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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
December 26, 2012


[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 247 (Wednesday, December 26, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 76166-76167]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-31001]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-1998-3637; FMCSA-2000-7363; FMCSA-2000-8203; FMCSA-
2002-12294; FMCSA-2006-24783 FMCSA-2006-26066]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

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

ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemptions; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew the exemptions from the 
vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for 
8 individuals. FMCSA has statutory authority to exempt individuals from 
the vision requirement if the exemptions granted will not compromise 
safety. The Agency has concluded that granting these exemption renewals 
will provide a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than 
the level of safety maintained without the exemptions for these 
commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.

DATES: This decision is effective January 13, 2013. Comments must be 
received on or before January 25, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) numbers: Docket No. [FMCSA-1998-3637; FMCSA-
2000-7363; FMCSA-2000-8203; FMCSA-2002-12294; FMCSA-2006-24783 FMCSA-
2006-26066], 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 or Courier: 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 number for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments 
received without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any 
personal information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act 
heading below.
    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 renew an exemption 
from the vision requirements in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), which applies to 
drivers of CMVs in interstate commerce, for a two-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 procedures for requesting an exemption (including 
renewals) are set out in 49 CFR part 381.

Exemption Decision

    This notice addresses 8 individuals who have requested renewal of 
their exemptions in accordance with FMCSA procedures. FMCSA has 
evaluated these 8 applications for renewal on their merits and decided 
to extend each exemption for a renewable two-year period. They are:

David S. Brumfield (KY)

[[Page 76167]]

Robert R. Buis (KY)
Leon C. Flynn (TX)
Gerald R. Rietmann (MN)
Arthur A. Sappington (IN)
David W. Skillman (WA)
William H. Smith (AL)
Edward C. Williams (AL)

    The exemptions are extended subject to the following conditions: 
(1) That each individual has a physical examination every year (a) by 
an ophthalmologist or optometrist who attests that the vision in the 
better eye continues to meet the requirements in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), 
and (b) by a medical examiner who attests that the individual is 
otherwise physically qualified under 49 CFR 391.41; (2) that each 
individual provides a copy of the ophthalmologist's or optometrist's 
report to the medical examiner at the time of the annual medical 
examination; and (3) that each individual provide a copy of the annual 
medical certification to the employer for retention in the driver's 
qualification file and retains a copy of the certification on his/her 
person while driving for presentation to a duly authorized Federal, 
State, or local enforcement official. Each exemption will be valid for 
two years unless rescinded earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be 
rescinded 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.

Basis for Renewing Exemptions

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(1), an exemption may be granted for no 
longer than two years from its approval date and may be renewed upon 
application for additional two year periods. In accordance with 49 
U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, each of the 8 applicants has satisfied the 
entry conditions for obtaining an exemption from the vision 
requirements (63 FR 30285; 63 FR 54519; 65 FR 45817; 65 FR 66293; 65 FR 
77066; 67 FR 46016; 67 FR 57267; 67 FR 71610; 68 FR 1654; 69 FR 71098 
71 FR 32183; 71 FR 41310; 71 FR 63379; 72 FR 1050; 72 FR 1054; 73 FR 
75806; 73 FR 78421; 73 FR 78422; 75 FR 79079). Each of these 8 
applicants has requested renewal of the exemption and has submitted 
evidence showing that the vision in the better eye continues to meet 
the requirement specified at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10) and that the vision 
impairment is stable. In addition, a review of each record of safety 
while driving with the respective vision deficiencies over the past two 
years indicates each applicant continues to meet the vision exemption 
requirements.
    These factors provide an adequate basis for predicting each 
driver's ability to continue to drive safely in interstate commerce. 
Therefore, FMCSA concludes that extending the exemption for each 
renewal applicant for a period of two years is likely to achieve a 
level of safety equal to that existing without the exemption.

Request for Comments

    FMCSA will review comments received at any time concerning a 
particular driver's safety record and determine if the continuation of 
the exemption is consistent with the requirements at 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) 
and 31315. However, FMCSA requests that interested parties with 
specific data concerning the safety records of these drivers submit 
comments by January 25, 2013.
    FMCSA believes that the requirements for a renewal of an exemption 
under
    49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 can be satisfied by initially granting 
the renewal and then requesting and evaluating, if needed, subsequent 
comments submitted by interested parties. As indicated above, the 
Agency previously published notices of final disposition announcing its 
decision to exempt these 8 individuals from the vision requirement in 
49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). The final decision to grant an exemption to each 
of these individuals was made on the merits of each case and made only 
after careful consideration of the comments received to its notices of 
applications. The notices of applications stated in detail the 
qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each applicant for 
an exemption from the vision requirements. That information is 
available by consulting the above cited Federal Register publications.
    Interested parties or organizations possessing information that 
would otherwise show that any, or all, of these drivers are not 
currently achieving the statutory level of safety should immediately 
notify FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any adverse evidence submitted 
and, if safety is being compromised or if continuation of the exemption 
would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 
31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA will take immediate steps to revoke the 
exemption of a driver.

    Issued on: December 12, 2012.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2012-31001 Filed 12-21-12; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P



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