Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 69382-69384 [2020-24186]

Download as PDF 69382 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Notices 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 September 2, 2020, Federal Register notice (85 FR 54621) 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 five 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, chorioretinal scarring, glaucoma, and macular scarring. 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 two individuals that developed their vision conditions as adults have had them for a range of 5 to 14 years. Although each VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:55 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 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 3 to 20 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. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 five exemption applications, FMCSA exempts the following drivers from the vision requirement, § 391.41(b)(10), subject to the requirements cited above: Tanner L. Batey (MT) Martin G. Burley, Jr. (ID) Fernando Casillas Lucio (CA) Franz E. Fehr (TX) Jonathan D. Steen (MN) 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. 2020–24187 Filed 10–30–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2020–0012] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\02NON1.SGM 02NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Notices Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments. ACTION: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from five 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, 2020. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA–2020–0012 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=FMCSA-2020-0012. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Dockets 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 Dockets Operations, (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES I. Public Participation A. Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (Docket No. FMCSA–2020–0012), 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:55 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 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 https://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=FMCSA-2020-0012. 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 https://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=FMCSA-2020-0012 and choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Dockets 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 Dockets Operations. 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.transportation.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 PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 69383 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 five 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 3 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 E:\FR\FM\02NON1.SGM 02NON1 69384 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Notices 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 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. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES III. Qualifications of Applicants Wesley D. Enkers Mr. Enkers, 58, has had amblyopia in his left eye since childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/80. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my medical opinion, he has 1A 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:55 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Enkers reported that he has driven straight trucks for 36 years, accumulating 162,000 miles. He holds an operator’s license from Minnesota. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Michael J. Jewell Mr. Jewell, 35, has had amblyopia in his left eye since childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20 and in his left eye, 20/350. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ‘‘It is my medical opinion that Michael has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks necessary to operate a commercial vehicle while he is wearing glasses or contact lenses.’’ Mr. Jewell reported that he has driven straight trucks for 8 years, accumulating 50,000 miles. He holds an operator’s license from Colorado. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Anthony G. Offutt Mr. Offutt, 63, has had optic neuropathy in his left eye since 2012. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/ 20, and in his left eye, 20/400. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ‘‘Although Mr. Offutt’s visual acuity is reduced due to NAION, I believe Mr. Offutt has the ability to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Offutt reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 25 years, accumulating 1.1 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Oregon. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Joseph Sottile Mr. Sottile, 57, has chorioretinal scarring in his right eye due to trauma in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is hand motion, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2020, his ophthalmologist stated, ‘‘It is my opinion patient has good vision and is capable of operating a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Sottile reported that he has driven straight trucks for 30 years, accumulating 405,600 miles. He holds an operator’s license from Illinois. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Michael Westervelt Mr. Westervelt, 70, has a prosthetic right eye due to a traumatic incident in 2009. The visual acuity in his right eye is no light perception, and in his left PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 eye, 20/15. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ‘‘It is my medical option that Mike Westervelt has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Westervelt reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 50 years, accumulating 6,300,000 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. 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. 2020–24186 Filed 10–30–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2012–0123; FMCSA– 2015–0326; FMCSA–2015–0328; FMCSA– 2015–0329; FMCSA–2017–0057; FMCSA– 2017–0059; FMCSA–2017–0060; FMCSA– 2017–0061] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew exemptions for 18 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 August 22, 2020. The exemptions expire on August 22, 2022. 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, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\02NON1.SGM 02NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 212 (Monday, November 2, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 69382-69384]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-24186]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2020-0012]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

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

[[Page 69383]]


ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from five 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, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2020-0012 using any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2020-0012. Follow the online 
instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Dockets 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 Dockets 
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-2020-0012), 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 https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2020-0012. 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 https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2020-0012 and choose the document to review. If you do 
not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by 
visiting the Dockets 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 Dockets Operations.

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.transportation.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 five 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 3 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

[[Page 69384]]

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 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

Wesley D. Enkers

    Mr. Enkers, 58, 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/
80. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ``In my 
medical opinion, he has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks 
operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Enkers reported that he has driven 
straight trucks for 36 years, accumulating 162,000 miles. He holds an 
operator's license from Minnesota. His driving record for the last 3 
years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
CMV.

Michael J. Jewell

    Mr. Jewell, 35, 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/
350. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ``It is 
my medical opinion that Michael has sufficient vision to perform the 
driving tasks necessary to operate a commercial vehicle while he is 
wearing glasses or contact lenses.'' Mr. Jewell reported that he has 
driven straight trucks for 8 years, accumulating 50,000 miles. He holds 
an operator's license from Colorado. His driving record for the last 3 
years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
CMV.

Anthony G. Offutt

    Mr. Offutt, 63, has had optic neuropathy in his left eye since 
2012. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 
20/400. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, 
``Although Mr. Offutt's visual acuity is reduced due to NAION, I 
believe Mr. Offutt has the ability to operate a commercial vehicle.'' 
Mr. Offutt reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 
25 years, accumulating 1.1 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from 
Oregon. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no 
convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Joseph Sottile

    Mr. Sottile, 57, has chorioretinal scarring in his right eye due to 
trauma in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is hand motion, 
and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2020, his 
ophthalmologist stated, ``It is my opinion patient has good vision and 
is capable of operating a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Sottile reported 
that he has driven straight trucks for 30 years, accumulating 405,600 
miles. He holds an operator's license from Illinois. His driving record 
for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving 
violations in a CMV.

Michael Westervelt

    Mr. Westervelt, 70, has a prosthetic right eye due to a traumatic 
incident in 2009. The visual acuity in his right eye is no light 
perception, and in his left eye, 20/15. Following an examination in 
2020, his optometrist stated, ``It is my medical option that Mike 
Westervelt has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required 
to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Westervelt reported that he has 
driven tractor-trailer combinations for 50 years, accumulating 
6,300,000 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.

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. 2020-24186 Filed 10-30-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P