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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
September 26, 2012


[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 187 (Wednesday, September 26, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59248-59249]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-23681]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0278]


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 5 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 October 26, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0278 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 5 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

James R. Atherton

    Mr. Atherton, age 64, has had amblyopia in his right eye since 
childhood. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/100, 
and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2012, his 
optometrist noted, ``I feel that Mr. Atherton has sufficient vision to 
drive a commercial vehicle as long as he follows all the recommended 
restrictions.'' Mr. Atherton reported that he has driven tractor-
trailer combinations for 37 years, accumulating 2.7 million miles. He 
holds an operator's license from Indiana. His driving record for the 
last 3 years shows no crashes and one conviction for a moving violation 
in a CMV; failure to obey a traffic signal.

Jose S. Chavez

    Mr. Chavez, 47, had a rupture in his left eye due to an injury 
sustained in 1984. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 
20/20, and in his left eye, hand motion vision. Following an 
examination in 2011, his ophthalmologist noted, ``I certify, in my 
medical opinion, that this patient has sufficient vision to perform the 
driving test required to operate a commercial vehicle and a waiver 
should be done, because I am aware of that normally you have to have 
two eyes unless you have a waiver; but he has been doing this for many 
years without an accident and he is a very reliable and careful 
driver.'' Mr. Chavez reported that he has driven tractor-trailer 
combinations for 22 years, accumulating 3.3 million miles. He holds a 
Class A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) from Arizona. His driving 
record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for 
moving violations in a CMV.

Christopher K. Foot

    Mr. Foot, 46, has a prosthetic right eye due to traumatic injury 
sustained in 1970. 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 ophthalmologist noted, ``Based on his 
excellent vision in the left eye and his long history of driving 
commercial vehicles, it is in my medical opinion that he has sufficient 
vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial 
motor vehicle.'' Mr. Foot reported that he has driven straight trucks 
for 4 years, accumulating 312,000 miles. He holds a Class B CDL from 
Nevada. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes but 
one conviction for speeding in a CMV; he exceeded the speed limit by 10 
mph.

[[Page 59249]]

Patrick J. McMillen

    Mr. McMillen, 50, has scarring in his left eye due to 
histoplasmosis sustained in 1991. The best corrected visual acuity in 
his right eye is 20/25, and in his left eye, 20/200. Following an 
examination in 2012, his optometrist noted, ``It is my professional 
opinion that the defect in Mr. McMillen's left eye will not and has not 
affected his ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, whether 
commercial or private.'' Mr. McMillen reported that he has driven 
straight trucks for 12 years, accumulating 12,000 miles, and tractor-
trailer combinations for 24 years, accumulating 960,000 miles. He holds 
a Class A CDL from Wisconsin. His driving record for the last 3 years 
shows no crashes but one conviction for speeding in a CMV; he exceeded 
the speed limit by 15 mph.

Gary B. Shipler

    Mr. Shipler, 66, has retinal damage in his right eye since age 13. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is hand motion, and in his left eye, 
20/20. Following an examination in 2012, his ophthalmologist noted, 
``In my opinion he has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks 
required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Shipler reported that 
he has driven straight trucks for 4 years, accumulating 120,000 miles. 
He holds an operator's license from Washington. 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 October 26, 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.

    Issued on: September 19, 2012.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2012-23681 Filed 9-25-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P



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