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Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes Mellitus

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking Topics:  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes Mellitus

Larry W. Minor
Federal Register
October 3, 2011


[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 191 (Monday, October 3, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 61139-61140]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-25328]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[FMCSA Docket No. FMCSA-2011-0192]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes 
Mellitus

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt thirty-three 
individuals from its rule prohibiting persons with insulin-treated 
diabetes mellitus (ITDM) from operating commercial motor vehicles 
(CMVs) in interstate commerce. The exemptions will enable these 
individuals to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

DATES: The exemptions are effective October 3, 2011. The exemptions 
expire on October 3, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elaine M. Papp, Chief, Medical 
Programs, (202) 366-4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, Room W64-224, 
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: 

Electronic Access

    You may see all the comments online through the Federal Document 
Management System (FDMS) at: http://www.regulations.gov.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov and/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.
    Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of DOT's 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, or other 
entity). You may review DOT's Privacy Act Statement for the Federal 
Docket Management System (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.

Background

    On August 4, 2011, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of Federal 
diabetes exemption applications from thirty-three individuals and 
requested comments from the public (76 FR 47291). The public comment 
period closed on September 6, 2011 and no comments were received.
    FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of the thirty-three applicants 
and determined that granting the exemptions to these individuals would 
achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that 
would be achieved by complying with the current regulation 49 CFR 
391.41(b)(3).

Diabetes Mellitus and Driving Experience of the Applicants

    The Agency established the current standard for diabetes in 1970 
because several risk studies indicated that drivers with diabetes had a 
higher rate of crash involvement than the general population. The 
diabetes rule provides that ``A person is physically qualified to drive 
a commercial motor vehicle if that person has no established medical 
history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus currently requiring 
insulin for control'' (49 CFR 391.41(b)(3)).
    FMCSA established its diabetes exemption program, based on the 
Agency's July 2000 study entitled ``A

[[Page 61140]]

Report to Congress on the Feasibility of a Program to Qualify 
Individuals with Insulin-Treated Diabetes Mellitus to Operate in 
Interstate Commerce as Directed by the Transportation Act for the 21st 
Century.'' The report concluded that a safe and practicable protocol to 
allow some drivers with ITDM to operate CMVs is feasible.
    The September 3, 2003 (68 FR 52441) Federal Register notice in 
conjunction with the November 8, 2005 (70 FR 67777) Federal Register 
notice provides the current protocol for allowing such drivers to 
operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
    These thirty-three applicants have had ITDM over a range of 1 to 38 
years. These applicants report no severe hypoglycemic reactions 
resulting in loss of consciousness or seizure, requiring the assistance 
of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that 
occurred without warning symptoms, in the past 12 months and no 
recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the past 5 years. 
In each case, an endocrinologist verified that the driver has 
demonstrated a willingness to properly monitor and manage his/her 
diabetes mellitus, received education related to diabetes management, 
and is on a stable insulin regimen. These drivers report no other 
disqualifying conditions, including diabetes-related complications. 
Each meets the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10).
    The qualifications and medical condition of each applicant were 
stated and discussed in detail in the August 4, 2011, Federal Register 
notice and they will not be repeated in this notice.

Discussion of Comment

    FMCSA did not receive any comments in this proceeding.

Basis for Exemption Determination

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption 
from the diabetes standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) if the exemption is 
likely to achieve an equivalent or greater level of safety than would 
be achieved without the exemption. The exemption allows the applicants 
to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
    To evaluate the effect of these exemptions on safety, FMCSA 
considered medical reports about the applicants' ITDM and vision, and 
reviewed the treating endocrinologists' medical opinion related to the 
ability of the driver to safely operate a CMV while using insulin.
    Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these 
applicants from the diabetes standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) is likely 
to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the 
exemption.

Conditions and Requirements

    The terms and conditions of the exemption will be provided to the 
applicants in the exemption document and they include the following: 
(1) That each individual submit a quarterly monitoring checklist 
completed by the treating endocrinologist as well as an annual 
checklist with a comprehensive medical evaluation; (2) that each 
individual report within 2 business days of occurrence, all episodes of 
severe hypoglycemia, significant complications, or inability to manage 
diabetes; also, any involvement in an accident or any other adverse 
event in a CMV or personal vehicle, whether or not it is related to an 
episode of hypoglycemia; (3) that each individual provide a copy of the 
ophthalmologist's or optometrist's report to the medical examiner at 
the time of the annual medical examination; and (4) that each 
individual provide a copy of the annual medical certification to the 
employer for retention in the driver's qualification file, or keep a 
copy in his/her driver's qualification file if he/she is self-employed. 
The driver must also have a copy of the certification when driving, for 
presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement 
official.

Conclusion

    Based upon its evaluation of the thirty-three exemption 
applications, FMCSA exempts, Michael J. Alexander, Larry E. 
Baumgartner, Stanley R. Boots, Carl D. Braddock, Dean A. Chamberlin, 
Michael E. Conner, Edna R. Contreras, Craig E. Cusick, Ronald D. Fatka, 
Robert M. Fleming, David W. Hammons, Frank B. Hernandez, Jeffrey D. 
Horsey, Dale A. Iverson, John H. Krastel, Joshua L. Kroetch, Larry D. 
Lilley, Edward J. Linhart, Larry D. Matson, Michael L. O'Clair, David 
W. Payne, Matthew B. Rhodes, Jim B. Robertson, II, Donald M. Rush, Jr., 
Barry A. Sircy, Andre M. St. Pierre, John S. Starchevich, Michael B. 
Tortora, Gregory J. Vigil, Charlotte C. Watson, Wayne W. Wenzel, Shaun 
M. Wheeler and James J. Wolf, Jr. from the ITDM standard in 49 CFR 
391.41(b)(3), subject to the conditions listed under ``Conditions and 
Requirements'' above.
    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 each exemption will 
be valid for two years unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption 
will be revoked 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. If the exemption is 
still effective at the end of the 2-year period, the person may apply 
to FMCSA for a renewal under procedures in effect at that time.

    Issued on: September 26, 2011.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2011-25328 Filed 9-30-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P



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