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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
December 17, 2010

[Federal Register: December 17, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 242)]
[Notices]               
[Page 79084-79085]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr17de10-149]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2004-19477]

 
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

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

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

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew the exemptions from the 
vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for 
12 individuals. FMCSA has statutory authority to exempt individuals 
from the vision requirement if the exemptions granted will not 
compromise safety. The Agency has concluded that granting these 
exemption renewals will provide a level of safety that is equivalent 
to, or greater than, the level of safety maintained without the 
exemptions for these commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.

DATES: This decision is effective January 14, 2011. Comments must be 
received on or before January 18, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) FMCSA-2004-19477, 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 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.
    Instructions: Each submission must include the Agency name and the 
docket number for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments 
received without change to http://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 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 Federal Docket Management System (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

[[Page 79085]]

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 
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 renew an exemption 
from the vision requirements in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), which applies to 
drivers of CMVs in interstate commerce, for a two-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 procedures for requesting an exemption (including 
renewals) are set out in 49 CFR part 381.

Exemption Decision

    This notice addresses 12 individuals who have requested renewal of 
their exemptions in accordance with FMCSA procedures. FMCSA has 
evaluated these 12 applications for renewal on their merits and decided 
to extend each exemption for a renewable two-year period. They are:

------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Johnny Becerra          John B. Ethridge        Michael B. McClure
Ross E. Burroughs       Larry J. Folkerts       Francis M. McMullin
Lester W. Carter        Paul W. Hunter          Norman Mullins
Christopher L. DePuy    Ray P. Lenz             David Triplett
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The exemptions are extended subject to the following conditions: 
(1) That each individual has a physical examination every year (a) by 
an ophthalmologist or optometrist who attests that the vision in the 
better eye continues to meet the standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), and 
(b) by a medical examiner who attests that the individual is otherwise 
physically qualified under 49 CFR 391.41; (2) that each individual 
provides a copy of the ophthalmologist's or optometrist's report to the 
medical examiner at the time of the annual medical examination; and (3) 
that each individual provide a copy of the annual medical certification 
to the employer for retention in the driver's qualification file and 
retains a copy of the certification on his/her person while driving for 
presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement 
official. Each exemption will be valid for two years unless rescinded 
earlier by FMCSA. 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.

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 for additional two year periods. In accordance with 49 
U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, each of the 12 applicants has satisfied the 
entry conditions for obtaining an exemption from the vision 
requirements (69 FR 64806; 70 FR 2705; 72 FR 1056; 73 FR 76349). Each 
of these 12 applicants has requested renewal of the exemption and has 
submitted evidence showing that the vision in the better eye continues 
to meet the standard specified at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10) and that the 
vision impairment is stable. In addition, a review of each record of 
safety while driving with the respective vision deficiencies over the 
past two years indicates each applicant continues to meet the vision 
exemption standards. These factors provide an adequate basis for 
predicting each driver's ability to continue to drive safely 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.

Request for Comments

    FMCSA will review comments received at any time concerning a 
particular driver's safety record and determine if the continuation of 
the exemption is consistent with the requirements at 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) 
and 31315. However, FMCSA requests that interested parties with 
specific data concerning the safety records of these drivers submit 
comments by January 18, 2011.
    FMCSA believes that the requirements for a renewal of an exemption 
under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 can be satisfied by initially 
granting the renewal and then requesting and evaluating, if needed, 
subsequent comments submitted by interested parties. As indicated 
above, the Agency previously published notices of final disposition 
announcing its decision to exempt these 12 individuals from the vision 
requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). The final decision to grant an 
exemption to each of these individuals was made on the merits of each 
case and made only after careful consideration of the comments received 
to its notices of applications. The notices of applications stated in 
detail the qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each 
applicant for an exemption from the vision requirements. That 
information is available by consulting the above cited Federal Register 
publications.
    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.

    Issued on: December 13, 2010.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator, Office of Policy.
[FR Doc. 2010-31772 Filed 12-16-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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