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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 29, 2012


[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 168 (Wednesday, August 29, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52381-52384]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-21205]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0215]


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 19 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 28, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0215 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 19 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.

[[Page 52382]]

Qualifications of Applicants

James W. Bittle

    Mr. Bittle, age 59, has had chronic retinal detachment in his left 
eye since 2007. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his 
left eye, light perception only. Following an examination in 2012, his 
optometrist noted, ``In my medical opinion, Mr. Bittle has sufficient 
vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Bittle reported that he has driven straight trucks for 
38 years, accumulating 1.9 million miles, and tractor-trailer 
combinations for 38 years, accumulating 1.9 million miles. He holds a 
Class A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) from Oklahoma. His driving 
record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for 
moving violations in a CMV.

Kenneth C. Caldwell

    Mr. Caldwell, 58, has had refractive amblyopia in his left eye 
since childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in 
his left eye, 20/60. Following an examination in 2012, his optometrist 
noted, ``Without hesitation, in my medical opinion, I do feel that 
Kenneth has more than sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks 
required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Caldwell reported that 
he has driven straight trucks for 36 years, accumulating 2.2 million 
miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 30 years, accumulating 1.4 
million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from New York. His driving record 
for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving 
violations in a CMV.

Paul Claas

    Mr. Claas, 63, has had complete loss of vision in his left eye 
since 1970. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/30. 
Following an examination in 2012, his ophthalmologist noted, 
``Therefore, in my opinion, the patient has sufficient vision in his 
right eye to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Claas reported that he has driven straight trucks for 30 
years, accumulating 750,000 miles. He holds a Class D operator's 
license from Wisconsin. 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 15 mph.

Roger A. Duester

    Mr. Duester, 52, has had a retinal detachment in his left eye since 
1988. 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 opinion, Roger Duester has sufficient 
vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial 
vehicle based upon my medical exam with him.'' Mr. Duester reported 
that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 6\1/2\ years, 
accumulating 97,500 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.

Edward A. Egy

    Mr. Egy, 58, has had hyperopic astigmatism in his left eye since 
childhood. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20; 
and in his left eye, 20/60. Following an examination in 2012, his 
optometrist noted, ``In my opinion, Edward A. Egy has sufficient vision 
to perform the tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle as his 
visual condition is long standing and very stable.'' Mr. Egy reported 
that he has driven straight trucks for 20 years, accumulating 300,000 
miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 15 years, accumulating 
225,000 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.

Jonathan D. Evans

    Mr. Evans, 36, has had amblyopia in his right eye since birth. The 
best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/400; and in his 
left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2012, his optometrist 
noted, ``It is my medical opinion that Mr. Evans has sufficient vision 
to perform driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' 
Mr. Evans reported that he has driven straight trucks for 3 years, 
accumulating 45,000 miles. He holds a Class DB CDL from Kentucky. 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.

Kelvin Frandin

    Mr. Frandin, 34, has had amblyopia in his right eye since birth. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/200; and in his left eye, 20/
20. Following an examination in 2012, his optometrist noted, ``Patient 
has sufficient vision to perform driving tasks on a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Frandin reported that he has driven tractor-trailer 
combinations for 4 years, accumulating 520,000 miles. He holds a Class 
A CDL from Kentucky. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no 
crashes and no convictions of moving violations in a CMV.

Charlene E. Geary

    Ms. Geary, 48, has had amblyopia in her left eye since childhood. 
The best corrected visual acuity in her right eye is 20/20; and in her 
left eye, 20/200. Following an examination in 2012, her optometrist 
noted, ``Furthermore, I certify that in my medical opinion, Charlene 
has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate 
a commercial vehicle.'' Ms. Geary reported that she has driven straight 
trucks for 10 years, accumulating 605,000 miles, and buses for 3 years, 
accumulating 30,300 miles. She holds a Class A CDL from South Dakota. 
Her driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no 
convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Robert S. Gibson, Jr.

    Mr. Gibson, 39, has had strabismic amblyopia in his right eye since 
childhood. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/150; 
and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2011, his 
optometrist noted, ``In conclusion, it is my professional opinion that 
I believe Mr. Gibson has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks 
required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Gibson reported that he 
has driven straight trucks for 20 years, accumulating 400,000 miles. He 
holds a Class C operator's license from Pennsylvania. His driving 
record for the last 3 years shows no crashes but one conviction for a 
moving violation in a CMV; he failed to obey a traffic control device.

Andrew F. Hill

    Mr. Hill, 30, has had a scleral buckle in his left eye since 1991 
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, 20/70. 
Following an examination in 2012, his optometrist noted, ``According to 
today's exam findings, it is my medical opinion that Andrew has 
sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Hill reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 3\1/2\ years, accumulating 8,592 miles, and tractor-trailer 
combinations for 3 years, accumulating 1,886 miles. He holds a Class A 
CDL from Texas. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no 
crashes and no convictions of moving violations in a CMV.

