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Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Trucking American Government

Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
November 15, 2010

[Federal Register: November 15, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 219)]
[Notices]               
[Page 69737-69739]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr15no10-137]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0287]

 
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

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 15 individuals 
for exemption from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Regulations. If granted, the exemptions would enable these 
individuals to qualify as drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) 
in interstate commerce without meeting the Federal vision standard.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before December 15, 2010.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0287 using any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://
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: 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.
    Instructions: 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 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, 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: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or of the person signing the comment, if 
submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). 
You may review DOT's Privacy Act Statement for the FDMS published in 
the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316), or you may visit 
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-785.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Mary D. Gunnels, Director, Medical

[[Page 69738]]

Programs, (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

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption 
from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for 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.'' FMCSA can renew exemptions at the end 
of each 2-year period. The 15 individuals listed in this notice have 
each requested such an exemption from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 
391.41(b)(10), which applies to drivers of CMVs in interstate commerce. 
Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate the qualifications of each 
applicant to determine whether granting an exemption will achieve the 
required level of safety mandated by statute.

Qualifications of Applicants

Robert W. Blankenship

    Mr. Blankenship, age 50, has had amblyopia in his left eye since 
childhood. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20 
and in his left eye, 20/200. Following an examination in 2010, his 
optometrist noted, ``In my opinion, Mr. Blankenship has sufficient 
vision to perform the driving tasks to operate a commercial vehicle.'' 
Mr. Blankenship reported that he has driven straight trucks for 29 
years, accumulating 580,000 miles and tractor-trailer combinations for 
29 years, accumulating 2.3 million miles. He holds a Class A Commercial 
Driver's License (CDL) from California. His driving record for the last 
3 years shows one crash and one conviction for a moving violation in a 
CMV. He exceeded the speed limit by 10 mph.

Bryan K. Deborde

    Mr. Deborde, 39, has had amblyopia in his left eye since birth. The 
best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20 and in his left 
eye, 20/50. Following an examination in 2010, his optometrist noted, 
``It is my opinion that Mr. Deborde has sufficient vision to perform 
the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. 
Deborde reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 19 
years, accumulating 1.6 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from 
Washington. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes 
and one conviction for a moving violation in a CMV. He exceeded the 
speed limit by 10 miles per hour (mph).

Michael K. Engemann

    Mr. Engemann, 32, has had a distorted cornea in his right eye since 
1989 due trauma. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 
20/400 and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2010, 
his optometrist noted, ``Mike has sufficient vision to operate a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Engemann reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 12 years, accumulating 480,000 miles and tractor-trailer 
combinations for 12 years, accumulating 960,000 miles. He holds a Class 
A CDL from Missouri. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no 
crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Pete R. Gonzalez

    Mr. Gonzalez, 25, has had optic nerve atrophy in his right eye 
since 1998 due to trauma. The best corrected visual acuity in his right 
eye is 20/300 and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 
2010, his optometrist noted, ``Pete has sufficient vision in the right 
eye to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Gonzalez reported that he has driven straight trucks for 
4 years, accumulating 360,000 miles and tractor-trailer combinations 
for 4 years, accumulating 360,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from 
New Mexico. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes 
and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

John W. Harbaugh

    Mr. Harbaugh, 62, has had amblyopia and optic atrophy in his right 
eye since birth. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 
count-finger vision only and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an 
examination in 2010, his ophthalmologist noted, ``Formal visual field 
perimetry testing reveals 140 degrees of dynamic perception in the left 
eye permitting Mr. Harbaugh to operate a commercial vehicle without 
restrictions.'' Mr. Harbaugh reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 32 years, accumulating 1.2 million miles. He holds a Class B 
CDL from Illinois. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no 
crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Michael E. Herrera, Jr.,

    Mr. Herrera, 53, has had primary open angle glaucoma in his left 
eye since 2009. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 
20/60 and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2010, his 
ophthalmologist noted, ``In my professional opinion. Mr. Herrera has 
sufficient vision to drive a commercial vehicle. Mr. Herrera reported 
that he has driven straight trucks for 23 years, accumulating 23,000 
miles and tractor-trailer combinations for 8 years, accumulating 8,000 
miles. He holds a Class A CDL from New Mexico. His driving record for 
the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving 
violations in a CMV.

