Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 14670-14672 [2021-05491]

Download as PDF 14670 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 50 / Wednesday, March 17, 2021 / Notices report all citations and convictions for disqualifying offenses under 49 CFR 383 and 49 CFR 391 to FMCSA; and (3) each driver prohibited from operating a motorcoach or bus with passengers in interstate commerce. The driver must also have a copy of the exemption when driving, for presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement official. In addition, the exemption does not exempt the individual from meeting the applicable CDL testing requirements. Each exemption will be valid for 2 years unless rescinded earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be rescinded if: (1) The person fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was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 upon its evaluation of the 27 exemption applications, FMCSA renews the exemptions of the aforementioned drivers from the hearing requirement in § 391.41(b)(11). In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), each exemption will be valid for two years unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2021–05489 Filed 3–16–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2021–0004] I. Public Participation Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision A. Submitting Comments Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from nine 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 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Mar 16, 2021 Jkt 253001 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 April 16, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA–2021–0004 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/, insert the docket number, FMCSA–2021–0004, in the keyword box, and click ‘‘Search.’’ Next, sort the results by ‘‘Posted (NewerOlder),’’ choose the first notice listed, and click on the ‘‘Comment’’ button. 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: If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (Docket No. FMCSA–2021–0004), 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 PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA2021-0004. Next, sort the results by ‘‘Posted (Newer-Older),’’ choose the first notice listed, click the ‘‘Comment’’ 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 Comments To view comments go to www.regulations.gov. Insert the docket number, FMCSA–2021–0004, in the keyword box, and click ‘‘Search.’’ Next, sort the results by ‘‘Posted (NewerOlder),’’ choose the first notice listed, and click ‘‘Browse Comments.’’ If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting Dockets Operations in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590–0001, 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 E:\FR\FM\17MRN1.SGM 17MRN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 50 / Wednesday, March 17, 2021 / Notices 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 nine 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 www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=FMCSA-1998-3637. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Mar 16, 2021 Jkt 253001 14671 FMCSA believes it can properly apply the principle to monocular drivers, because data from the Federal Highway Administration’s 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. driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Hemelgarn reported that he has driven buses for 28 years, accumulating 1.12 million 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. Qualifications of Applicants Mr. McClister, 46, has had aphakia in his left eye since birth. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, counting fingers. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my opinion, I believe Mr. McClister does have sufficient vision to perform the tasks to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. McClister reported that he has driven straight trucks for 3 years, accumulating 420,000 miles. He holds an operator’s license from Pennsylvania. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Jack A. Hemelgarn Mr. Hemelgarn, 68, has a retinal detachment in his left eye due to a traumatic incident in 2008. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/70. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my opinion, from a vision stand point, he can safely perform the 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. PO 00000 Frm 00101 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Joshua D. Kelley Mr. Kelley, 35, has had a cataract in his left eye since childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/400. Following an examination in 2020, his ophthalmologist stated, ‘‘It is my medical opinion that Joshua Kelley Sr. has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Kelley reported that he has driven buses for 7 years, accumulating 437,500 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Texas. His driving record for the last 3 years shows one crash, which he was not cited for, and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Richard T. Kessen Mr. Kessen, 63, has had optic nerve coloboma in his left eye since birth. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, hand motion. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ‘‘Overall, his vision appears stable at this time in both eyes and he has demonstrated that he has an adequate vision to perform the driving task required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Kessen reported that he has driven straight trucks for 40 years, accumulating 540,000 miles and tractortrailer combinations for 40 years, accumulating 4 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Illinois. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Charles W. McClister III E:\FR\FM\17MRN1.SGM 17MRN1 14672 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 50 / Wednesday, March 17, 2021 / Notices Craig Neblett Mr. Neblett, 58, has had amblyopia in his right eye since 1977. The visual acuity in his right eye is hand motion, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my medical opinion, Craig Neblett has stable and sufficient vision OS and his condition OD (longstanding since 1977, 43 years) should not adversely affect his ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely due to 43 years of experience with only left eye vision.’’ Mr. Neblett reported that he has driven straight trucks for 20 years, accumulating 80,000 miles. He holds a Class B CDL from Missouri. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. John G. Shaver Mr. Shaver, 53, has had amblyopia in his left eye since birth. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/40, and in his left eye, 20/80. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my medical opinion, John Shaver, has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.’’ Mr. Shaver reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 26 years, accumulating 3,380,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from North Carolina. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes but one conviction for speeding in a CMV; he exceeded the speed limit by 10 mph. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Robert L. Strange, Jr. Mr. Strange, 52, has a retinal detachment in his left eye due to a traumatic incident in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, hand motion. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ‘‘It is my professional opinion that with 20/20 vision in his right eye and with both eyes operating together as well as a normal visual field as documented by automated perimetry, it should be safe for Mr. Strange to continue to operate a commercial vehicle safely.’’ Mr. Strange reported that he has driven straight trucks for 15 years, accumulating 300,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from North Carolina. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Scott E. Wertman Mr. Wertman, 60, has had optic neuropathy in his right eye since 2001. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/ 100, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2020, his ophthalmologist stated, ‘‘Patient has VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Mar 16, 2021 Jkt 253001 demonstrated the ability to operate a commercial vehicle with the previous 2 decades, his examination is essentially unchaged [sic], and I do not see any alteration in his visual abilities at this time from his success in the past.’’ Mr. Wertman reported that he has driven straight trucks for 26 years, accumulating 32,500 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from North Carolina. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. Thomas L. Wiles Mr. Wiles, 40, has a retinal detachment in his left eye due to a traumatic incident in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/30, and in his left eye, 20/150. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ‘‘In my professional opinion, this patient has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial motor vehicle.’’ Mr. Wiles reported that he has driven straight trucks for 12 years, accumulating 819,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from New Jersey. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV. III. 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. 2021–05491 Filed 3–16–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2019–0117; Notice 2] Notice of Denial of Petition for Decision That Nonconforming Model Year 2017–2019 Mercedes-Benz Maybach S600 Pullman Passenger Cars Are Eligible for Importation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Denial of petition for determination of import eligibility. AGENCY: G&K Automotive Conversion, Inc. (G&K or Petitioner) has petitioned SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00102 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 NHTSA for a decision that model year 2017–2019 Mercedes-Benz Maybach S600 Pullman vehicles that were not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) are eligible for importation into the United States. In its petition, G&K claims that these vehicles are eligible for import because they are substantially similar to and of the same model year as vehicles originally manufactured for import into and certified for sale in the United States, and they are capable of being readily altered to conform to all applicable FMVSS. This document announces the denial of G&K’s petition. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Mazurowski, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202–366– 1012). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background A motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured to conform to all applicable FMVSS may be eligible for import into the United States if NHTSA determines that the motor vehicle is (1) substantially similar to a motor vehicle originally manufactured for importation into and certified for sale in the United States, (2) of the same model year as the model of the motor vehicle to which it is being compared, and (3) capable of being readily altered to conform to all applicable FMVSS. See 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A).1 If NHTSA determines that a nonconforming vehicle is import eligible, any such nonconforming vehicle imported into the United States must be modified into conformance and certified as conforming by a registered importer before it is sold or otherwise released from the custody of the registered importer. 49 U.S.C. 30146(a)(1); 49 CFR 592.6.2 Petitions for import eligibility decisions may be submitted by either manufacturers or registered importers and must comply with the requirements set forth in 49 CFR 593.6. A petition based on the existence of a substantially similar conforming vehicle manufactured for import and certified for sale in the United States must include, among other things, ‘‘[d]ata, views and arguments demonstrating that the vehicle [which is the subject of the petition] is substantially similar to the 1 This provision was codified at 15 U.S.C. 1397(c)(3)(A) prior to the 1994 recodification of the transportation laws. 2 A registered importer is an importer that has registered with NHTSA under 49 CFR part 592 and is therefore authorized to modify and then certify imported vehicles as compliant with all applicable FMVSS. E:\FR\FM\17MRN1.SGM 17MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 50 (Wednesday, March 17, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14670-14672]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-05491]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2021-0004]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