[[Page 52383]]

David N. Hinchliffe

    Mr. Hinchliffe, 57, has a prosthetic left eye due to a traumatic 
injury sustained in 2006. The best corrected visual acuity in his right 
eye is 20/20. Following an examination in 2012, his optometrist noted, 
``In my opinion, based on the excellent corrected visual acuity and 
full field of vision of the right eye, I feel that Mr. Hinchliffe does 
have sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate 
a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Hinchliffe reported that he has driven 
straight trucks for 25 years, accumulating 250,000 miles, and tractor-
trailer combinations for 25 years, accumulating 2.5 million miles. He 
holds a Class A CDL from Texas. His driving record for the last 3 years 
shows no crashes and no convictions of moving violations in a CMV.

Michael C. Hoff

    Mr. Hoff, 60, has had macular ischemia in his right eye since 2004. 
The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/400, and in his 
left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2012, his ophthalmologist 
noted, ``His vision is sufficient to safely perform commercial 
driving.'' Mr. Hoff reported that he has driven straight trucks for 25 
years, accumulating 250,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 
15 years, accumulating 1.5 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from 
Washington. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes 
and no convictions of moving violations in a CMV.

Joel M. Hunter

    Mr. Hunter, 48, has complete loss of vision in his left eye due to 
a traumatic injury sustained 22 years ago. The best corrected visual 
acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, count finger 
vision. Following an examination in 2012, his optometrist noted, 
``Following a comprehensive eye examination in my office on 1/5/2012, I 
have found in my medical opinion that Joel retains sufficient vision to 
perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' 
Mr. Hunter reported that he has driven straight trucks for 24 years, 
accumulating 136,800 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 24 
years, accumulating 240,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Ohio. 
His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no 
convictions of moving violations in a CMV.

Morris W. Lammert, Jr.

    Mr. Lammert, 48, has had amblyopia in his right eye due to retinal 
atrophy caused by a traumatic injury sustained as a child. The visual 
acuity in his right eye is 20/70, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following 
an examination in 2012, his optometrist noted, ``Based on these 
results, it is my medical opinion that Mr. Lammert has sufficient 
vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Lammert reported that he has driven tractor-trailer 
combinations for 25 years, accumulating 250,000 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.

Ray E. Myers II

    Mr. Myers, 54, has had retinal detachment in his left eye since 
2006. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and 
in his left eye, 20/200. Following an examination in 2011, his 
optometrist noted, ``I believe Mr. Myers has sufficient vision (with 
correction) to perform the driving tasks required to operate a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Myers reported that he has driven tractor-
trailer combinations for 27 years, accumulating 1 million miles. He 
holds a Class A CDL from Maryland. His driving record for the last 3 
years shows no crashes and no convictions of moving violations in a 
CMV.

William J. Powell, Jr.

    Mr. Powell, 43, has had loss of vision in his right eye since 
birth. The best corrected 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 I feel he has 
sufficient field of vision to perform driving tasks required to operate 
a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Powell reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 23 years, accumulating 29,900 miles. He holds a Class B CDL 
from North Carolina. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no 
crashes and no convictions of moving violations in a CMV.

Benny L. Sanchez

    Mr. Sanchez, 42, has had complete loss of vision in his left eye 
due to a traumatic injury sustained as a child. The visual acuity in 
his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, no light perception. 
Following an examination in 2011, his optometrist noted, ``I certify 
that in my medical opinion that Mr. Benny Sanchez has sufficient vision 
to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Sanchez reported that he has driven straight trucks for 
6 years, accumulating 400,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations 
for 4 years, accumulating 140,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from 
California. His driving record for the last 3 years shows one crash, 
which he was not cited for, and no convictions of moving violations in 
a CMV.

Sandeep Singh

    Mr. Singh, 27, has had amblyopia in his left eye since childhood. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/
400. Following an examination in 2012, his optometrist noted, 
``Sandeep's visual field is normal and will not impair his commercial 
driving ability or his ability to drive ``semi'' vehicles.'' Mr. Singh 
reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 3 years, 
accumulating 570,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from California. His 
driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes but two 
convictions of moving violations in a CMV; in both instances, he failed 
to obey regulatory signs.

James T. Stalker

    Mr. Stalker, 54, has had loss of vision in his right eye due to an 
optic nerve stroke sustained in 2003. 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 ophthalmologist noted, ``In my medical opinion 
Mr. Stalker's vision is adequate for the safe operation of commercial 
vehicles.'' Mr. Stalker reported that he has driven tractor-trailer 
combinations for 14 years, accumulating 299,992 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.

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 28, 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 52384]]


    Issued on: August 20, 2012.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2012-21205 Filed 8-28-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P



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