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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
August 6, 2012


[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 151 (Monday, August 6, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46793-46795]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-19123]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0214]


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 12 individuals 
for exemption from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Regulations. They are unable to meet the vision requirement in 
one eye for various reasons. The exemptions will enable these 
individuals to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate 
commerce without meeting the prescribed vision requirement in one eye. 
If granted, the exemptions would enable these individuals to qualify as 
drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 5, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0214 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: Elaine M. Papp, 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., 
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 12 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

Michael J. Bechta

    Mr. Bechta, age 28, had 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, 20/80. Following an examination in 2012, his 
ophthalmologist noted, ``With these parameters, in my opinion, Michael 
is safe and qualified visually to drive commercial vehicles.'' Mr. 
Bechta reported that he has driven straight trucks for 7 years, 
accumulating 36,400 miles. He holds a Class C operator's license from 
Pennsylvania. His driving record for the last 3 years shows one crash, 
which he was not cited for, and no convictions for moving violations in 
a CMV.

Bryan G. Brockus

    Mr. Brockus, 42, had an enucleation of his left eye due to a 
traumatic injury sustained as a child. The visual acuity in his right 
eye is 20/20. Following an examination in 2012, his ophthalmologist 
noted, ``In my opinion, this patient has sufficient vision to perform 
the driving tasks to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Brockus 
reported that he has driven straight trucks for 14 years, accumulating 
252,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 3 years, 
accumulating 15,000 miles. He holds a Class A Commercial Driver's 
License (CDL) from Idaho. His driving record for the last 3 years shows 
no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Larry Clay

    Mr. Clay, 55, 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 2012, his optometrist 
noted, ``I do believe Mr Clay has sufficient vision to perform his job 
in operating a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Clay reported that he has 
driven straight trucks for 10 years, accumulating 52,000 miles. He 
holds a Class D operator's license from New Mexico. His driving record 
for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving 
violations in a CMV.

[[Page 46794]]

Michael T. DeKorte

    Mr. DeKorte, 42, has had amblyopia and Peter's Anomaly in his left 
eye since childhood. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye 
is 20/15, and in his left eye, 20/400. Following an examination in 
2012, his ophthalmologist noted, ``no restriction or visual impairment 
that should limit ability to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. 
DeKorte reported that he has driven straight trucks for 23 years, 
accumulating 460,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 23 
years, accumulating 460,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from 
Michigan. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and 
one conviction for speeding in a CMV; he exceeded the speed limit by 5 
mph.

Erric L. Gomersall

    Mr. Gomersall, 45, has had macular scarring and histoplasmosis in 
his right eye since 2005. The best corrected visual acuity in his right 
eye is 20/50, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 
2012, his ophthalmologist noted, ``In my medical opinion Erric 
Gomersall does have the visual ability to perform the driving tasks 
required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Gomersall reported that 
he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 6 years, accumulating 
780,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Wisconsin. His driving 
record for the last 3 years shows one crash, which he was not cited 
for, and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Larry E. Johnsonbaugh, Jr.

    Mr. Johnsonbaugh, 42, has a prosthetic left eye due to a traumatic 
injury sustained in 1992. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20. 
Following an examination in 2012, his ophthalmologist noted, ``Mr. 
Johnsonbaugh is well adapted to his monocular status and, therefore, 
with a normal right eye with a full visual field he should not have any 
limitations in operating a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Johnsonbaugh 
reported that he has driven straight trucks for 20 years, accumulating 
364,000 miles. He holds a Class C operator's license from Pennsylvania. 
His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no 
convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Albert Lewis

    Mr. Lewis, 65, has a prosthetic left eye due to a retinal 
detachment since 1980. The best corrected visual acuity in his right 
eye is 20/20. Following an examination in 2011, his optometrist noted, 
``In my professional opinion, Albert Lewis has stable vision and should 
continue to be able to perform the driving tasks required to operate a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Lewis reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 9 years, accumulating 270,000 miles, and tractor-trailer 
combinations for 16 years, accumulating 1.3 million miles. He holds a 
Class A CDL from Alabama. His driving record for the last 3 years shows 
no crashes and one conviction for speeding in a CMV; he exceeded the 
speed limit by 21 mph.

John B. Middleton

    Mr. Middleton, 70, has had retinal telangiectasis in his left eye 
since the 1980s. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 
20/20, and in his left eye, 20/80. Following an examination in 2012, 
his optometrist noted, ``He has sufficient vision to perform tasks 
required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Middleton reported that 
he has driven straight trucks for 3 years, accumulating 36,000 miles, 
and tractor-trailer combinations for 52 years, accumulating 5.2 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.

Ronald W. Patten

    Mr. Patten, 59, has had retinal scarring in his left eye due to a 
traumatic injury sustained as a child. The best corrected visual acuity 
in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, hand motion vision. 
Following an examination in 2012, his optometrist noted, ``In my 
medical opinion, Ronald Patten has sufficient vision to perform the 
driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Patten 
reported that he has driven straight trucks for 9 years, accumulating 
315,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 32 years, 
accumulating 3.4 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Maine. His 
driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions 
for moving violations in a CMV.

Kirk W. Scott

    Mr. Scott, 42, has had glaucoma in his right eye due to a traumatic 
injury sustained in 1981. The visual acuity in his right eye is no 
light perception, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination 
in 2012, his optometrist noted, ``In my medical opinion the applicant 
has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks require to operate a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Scott reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 5 years, accumulating 48,000 miles, and tractor-trailer 
combinations for 5 years, accumulating 288,000 miles. He holds a Class 
A CDL from Connecticut. His driving record for the last 3 years shows 
no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Michael F. Sprouse

    Mr. Sprouse, 52, has had loss of vision in his right eye due to a 
traumatic injury sustained in 1992. The best corrected visual acuity in 
his right eye is 20/200, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an 
examination in 2012, his optometrist noted, ``Mr. Sprouse has 
sufficient enough vision to perform the tasks necessary to drive a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Sprouse reported that he has driven tractor-
trailer combinations for 20 years, accumulating 1.3 million miles. He 
holds a Class A CDL from South Carolina. His driving record for the 
last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations 
in a CMV.

John C. Steedley

    Mr. Steedley, 48, has had refractive amblyopia in his right eye 
since childhood. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 
20/60, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2012, 
his optometrist noted, ``In my medical opinion, Mr. Steedley has 
sufficient vision to perform the driving task required to operate a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Steedley reported that he has driven tractor-
trailer combinations for 26 years, accumulating 1 million miles. He 
holds a Class A CDL from Georgia. 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 September 5, 2012. 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.


[[Page 46795]]


    Issued on: July 27, 2012.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2012-19123 Filed 8-3-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P



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