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Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes Mellitus

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Trucking American Government

Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes Mellitus

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
September 12, 2012


[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 177 (Wednesday, September 12, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 56258-56261]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-22463]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0219]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes 
Mellitus

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption from the diabetes mellitus 
requirement; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 14 individuals 
for exemption from the prohibition against persons with insulin-treated 
diabetes mellitus (ITDM) operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in 
interstate commerce. If granted, the exemptions would enable these 
individuals with ITDM to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 12, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0219 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.

[[Page 56259]]

     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 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 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.'' The statute also allows the Agency to renew 
exemptions at the end of the 2-year period. The 14 individuals listed 
in this notice have recently requested such an exemption from the 
diabetes prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b) (3), which applies to drivers 
of CMVs in interstate commerce. Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate 
the qualifications of each applicant to determine whether granting the 
exemption will achieve the required level of safety mandated by the 
statutes.

Qualifications of Applicants

Edward K. Belcher

    Mr. Belcher, age 52, has had ITDM since 2008. His endocrinologist 
examined him in 2012 and certified that he has had no severe 
hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring 
the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive 
function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no 
recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. 
His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Belcher understands diabetes 
management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using 
insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely.
    Mr. Belcher meets the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). 
His ophthalmologist examined him in 2012 and certified that he has 
stable nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's 
license from Kentucky.

Philip C. Brooks, Jr.

    Mr. Brooks, 41, has had ITDM since 2010. His endocrinologist 
examined him in 2012 and certified that he has had no severe 
hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring 
the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive 
function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no 
recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. 
His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Brooks understands diabetes 
management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using 
insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely.
    Mr. Brooks meets the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). 
His optometrist examined him in 2012 and certified that he does not 
have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from 
Virginia.

Michael R. Conley

    Mr. Conley, 51, has had ITDM since 2012. His endocrinologist 
examined him in 2012 and certified that he has had no severe 
hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring 
the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive 
function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no 
recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. 
His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Conley understands diabetes 
management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using 
insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Conley meets the vision 
requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 
2012 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds 
a Class A CDL from Wisconsin.

Patrick J. Connors

    Mr. Connors, 58, has had ITDM since 2010. His endocrinologist 
examined him in 2012 and certified that he has had no severe 
hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring 
the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive 
function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no 
recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. 
His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Connors understands diabetes 
management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using 
insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Connors meets the 
vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined 
him in 2012 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. 
He holds a Class A CDL from Massachusetts.

John C. Halabura

    Mr. Halabura, 58, has had ITDM since 2012. His endocrinologist 
examined him in 2012 and certified that he has had no severe 
hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring 
the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive 
function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no 
recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. 
His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Halabura understands diabetes 
management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using 
insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely.
    Mr. Halabura meets the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). 
His optometrist examined him in 2012 and certified that he does not 
have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Pennsylvania.

Paul L. Harrison III

    Mr. Harrison, 65, has had ITDM since 2011. His endocrinologist 
examined him in 2012 and certified that he has had no

[[Page 56260]]

severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, 
requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired 
cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months 
and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 
years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Harrison understands 
diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes 
using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Harrison meets 
the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist 
examined him in 2012 and certified that he does not have diabetic 
retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from New York.

Daniel T. Kelly

    Mr. Kelly, 69, has had ITDM since 2011. His endocrinologist 
examined him in 2012 and certified that he has had no severe 
hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring 
the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive 
function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no 
recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. 
His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Kelly understands diabetes 
management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using 
insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Kelly meets the vision 
requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him 
in 2012 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He 
holds a Class A CDL from New York.

Timothy L. Leavelle, Sr.

    Mr. Leavelle, 54, has had ITDM since 2001. His endocrinologist 
examined him in 2012 and certified that he has had no severe 
hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring 
the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive 
function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no 
recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. 
His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Leavelle understands diabetes 
management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using 
insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely.
    Mr. Leavelle meets the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). 
His optometrist examined him in 2012 and certified that he does not 
have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class M operator's license from 
Virginia.

