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Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
September 21, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 182 (Monday, September 21, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 57036-57038]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-23590]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0118]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and 
Seizure Disorders

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

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

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 8 individuals for 
an exemption from the prohibition against persons with a clinical 
diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition that is likely to cause a 
loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to operate a commercial 
motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. The regulation and the 
associated advisory criteria published in the Code of Federal 
Regulations as the ``Instructions for Performing and Recording Physical 
Examinations'' have resulted in numerous drivers being prohibited from

[[Page 57037]]

operating CMVs in interstate commerce based on the fact that they have 
had one or more seizures and are taking anti-seizure medication, rather 
than an individual analysis of their circumstances by a qualified 
medical examiner. If granted, the exemptions would enable these 
individuals who have had one or more seizures and are taking anti-
seizure medication to operate CMVs for up to 2 years in interstate 
commerce.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 21, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2015-0118 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., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket ID for 
this Notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change 
to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information included in 
a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
    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., 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 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, or via 
email at fmcsamedical@dot.gov, or by letter to FMCSA, Room W64-113, 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 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

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA may grant an exemption 
for up to a 2-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 statutes 
allow the Agency to renew exemptions at the end of the 2-year period. 
The 8 individuals listed in this notice have requested an exemption 
from the epilepsy prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8), which applies to 
drivers who operate CMVs as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, in interstate 
commerce. Section 391.41(b)(8) states that a person is physically 
qualified to drive a CMV if that person has no established medical 
history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition which 
is likely to cause the loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to 
control a CMV.
    FMCSA provides medical advisory criteria for use by medical 
examiners in determining whether drivers with certain medical 
conditions should be certified to operate CMVs in intrastate commerce. 
The advisory criteria indicate that if an individual has had a sudden 
episode of a non-epileptic seizure or loss of consciousness of unknown 
cause that did not require anti-seizure medication, the decision 
whether that person's condition is likely to cause the loss of 
consciousness or loss of ability to control a CMV should be made on an 
individual basis by the medical examiner in consultation with the 
treating physician. Before certification is considered, it is suggested 
that a 6-month waiting period elapse from the time of the episode. 
Following the waiting period, it is suggested that the individual have 
a complete neurological examination. If the results of the examination 
are negative and anti-seizure medication is not required, then the 
driver may be qualified.
    In those individual cases where a driver had a seizure or an 
episode of loss of consciousness that resulted from a known medical 
condition (e.g., drug reaction, high temperature, acute infectious 
disease, dehydration, or acute metabolic disturbance), certification 
should be deferred until the driver has recovered fully from that 
condition, has no existing residual complications, and is not taking 
anti-seizure medication. Drivers who have a history of epilepsy/
seizures, off anti-seizure medication and seizure-free for 10 years, 
may be qualified to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. Interstate 
drivers with a history of a single unprovoked seizure may be qualified 
to drive a CMV in interstate commerce if seizure-free and off anti-
seizure medication for a 5-year period or more.

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 http://www.regulations.gov and in the 
search box insert the docket number ``FMCSA-2015-0118'' 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, as well as any documents mentioned in this 
preamble, To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and in the search box insert the docket number 
``FMCSA-2015-0118'' and click ``Search.'' Next, click ``Open Docket 
Folder'' and you will find all documents and comments related to the 
proposed rulemaking.

[[Page 57038]]

Summary of Applications

Joshua Alan Abel

    Mr. Abel is a 53 year-old driver in Maryland. He has a history of a 
seizure disorder and has remained seizure free since 2000. He takes 
anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the 
same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive 
a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Abel receiving 
an exemption.

Ricky B. Alegre

    Mr. Alegre is a 29 year-old class B CDL holder in New Jersey. He 
has a history of a single provoked seizure in 2014. He takes anti-
seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same 
since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a 
CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Alegre receiving 
an exemption.

James E. Blosse, Jr.

    Mr. Blosse is a 50 year-old driver in Virginia. He has a history of 
a seizure disorder and has remained seizure free since 2000. He takes 
anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the 
same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive 
a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Blosse 
receiving an exemption.

Jeremy H. Fryburg

    Mr. Fryburg is a 30 year-old driver in Pennsylvania. He has a 
history of epilepsy and has remained seizure free since 2004. He takes 
anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the 
same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive 
a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Fryburg 
receiving an exemption.

Michael Todd Hill

    Mr. Hill is a 50 year-old driver in Texas. He has a history of a 
seizure disorder and has remained seizure free since 2013. He takes 
anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the 
same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive 
a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Hill receiving 
an exemption.

Billy Ray Hunter

    Mr. Hunter is a 29 year-old class A CDL holder in Kentucky. He has 
a history of a seizure disorder and has remained seizure free since 
2012. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency 
remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would 
like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. 
Hunter receiving an exemption.

Jonathan Robert Jones

    Mr. Jones is a 42 year-old driver in Wisconsin. He has a history of 
epilepsy and has remained seizure free since 2005. He takes anti-
seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same 
since 2009. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His 
physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Jones receiving an 
exemption.

Anthony Edward Martens

    Mr. Martens is a 44 year-old class B CDL holder in South Dakota. He 
has a history of epilepsy and has remained seizure free since 1990. He 
takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining 
the same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to 
drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Martens 
receiving an exemption.

Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests 
public comment from all interested persons on the exemption 
applications described in this notice. We will consider all comments 
received before the close of business on the closing date indicated 
earlier in the notice.

    Issued on: September 6, 2015.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2015-23590 Filed 9-18-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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