes, and no drivers were convicted of moving violations in CMVs. All the applicants achieved a record of safety while driving with their vision impairment that demonstrates the likelihood that they have adapted their driving skills to accommodate their condition. As the applicants’ ample driving histories with their vision deficiencies are good predictors of future performance, FMCSA concludes their ability to drive safely can be projected into the future. Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these applicants from the vision requirement in § 391.41(b)(10) is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the exemption. PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 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 be physically examined every year (a) by an ophthalmologist or optometrist who attests that the vision in the better eye continues to meet the standard in § 391.41(b)(10) and (b) by a certified medical examiner (ME) who attests that the individual is otherwise physically qualified under § 391.41; (2) each driver must provide a copy of the ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s report to the ME at the time of the annual medical examination; and (3) 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 in his/ her driver’s qualification file if he/she is self-employed. The driver must also have a copy of the exemption when driving, for presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement official. VI. Preemption During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with this exemption with respect to a person operating under the exemption. VII. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the six exemption applications, FMCSA exempts the following drivers from the vision requirement, § 391.41(b)(10), subject to the requirements cited above: Heath G. Brown (NC) Frederick V. Hanks (AL) David T. Lembke (WI) David W. McVicar (IL) Anthony M. Millard (NE) Paul B. Overman (WA) In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 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). Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2020–19360 Filed 9–1–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P E:\FR\FM\02SEN1.SGM 02SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 171 (Wednesday, September 2, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 54623-54624]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-19360]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2020-0009]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt six individuals from 
the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 
(FMCSRs) to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate 
commerce. They are unable to meet the vision requirement in one eye for 
various reasons. The exemptions enable these individuals to operate 
CMVs in interstate commerce without meeting the vision requirement in 
one eye.

DATES: The exemptions were applicable on August 14, 2020. The 
exemptions expire on August 14, 2020.

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-2020-0009 and choose the document to review. If you do 
not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by 
visiting 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. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 
366-9317 or (202) 366-9826 before visiting Docket Operations.

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.transportation.gov/privacy.

II. Background

    On July 14, 2020, FMCSA published a notice announcing receipt of 
applications from six individuals requesting an exemption from vision 
requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10)

[[Page 54624]]

and requested comments from the public (85 FR 42484). The public 
comment period ended on August 13, 2020, and no comments were received.
    FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of these applicants and 
determined that granting the 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)(10).
    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 a 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 red, 
green, and amber.

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 duration of a 
driver's medical certification.
    The Agency's decision regarding these exemption applications is 
based on medical reports about the applicants' vision, as well as their 
driving records and experience driving with the vision deficiency. The 
qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each applicant 
were stated and discussed in detail in the July 14, 2020, Federal 
Register notice (85 FR 42484) and will not be repeated here.
    FMCSA recognizes that some drivers do not meet the vision 
requirement but have adapted their driving to accommodate their 
limitation and demonstrated their ability to drive safely. The six 
exemption applicants listed in this notice are in this category. They 
are unable to meet the vision requirement in one eye for various 
reasons, including amblyopia, complete loss of vision, corneal scar, 
macular scar, and prosthesis. In most cases, their eye conditions did 
not develop recently. Three of the applicants were either born with 
their vision impairments or have had them since childhood. The three 
individuals that developed their vision conditions as adults have had 
them for a range of 9 to 20 years. Although each applicant has one eye 
that does not meet the vision requirement in Sec.  391.41(b)(10), each 
has at least 20/40 corrected vision in the other eye, and, in a 
doctor's opinion, has sufficient vision to perform all the tasks 
necessary to operate a CMV.
    Doctors' opinions are supported by the applicants' possession of a 
valid license to operate a CMV. By meeting State licensing 
requirements, the applicants demonstrated their ability to operate a 
CMV with their limited vision in intrastate commerce, even though their 
vision disqualified them from driving in interstate commerce. We 
believe that the applicants' intrastate driving experience and history 
provide an adequate basis for predicting their ability to drive safely 
in interstate commerce. Intrastate driving, like interstate operations, 
involves substantial driving on highways on the interstate system and 
on other roads built to interstate standards. Moreover, driving in 
congested urban areas exposes the driver to more pedestrian and 
vehicular traffic than exists on interstate highways. Faster reaction 
to traffic and traffic signals is generally required because distances 
between them are more compact. These conditions tax visual capacity and 
driver response just as intensely as interstate driving conditions.
    The applicants in this notice have driven CMVs with their limited 
vision in careers ranging for 7 to 54 years. In the past 3 years, no 
drivers were involved in crashes, and no drivers were convicted of 
moving violations in CMVs. All the applicants achieved a record of 
safety while driving with their vision impairment that demonstrates the 
likelihood that they have adapted their driving skills to accommodate 
their condition. As the applicants' ample driving histories with their 
vision deficiencies are good predictors of future performance, FMCSA 
concludes their ability to drive safely can be projected into the 
future.
    Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these 
applicants from the vision requirement in Sec.  391.41(b)(10) 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 be physically examined every year (a) by an 
ophthalmologist or optometrist who attests that the vision in the 
better eye continues to meet the standard in Sec.  391.41(b)(10) and 
(b) by a certified medical examiner (ME) who attests that the 
individual is otherwise physically qualified under Sec.  391.41; (2) 
each driver must provide a copy of the ophthalmologist's or 
optometrist's report to the ME at the time of the annual medical 
examination; and (3) 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 in his/her driver's qualification 
file if he/she is self-employed. The driver must also have a copy of 
the exemption when driving, for presentation to a duly authorized 
Federal, State, or local enforcement official.

VI. Preemption

    During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall 
enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with this exemption with 
respect to a person operating under the exemption.

VII. Conclusion

    Based upon its evaluation of the six exemption applications, FMCSA 
exempts the following drivers from the vision requirement, Sec.  
391.41(b)(10), subject to the requirements cited above:

Heath G. Brown (NC)
Frederick V. Hanks (AL)
David T. Lembke (WI)
David W. McVicar (IL)
Anthony M. Millard (NE)
Paul B. Overman (WA)

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 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).

Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2020-19360 Filed 9-1-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P