William E. Jacobs

    Mr. Jacobs, 63, has had toxoplasmosis in his right eye since 
childhood. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/200 
and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2010, his 
ophthalmologist noted, ``I feel he has sufficient vision to perform the 
driver's tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Jacobs 
reported that he has driven buses for 13 years, accumulating 247,000 
miles. He holds a Class B CDL from Texas. His driving record for the 
last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations 
in a CMV.

Perry D. Jensen

    Mr. Jensen, 50, has had amblyopia in his left eye since childhood. 
The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20 and in his 
left eye, 20/200. Following an examination in 2010, his optometrist 
noted, ``This patient has sufficient vision to drive a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Jensen reported that he has driven straight trucks for 
30 years, accumulating 600,000 miles and tractor-trailer combinations 
for 30 years, accumulating 150,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from 
Wisconsin. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and 
no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Joseph L. Jones

    Mr. Jones, 55, has had exotropia and amblyopia in his right eye 
since childhood. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 
20/400 and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2010, 
his ophthalmologist noted, ``Mr. Jones exhibits sufficient vision to 
operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Jones reported that he has driven 
straight trucks for 32 years, accumulating 480,000 miles and tractor-
trailer combinations for 32 years, accumulating 1.9 million miles. He 
holds a Class A CDL from Maryland. His driving record for the last 3 
years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
CMV.

[[Page 69739]]

Gary L. Nicholas

    Mr. Nicholas, 53, has complete loss of vision in his right eye 
since childhood. The best corrected visual acuity in his left eye is 
20/20. Following an examination in 2010, his ophthalmologist noted, ``I 
feel that he has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks 
required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Nicholas reported that 
he has driven straight trucks for 36 years, accumulating 360,000 miles. 
He holds a Class C chauffeur's license from Michigan. His driving 
record for the last 3 years shows one crash, for which he was not 
cited, and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

James G. Pitchford

    Mr. Pitchford, 67, has had a prosthetic right eye since childhood. 
The best corrected visual acuity in his left eye is 20/20. Following an 
examination in 2010, his optometrist noted, ``It is my opinion that 
this patient has sufficient vision to perform his driving tasks and 
operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Pitchford reported that he has 
driven straight trucks for 20\1/2\ years, accumulating 483,585 miles 
and tractor-trailer combinations for 20\1/2\ years, accumulating 1.1 
million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Ohio. His driving record for 
the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving 
violations in a CMV.

Virgil R. Story

    Mr. Story, 50, has had amblyopia in his right eye since childhood. 
The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/400 and in his 
left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2010, his optometrist 
noted, ``I feel in my medical opinion that patient has sufficient 
vision to perform his currently assigned driving tasks required to 
operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Story reported that he has driven 
tractor-trailer combinations for 20 years, accumulating 1.6 million 
miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Arkansas. His driving record for the 
last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations 
in a CMV.

John A. Thomas, Jr.

    Mr. Thomas, 50, has had amblyopia in his right eye since childhood. 
The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/200 and in his 
left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2010, his optometrist 
noted, ``I find that his vision is adequate to operate any commercial 
vehicle without glasses.'' Mr. Thomas reported that he has driven 
straight trucks for 32 years, accumulating 640,000 miles and tractor-
trailer combinations for 32 years, accumulating 1.7 million miles. He 
holds a Class A CDL from North Carolina. His driving record for the 
last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations 
in a CMV.

Richard L. Totels

    Mr. Totels, 57, has had macular scarring in his left eye since 
childhood. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20 
and in his left eye, 20/200. Following an examination in 2010, his 
ophthalmologist noted, ``In my medical opinion, this patient has 
adequate vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Totels reported that he has driven tractor-
trailer combinations for 37 years, accumulating 3.7 million miles. He 
holds a Class A CDL from Texas. His driving record for the last 3 years 
shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

James B. Woolwine

    Mr. Woolwine, 44, has had amblyopia in his left eye since 
childhood. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20 
and in his left eye, 20/400. Following an examination in 2010, his 
ophthalmologist noted, ``He has sufficient visual capabilities to 
operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Woolwine reported that he has 
driven straight trucks for 4 years, accumulating 200,000 miles and 
tractor-trailer combinations for 4 years, accumulating 60,000 miles. He 
holds a Class A CDL from Virginia. His driving record for the last 3 
years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
CMV.

Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, 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 December 15, 2010. 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: November 5, 2010.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development.
[FR Doc. 2010-28699 Filed 11-12-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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