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

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

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from nine 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 April 16, 2021.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2021-0004 using any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/, 
insert the docket number, FMCSA-2021-0004, in the keyword box, and 
click ``Search.'' Next, sort the results by ``Posted (Newer-Older),'' 
choose the first notice listed, and click on the ``Comment'' button. 
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-2021-0004), 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 www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2021-0004. Next, sort the results by ``Posted (Newer-
Older),'' choose the first notice listed, click the ``Comment'' 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 Comments

    To view comments go to www.regulations.gov. Insert the docket 
number, FMCSA-2021-0004, in the keyword box, and click ``Search.'' 
Next, sort the results by ``Posted (Newer-Older),'' choose the first 
notice listed, and click ``Browse Comments.'' If you do not have access 
to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting Dockets 
Operations in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West 
Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001, 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

[[Page 14671]]

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 nine 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 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 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 three consecutive 
years of data, comparing the experiences of drivers in the first two 
years with their experiences in the final year.

Qualifications of Applicants

Jack A. Hemelgarn

    Mr. Hemelgarn, 68, has a retinal detachment in his left eye due to 
a traumatic incident in 2008. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/
20, and in his left eye, 20/70. Following an examination in 2020, his 
optometrist stated, ``In my opinion, from a vision stand point, he can 
safely perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Hemelgarn reported that he has driven buses for 28 
years, accumulating 1.12 million 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.

Joshua D. Kelley

    Mr. Kelley, 35, has had a cataract in his left eye since childhood. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/
400. Following an examination in 2020, his ophthalmologist stated, ``It 
is my medical opinion that Joshua Kelley Sr. has sufficient vision to 
perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' 
Mr. Kelley reported that he has driven buses for 7 years, accumulating 
437,500 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Texas. His driving record 
for the last 3 years shows one crash, which he was not cited for, and 
no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Richard T. Kessen

    Mr. Kessen, 63, has had optic nerve coloboma in his left eye since 
birth. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left 
eye, hand motion. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist 
stated, ``Overall, his vision appears stable at this time in both eyes 
and he has demonstrated that he has an adequate vision to perform the 
driving task required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Kessen 
reported that he has driven straight trucks for 40 years, accumulating 
540,000 miles and tractor-trailer combinations for 40 years, 
accumulating 4 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Illinois. His 
driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions 
for moving violations in a CMV.

Charles W. McClister III

    Mr. McClister, 46, has had aphakia in his left eye since birth. The 
visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, counting 
fingers. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ``In 
my opinion, I believe Mr. McClister does have sufficient vision to 
perform the tasks to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. McClister 
reported that he has driven straight trucks for 3 years, accumulating 
420,000 miles. He holds an operator's license from Pennsylvania. His 
driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions 
for moving violations in a CMV.

[[Page 14672]]

Craig Neblett

    Mr. Neblett, 58, has had amblyopia in his right eye since 1977. The 
visual acuity in his right eye is hand motion, and in his left eye, 20/
20. Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ``In my 
medical opinion, Craig Neblett has stable and sufficient vision OS and 
his condition OD (longstanding since 1977, 43 years) should not 
adversely affect his ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle 
safely due to 43 years of experience with only left eye vision.'' Mr. 
Neblett reported that he has driven straight trucks for 20 years, 
accumulating 80,000 miles. He holds a Class B CDL from Missouri. His 
driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions 
for moving violations in a CMV.

John G. Shaver

    Mr. Shaver, 53, has had amblyopia in his left eye since birth. The 
visual acuity in his right eye is 20/40, and in his left eye, 20/80. 
Following an examination in 2020, his optometrist stated, ``In my 
medical opinion, John Shaver, has sufficient vision to perform the 
driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Shaver 
reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 26 years, 
accumulating 3,380,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from North 
Carolina. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes but 
one conviction for speeding in a CMV; he exceeded the speed limit by 10 
mph.

Robert L. Strange, Jr.

    Mr. Strange, 52, has a retinal detachment in his left eye due to a 
traumatic incident in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 
20/20, and in his left eye, hand motion. Following an examination in 
2020, his optometrist stated, ``It is my professional opinion that with 
20/20 vision in his right eye and with both eyes operating together as 
well as a normal visual field as documented by automated perimetry, it 
should be safe for Mr. Strange to continue to operate a commercial 
vehicle safely.'' Mr. Strange reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 15 years, accumulating 300,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL 
from North Carolina. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no 
crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Scott E. Wertman

    Mr. Wertman, 60, has had optic neuropathy in his right eye since 
2001. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/100, and in his left 
eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2020, his ophthalmologist 
stated, ``Patient has demonstrated the ability to operate a commercial 
vehicle with the previous 2 decades, his examination is essentially 
unchaged [sic], and I do not see any alteration in his visual abilities 
at this time from his success in the past.'' Mr. Wertman reported that 
he has driven straight trucks for 26 years, accumulating 32,500 miles. 
He holds a Class A CDL from North Carolina. His driving record for the 
last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations 
in a CMV.

Thomas L. Wiles

    Mr. Wiles, 40, has a retinal detachment in his left eye due to a 
traumatic incident in childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 
20/30, and in his left eye, 20/150. Following an examination in 2020, 
his optometrist stated, ``In my professional opinion, this patient has 
sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a 
commercial motor vehicle.'' Mr. Wiles reported that he has driven 
straight trucks for 12 years, accumulating 819,000 miles. He holds a 
Class A CDL from New Jersey. His driving record for the last 3 years 
shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

III. 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. 2021-05491 Filed 3-16-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P