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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
18 September 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 179 (Monday, September 18, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 43652-43654]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-19762]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0381; FMCSA-2014-0382; FMCSA-2015-0115]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and 
Seizure Disorders

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

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

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew exemptions for three 
individuals from the requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations (FMCSRs) that interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) 
drivers have ``no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of 
epilepsy or any other condition which is likely to cause loss of 
consciousness or any loss of ability to control a CMV.'' The exemptions 
enable these individuals who have had one or more seizures and are 
taking anti-seizure medication to continue to operate CMVs in 
interstate commerce.

DATES: The renewed exemptions were applicable on June 10, 2017. The 
renewed exemptions will expire on June 10, 2019. Comments must be 
received on or before October 18, 2017.

[[Page 43653]]


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., 
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have 
questions regarding viewing or submitting material to the docket, 
contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0381; FMCSA-2014-0382; 
FMCSA-2015-0115 using any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online 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: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Instructions: Each submission must include the Agency name and the 
docket number(s) for this notice. Note that all comments received will 
be posted without change to http://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 http://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 e.t., 
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 online.
    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 http://www.regulations.gov, as described in 
the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed 
at http://www.dot.gov/privacy.

I. Background

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption 
for two years 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 two-year period.
    The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding epilepsy 
found in 49 CFR 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.

    In addition to the regulations, FMCSA has published advisory 
criteria to assist Medical Examiners in determining whether drivers 
with certain medical conditions are qualified to operate a CMV in 
interstate commerce. [49 CFR part 391, APPENDIX A TO PART 391--MEDICAL 
ADVISORY CRITERIA, section H. Epilepsy: Sec.  391.41(b)(8), paragraphs 
3, 4, and 5.]
    The three individuals listed in this notice have requested renewal 
of their exemptions from the Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders prohibition 
in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8), in accordance with FMCSA procedures. 
Accordingly, FMCSA has evaluated these applications for renewal on 
their merits and decided to extend each exemption for a renewable two-
year period.

II. Request for Comments

    Interested parties or organizations possessing information that 
would otherwise show that any, or all, of these drivers are not 
currently achieving the statutory level of safety should immediately 
notify FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any adverse evidence submitted 
and, if safety is being compromised or if continuation of the exemption 
would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 
31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA will take immediate steps to revoke the 
exemption of a driver.

III. Basis for Renewing Exemptions

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(1), an exemption may be granted for no 
longer than two years from its approval date and may be renewed upon 
application. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, each of 
the three applicants has satisfied the conditions for obtaining an 
exemption from the Epilepsy and Seizure Disorder requirements and were 
published in the Federal Register (80 FR 60744; 80 FR 55164; 80 FR 
57034). In addition, for Commercial Driver's License (CDL) holders, the 
Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS) and the Motor 
Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) are searched for crash 
and violation data. For non-CDL holders, the Agency reviews the driving 
records from the State Driver's Licensing Agency (SDLA). These factors 
provide an adequate basis for predicting each driver's ability to 
continue to safely operate a CMV in interstate commerce.
    The three drivers in this notice remain in good standing with the 
Agency, have maintained their medical monitoring and have not exhibited 
any medical issues that would compromise their ability to safely 
operate a CMV during the previous two-year exemption period. FMCSA has 
concluded that renewing the exemptions for each of these applicants is 
likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the 
exemption. Therefore, FMCSA has decided to renew each exemption for a 
two-year period for the following applicants:

Monte J. DeRocini (PA)
Teddy H. Dixon (GA)
Bryan R. Jones (PA)

IV. Conditions and Requirements

    The exemptions are extended subject to the following conditions: 
(1) Each driver must remain seizure-free and maintain a stable 
treatment during the two-year exemption period; (2) each driver must 
submit annual reports from their treating physicians attesting to the 
stability of treatment and that the driver has remained seizure-free; 
(3) each driver must undergo an annual medical examination by a 
certified Medical Examiner, as defined by 49 CFR 390.5; and (4) 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 of 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. 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

[[Page 43654]]

the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315.

V. 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.

VI. Conclusion

    Based upon its evaluation of the three exemption applications, 
FMCSA renews the exemptions of the aforementioned drivers from the 
Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders requirement in 49 CFR 391.41 (b)(8). In 
accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, each exemption will be 
valid for two years unless revoked earlier by FMCSA.

    Issued on: September 8, 2017.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2017-19762 Filed 9-15-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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