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Qualification of Drivers; Application for Exemptions; Hearing

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Qualification of Drivers; Application for Exemptions; Hearing

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
August 12, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 155 (Wednesday, August 12, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48394-48396]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-19796]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA- 2014-0386]


Qualification of Drivers; Application for Exemptions; Hearing

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

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

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that 13 individuals have applied for a medical 
exemption from the hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). In accordance with the statutory 
requirements concerning applications for exemptions, FMCSA requests 
public comments on these requests. The statute and implementing 
regulations concerning exemptions require that exemptions must provide 
an equivalent or greater level of safety than if they were not granted. 
If the Agency determines the exemptions would satisfy the statutory 
requirements and decides to grant theses requests after reviewing the 
public comments submitted in response to this notice, the exemptions 
would enable these 13 individuals to operate CMVs in interstate 
commerce.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 11, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA- 2014-0386 using any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: 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: 1-202-493-2251.
    Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket numbers 
for this notice. Note that all comments received will be posted without 
change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below for further 
information.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or Room W12-140 on the 
ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 
days each year. If you want acknowledgment that we received your 
comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard 
or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting 
comments on-line.
    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

[[Page 48395]]

provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system records 
notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles A. Horan, III, Director, 
Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety, (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., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has authority to 
grant exemptions from many of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations (FMCSRs) under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), as amended by 
Section 4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century 
(TEA- 21) (Pub. L. 105-178, June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 107, 401). FMCSA 
has published in 49 CFR part 381, subpart C final rules implementing 
the statutory changes in its exemption procedures made by section 4007, 
69 FR 51589 (August 20, 2004).\1\ Under the rules in part 381, subpart 
C, FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal 
Register. The Agency must provide the public with an opportunity to 
inspect the information relevant to the application, including any 
safety analyses that have been conducted and any research reports, 
technical papers and other publications referenced in the application. 
The Agency must also provide an opportunity to submit public comment on 
the applications for exemption.
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    \1\ This action adopted as final rules the interim final rules 
issued by FMCSA's predecessor in 1998 (63 FR 67600 (Dec. 8, 2008)), 
and adopted by FMCSA in 2001 [66 FR 49867 (Oct. 1, 2001)].
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    The Agency reviews the safety analyses and the public comments and 
determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level 
of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that would be 
achieved without the exemption. The decision of the Agency must be 
published in the Federal Register. If the Agency denies the request, it 
must state the reason for doing so. If the decision is to grant the 
exemption, the notice must specify the person or class of persons 
receiving the exemption and the regulatory provision or provisions from 
which an exemption is granted. The notice must also specify the 
effective period of the exemption (up to 2 years) and explain the terms 
and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed.
    The current provisions of the FMCSRs concerning hearing state that 
a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person

    First perceives a forced whispered voice in the better ear at 
not less than 5 feet with or without the use of a hearing aid or, if 
tested by use of an audiometric device, does not have an average 
hearing loss in the better ear greater than 40 decibels at 500 Hz, 
1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with or without a hearing aid when the 
audiometric device is calibrated to American National Standard 
(formerly ASA Standard) Z24.5-1951.

49 CFR 391.41(b)(11). This standard was adopted in 1970, with a 
revision in 1971 to allow drivers to be qualified under this standard 
while wearing a hearing aid, 35 FR 6458, 6463 (April 22, 1970) and 36 
FR 12857 (July 3, 1971).
    FMCSA also issues instructions for completing the medical 
examination report and includes advisory criteria on the report itself 
to provide guidance for medical examiners in applying the hearing 
standard. See 49 CFR 391.43(f). The current advisory criteria for the 
hearing standard include a reference to a report entitled ``Hearing 
Disorders and Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers'' prepared for the 
Federal Highway Administration, FMCSA's predecessor, in 1993.\2\
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    \2\ This report is available on the FMCSA Web site at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/research-technology/publications/medreport_archives.htm.
_____________________________________-

FMCSA Requests Comments on the Exemption Applications

    FMCSA requests comments from all interested parties on whether a 
driver who cannot meet the hearing standard should be permitted to 
operate a CMV in interstate commerce. Further, the Agency asks for 
comments on whether a driver who cannot meet the hearing standard 
should be limited to operating only certain types of vehicles in 
interstate commerce, for example, vehicles without air brakes. The 
statute and implementing regulations concerning exemptions require that 
the Agency request public comments on all applications for exemptions. 
The Agency is also required to make a determination that an exemption 
would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or 
greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption 
before granting any such requests.

Submitting Comments

    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 and in the 
search box insert the docket number ``FMCSA-2014-0386'' and click the 
search button. When the new screen appears, click on the blue ``Comment 
Now!'' button on the right hand side of the page. On the new page, 
enter information required including the specific section of this 
document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each 
suggestion or recommendation. 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.
    We will consider all comments and material received during the 
comment period and may change this proposed rule based on your 
comments. FMCSA may issue a final rule at any time after the close of 
the comment period.

Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, go to www.regulations.gov and in the search box 
insert the docket number ``FMCSA-2014-0386'' and click ``Search.'' 
Next, click ``Open Docket Folder'' and you will find all documents and 
comments related to the proposed rulemaking.

Information on Individual Applicants

Daniel Alcozer

    Mr. Alcozer, 35, holds an operator's license in Illinois.

Roy Ernest Bowers

    Mr. Bowers, 59, holds a class A CDL in Georgia.

Jeffrey R. Emmell

    Mr. Emmell, 41, holds an operator's license in Pennsylvania.

Jan Nielsen Epitacio

    Mr. Epitacio, 34, holds an operator's license in California.

Andres Lopez Flores

    Mr. Flores, 35, holds an operator's license in Texas.

Roland Dean Ingram

    Mr. Ingram, 32, holds an operator's license in Texas.

[[Page 48396]]

Kelvin Lireco Jones

    Mr. Jones, 39, holds an operator's license in Washington.

Jerry Lee Lewis

    Mr. Lewis, 46, holds a class A CDL in North Carolina.

Tommy Lee Lynn Jr.

    Mr. Lynn, 44, holds an operator's license in Arizona.

Kenneth Anthony Oliver

    Mr. Oliver, 59, holds an operator's license in Texas.

Casey Wayne Patrick

    Mr. Patrick, 30, holds an operator's license in Washington.

Eduwin Pineiro

    Mr. Pineiro, 46, holds an operator's license in New Jersey.

Rodney Shane Wilkerson

    Mr. Wilkerson, 38, holds a class A CDL in Alabama.

 Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b)(4), FMCSA 
requests public comment from all interested persons on the exemption 
petitions described in this notice. The Agency will consider all 
comments received before the close of business September 11, 2015. 
Comments will be available for examination in the docket at the 
location listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The Agency 
will file comments received after the comment closing date in the 
public docket, and will consider them to the extent practicable. In 
addition to late comments, FMCSA will also continue to file, in the 
public docket, relevant information that becomes available after the 
comment closing date. Interested persons should monitor the public 
docket for new material.

    Issued on: July 28, 2015.
Larry W. Minor,
 Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2015-19796 Filed 8-11-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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