Robert D. Marshall

    Mr. Marshall, 66, has had ITDM since 2011. His endocrinologist 
examined him in 2012 and certified that he has had no severe 
hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring 
the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive 
function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no 
recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. 
His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Marshall understands diabetes 
management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using 
insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely.
    Mr. Marshall meets the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). 
His ophthalmologist examined him in 2012 and certified that he does not 
have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class B CDL from Pennsylvania.

John W. Martinson

    Mr. Martinson, 69, has had ITDM since 2010. His endocrinologist 
examined him in 2012 and certified that he has had no severe 
hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring 
the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive 
function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no 
recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. 
His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Martinson understands diabetes 
management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using 
insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Martinson meets the 
vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined 
him in 2012 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. 
He holds a Class D operator's license from North Dakota.

William Z. Polk

    Mr. Polk, 26, has had ITDM since 2010. His endocrinologist examined 
him in 2012 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic 
reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance 
of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that 
occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (2 or 
more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His 
endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Polk understands diabetes management 
and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and 
is able to drive a CMV safely.
    Mr. Polk meets the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His 
optometrist examined him in 2012 and certified that he does not have 
diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class C operator's license from 
Georgia.

Thomas E. Swayne

    Mr. Swayne, 58, has had ITDM since 2006. His endocrinologist 
examined him in 2012 and certified that he has had no severe 
hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring 
the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive 
function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no 
recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. 
His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Swayne understands diabetes 
management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using 
insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Swayne meets the vision 
requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 
2012 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds 
a Class A CDL from Kansas.

Anthony Williams

    Mr. Williams, 49, has had ITDM since 1984. His endocrinologist 
examined him in 2012 and certified that he has had no severe 
hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring 
the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive 
function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no 
recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. 
His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Williams understands diabetes 
management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using 
insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely.
    Mr. Williams meets the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). 
His optometrist examined him in 2012 and certified that he does not 
have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class B CDL from New Jersey.

Mark S. Wilt

    Mr. Wilt, 56, has had ITDM since 2009. His endocrinologist examined 
him in 2012 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic 
reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance 
of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that 
occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (2 or 
more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His 
endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Wilt understands diabetes management 
and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and 
is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Wilt meets the vision requirements 
of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2012 and 
certified that he does not have

[[Page 56261]]

diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class E operator's license from West 
Virginia.

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. We will consider all comments received before 
the close of business on the closing date indicated in the date section 
of the notice.
    FMCSA notes that section 4129 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible 
and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users requires 
the Secretary to revise its diabetes exemption program established on 
September 3, 2003 (68 FR 52441).\1\ The revision must provide for 
individual assessment of drivers with diabetes mellitus, and be 
consistent with the criteria described in section 4018 of the 
Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (49 U.S.C. 31305).
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    \1\ Section 4129(a) refers to the 2003 notice as a ``final 
rule.'' However, the 2003 notice did not issue a ``final rule'' but 
did establish the procedures and standards for issuing exemptions 
for drivers with ITDM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 4129 requires: (1) Elimination of the requirement for 3 
years of experience operating CMVs while being treated with insulin; 
and (2) establishment of a specified minimum period of insulin use to 
demonstrate stable control of diabetes before being allowed to operate 
a CMV.
    In response to section 4129, FMCSA made immediate revisions to the 
diabetes exemption program established by the September 3, 2003 notice. 
FMCSA discontinued use of the 3-year driving experience and fulfilled 
the requirements of section 4129 while continuing to ensure that 
operation of CMVs by drivers with ITDM will achieve the requisite level 
of safety required of all exemptions granted under 49 USC. 31136 (e).
    Section 4129(d) also directed FMCSA to ensure that drivers of CMVs 
with ITDM are not held to a higher standard than other drivers, with 
the exception of limited operating, monitoring and medical requirements 
that are deemed medically necessary.
    The FMCSA concluded that all of the operating, monitoring and 
medical requirements set out in the September 3, 2003 notice, except as 
modified, were in compliance with section 4129(d). Therefore, all of 
the requirements set out in the September 3, 2003 notice, except as 
modified by the notice in the Federal Register on November 8, 2005 (70 
FR 67777), remain in effect.

    Issued on: August 27, 2012.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2012-22463 Filed 9-11-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P



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