Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision, 17879-17880 [2021-07079]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 6, 2021 / Notices approximate center of the top of the windshield and such that the bottom edge of the technology housing is approximately 8 inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers, outside of the driver’s and passenger’s normal sight lines to the road ahead, highway signs and signals, and all mirrors. The exemption will be valid for 5 years unless rescinded earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be rescinded if: (1) Motor carriers and/or commercial motor vehicles fail to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a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). Interested parties possessing information that would demonstrate that motor carriers operating CMVs equipped with Bendix’s ADAS technology are not achieving the requisite statutory level of safety should immediately notify FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any such information and, if safety is being compromised or if continuation of the exemption is not consistent with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), will take immediate steps to revoke the exemption. Preemption In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(d), as implemented by 49 CFR 381.600, during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation applicable to interstate commerce that conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a firm or person operating under the exemption. States may, but are not required to, adopt the same exemption with respect to operations in intrastate commerce. Meera Catherine Joshi, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. 2021–06982 Filed 4–5–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2021–0003] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Apr 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 11 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 March 26, 2021. The exemptions expire on March 26, 2023. 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 Dockets Operations, (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Public Participation A. Viewing Comments To view comments go to www.regulations.gov. Insert the docket number, FMCSA–2021–0003, 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. 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 February 23, 2021, FMCSA published a notice announcing receipt of applications from 11 individuals requesting an exemption from vision PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17879 requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10) and requested comments from the public (86 FR 11046). The public comment period ended on March 25, 2021, and two 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. III. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received two comments in this proceeding. Jason Gaddy and an anonymous individual submitted comments in support of the Agency’s decision to grant the exemptions. 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 February 23, 2021 Federal Register notice (86 FR 11046) 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 11 exemption applicants E:\FR\FM\06APN1.SGM 06APN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 17880 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 6, 2021 / Notices 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 scarring, prosthesis, and retinal detachment. In most cases, their eye conditions did not develop recently. Eight 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 38 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 from 3 to 50 years. In the past three 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Apr 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 level of safety equal to that existing without the exemption. and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b). V. Conditions and Requirements Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. 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 11 exemption applications, FMCSA exempts the following drivers from the vision requirement, § 391.41(b)(10), subject to the requirements cited above: Antonio R. Barros (NY) Robert D. Boudreau (AZ) Doris J. Goldsmith (KY) Todd C. Kraese (IN) Kathy A. Mason (TX) Luke A. Perry (VT) Percy C. Robinson (AL) Harvinder S. Sahota (CA) Michael J. Wells (NC) Dennis C. Welpe (TX) Kevin D. White (TX) 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 PO 00000 Frm 00114 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 [FR Doc. 2021–07079 Filed 4–5–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2021–0013] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments. AGENCY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 17 individuals for an exemption from the hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. If granted, the exemptions would enable these hard of hearing and deaf individuals to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. DATES: Comments must be received on or before May 6, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA–2021–0013 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/, insert the docket number, FMCSA–2021–0013, 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, 20590–0001 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 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\06APN1.SGM 06APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 64 (Tuesday, April 6, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17879-17880]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-07079]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2021-0003]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 11 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 March 26, 2021. The exemptions 
expire on March 26, 2023.

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 Dockets Operations, (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Public Participation

A. Viewing Comments

    To view comments go to www.regulations.gov. Insert the docket 
number, FMCSA-2021-0003, 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.

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 February 23, 2021, FMCSA published a notice announcing receipt 
of applications from 11 individuals requesting an exemption from vision 
requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10) and requested comments from the 
public (86 FR 11046). The public comment period ended on March 25, 
2021, and two 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 two comments in this proceeding. Jason Gaddy and an 
anonymous individual submitted comments in support of the Agency's 
decision to grant the exemptions.

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 February 23, 2021 Federal 
Register notice (86 FR 11046) 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 11 
exemption applicants

[[Page 17880]]

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 scarring, prosthesis, and retinal 
detachment. In most cases, their eye conditions did not develop 
recently. Eight 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 38 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 from 3 to 50 years. In the past three 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 11 exemption applications, FMCSA 
exempts the following drivers from the vision requirement, Sec.  
391.41(b)(10), subject to the requirements cited above:

Antonio R. Barros (NY)
Robert D. Boudreau (AZ)
Doris J. Goldsmith (KY)
Todd C. Kraese (IN)
Kathy A. Mason (TX)
Luke A. Perry (VT)
Percy C. Robinson (AL)
Harvinder S. Sahota (CA)
Michael J. Wells (NC)
Dennis C. Welpe (TX)
Kevin D. White (TX)

    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. 2021-07079 Filed 4-5-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P