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Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Trucking Buses American Government

Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
January 9, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 6 (Wednesday, January 9, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 1921-1923]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00229]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0039]


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 13 individuals 
for exemption from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Regulations. If granted, the exemptions would enable these 
individuals to qualify as drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) 
in interstate commerce without meeting the Federal vision requirement.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 8, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0039 using any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting 
comments.

[[Page 1922]]

     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 13 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

Juan Castanon

    Mr. Castanon, age 46, has complete loss of vision in his right due 
to a traumatic injury sustained at age 9. The visual acuity in his left 
eye is 20/20. Following an examination in 2011, his optometrist noted, 
``I feel that Mr. Castanon is able to drive a commercial vehicle 
without glasses safely.'' Mr. Castanon reported that he has driven 
straight trucks for 6 years, accumulating 2,304 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 
Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV).

Donald F. Erke

    Mr. Erke, 70, has had amblyopia in his right eye since childhood. 
The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/200, and in his 
left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2011, his optometrist 
noted, ``It is my medical opinion that Mr. Erke has sufficient vision 
to perform any and all driving tasks required to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Erke reported that he has driven straight trucks for 17 
years, accumulating 1.5 million miles and tractor-trailer combinations 
for 25 years, accumulating 2.3 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL 
from Michigan. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes 
and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Ronald D. Flanery

    Mr. Flanery, 44, 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, 20/100. Following an examination in 2011, his ophthalmologist 
noted, ``Based upon my findings and medical expertise, I Daniel Ewen, 
MD hereby certify Ronald Flanery to be visually able to safely operate 
a commercial motor vehicle.'' Mr. Flanery reported that he has driven 
straight trucks for 15 years, accumulating 465,000 miles and tractor-
trailer combinations for 5 years, accumulating 1,250 miles. He holds a 
Class A CDL from Kentucky. His driving record for the last 3 years 
shows one crash, for which he was not cited and no convictions for 
moving violations in a CMV.

Mark G. Kleinheider

    Mr. Kleinheider, 48, has a detached retina in his left due to a 
traumatic injury sustained in 1989. The best corrected visual acuity in 
his right eye is 20/20. Following an examination in 2011, his 
ophthalmologist noted, ``It is my medical opinion that Mark has 
sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a 
commercial motor vehicle.'' Mr. Kleinheider reported that he has driven 
straight trucks for 3 years, accumulating 60,000 miles and tractor-
trailer combinations for 3 years, accumulating 15,000 miles. He holds a 
Class A CDL from Missouri. His driving record for the last 3 years 
shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Joseph C. Powell

    Mr. Powell, 57, has complete loss of vision in his right due to a 
traumatic injury sustained 10 years ago. The visual acuity in his left 
eye is 20/20. Following an examination in 2011, his optometrist noted, 
``I certify that, in my medical opinion, Mr. Powell has sufficient 
vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Powell reported that he has driven straight trucks for 
15 years, accumulating 150,000 miles and tractor-trailer combinations 
for 35 years, accumulating 1.12 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL 
from Virginia. 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 12 mph.

David L. Schachle

    Mr. Schachle, 40, has a prosthetic right eye due to a traumatic 
injury sustained at 8 months old. The best corrected visual acuity in 
his left eye is 20/20. Mr. Schachle reported that he has driven 
straight trucks for 4 years, accumulating 120,000 miles. He holds a 
Class A CDL from Pennsylvania. His driving record for the last 3 years 
shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV).

Michael E. See

    Mr. See, 55, has complete loss of vision in his right due to a 
traumatic injury sustained at age 3. The best

[[Page 1923]]

corrected visual acuity in his left eye is 20/15. Following an 
examination in 2011, his optometrist noted, ``I believe you have 
sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. See reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 30 years, accumulating 1.2 million miles. He holds a Class B 
CDL from New York. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no 
crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

James A. Settlemyre

    Mr. Settlemyre, 59, has had esotropia 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 2011, his 
optometrist noted, ``In my medical opinion, I feel James Settlemyre has 
sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Settlemyre reported that he has driven 
straight trucks for 8 years, accumulating 1 million miles. He holds a 
chauffeur's license from Indiana. His driving record for the last 3 
years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
CMV.

Steven K. Simone

    Mr. Simone, 61, has had keratoconus in his left eye for 30 years. 
The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/40, and in his 
left eye 20/400. Following an examination in 2011, his optometrist 
noted, ``I feel Steve is sufficient to perform the driving tasks 
required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Simone reported that he 
has driven straight trucks for 42 years, accumulating 3.4 million 
miles. He holds a Class C operator's license from Kansas. His driving 
record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for 
moving violations in a CMV.

Mark J. Sobczyk

    Mr. Sobczyk, 25, 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, 20/200. Following an examination in 2011, his ophthalmologist 
noted, ``I certify that Mark Sobczyk's ocular condition is satisfactory 
for operating commercial vehicles.'' Mr. Sobczyk reported that he has 
driven straight trucks for 5\1/2\ years, accumulating 206,000 miles. He 
holds a Class A CDL from Wisconsin. His driving record for the last 3 
years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
CMV.

Richard D. Sparkman

    Mr. Sparkman, 62, has complete loss of vision in his right due to a 
traumatic injury sustained as a child. The best corrected visual acuity 
in his left eye is 20/20. Following an examination in 2011, his 
ophthalmologist noted, ``Based on the above information, I believe the 
patient has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required by 
his current commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Sparkman reported that he has 
driven straight trucks for 10 years, accumulating 520,000 miles. He 
holds a Class A CDL from Pennsylvania. His driving record for the last 
3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
CMV.

Joshua A. Wheaton

    Mr. Wheaton, 30, has a detached retina in his left due to a 
traumatic injury sustained in 1997. 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 feel that Joshua has 
more than adequate vision to perform any driving tasks required to 
operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Wheaton reported that he has driven 
straight trucks for 5 years, accumulating 225,000 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.

John K. Wright

    Mr. Wright, 47, 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 2011, his optometrist 
noted, ``This meets the vision requirement to perform the driving tasks 
required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Wright reported that he 
has driven straight trucks for 3\1/2\ years, accumulating 105,000 miles 
and tractor-trailer combinations for 6 months, accumulating 30,000 
miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Montana. 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 February 8, 2013. 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: December 28, 2012.
 Larry W. Minor,
 Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2013-00229 Filed 1-8-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P



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