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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 April 2019


[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 75 (Thursday, April 18, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 16331-16332]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-07794]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0203; FMCSA-2014-0381]


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 two 
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 exemptions were applicable on March 10, 2019. The exemptions 
expire on March 10, 2021. Comments must be received on or before May 
20, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0203; FMCSA-2014-0381 
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., 
ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    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 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 Docket Services, telephone (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-2010-0203; FMCSA-2014-0381), 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 http://www.regulations.gov, 
put the docket number, FMCSA-2010-0203; FMCSA-2014-0381, in the keyword 
box, and click ``Search.'' When the new screen appears, click on the 
``Comment Now!'' 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.

[[Page 16332]]

B. Viewing Documents and Comments

    To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this notice 
as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. 
Insert the docket number, FMCSA-2010-0203; FMCSA-2014-0381, in the 
keyword box, and click ``Search.'' Next, click the ``Open Docket 
Folder'' button and choose the document to review. If you do not have 
access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the 
Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the 
DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, 
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays.

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.dot.gov/privacy.

II. Background

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption 
for up to five 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 five-year period. FMCSA 
grants exemptions from the FMCSRs for a two-year period to align with 
the maximum duration of a driver's medical certification.
    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 two 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.

III. 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.

IV. Basis for Renewing Exemptions

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, each of the two 
applicants has satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an 
exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition. The two 
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. 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. Therefore, FMCSA concludes 
that extending the exemption for each renewal applicant for a period of 
two years is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing 
without the exemption.
    As of March 10, 2019, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 
31315, the following two individuals have satisfied the renewal 
conditions for obtaining an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure 
disorders prohibition in the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers: John C. 
Griffith (ND) and Denton Hineline (WA).
    The drivers were included in docket number FMCSA-2010-0203; FMCSA-
2014-0381. Their exemptions are applicable as of March 10, 2019, and 
will expire on March 10, 2021.

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

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 on its evaluation of the two exemption applications, FMCSA 
renews the exemptions of the aforementioned drivers from the epilepsy 
and seizure disorders prohibition 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: April 11, 2019.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2019-07794 Filed 4-17-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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