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Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Trucking Buses American Government

Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
January 15, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 10 (Tuesday, January 15, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 3077-3079]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00713]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0094]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and 
Seizure Disorders

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

ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption, request for comments.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 14 individuals 
for an exemption from the prohibition against persons with a clinical 
diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition which is likely to cause a 
loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to operate a commercial 
motor vehicle (CMV) from operating CMVs in interstate commerce. The 
regulation and the associated advisory criteria published in the Code 
of Federal Regulations as the ``Instructions for Performing and 
Recording Physical Examinations'' have resulted in numerous drivers 
being prohibited from operating CMVs in interstate commerce based on 
the fact that they have had one or more seizures and are taking anti-
seizure medication, rather than an individual analysis of their 
circumstances by a qualified medical examiner. If granted, the 
exemptions would enable these individuals who have had one or more 
seizures and are taking anti-seizure medication to operate CMVs for 2 
years in interstate commerce.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 14, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2012-0094--using any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting 
comments.

[[Page 3078]]

     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.
    Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket ID 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 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 the DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal 
Register published on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316; January 17, 2008). 
This information is also available at http://Docketinfo.dot.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elaine Papp, Chief, Medical Programs 
Division, (202) 366-4001, or via email at fmcsamedical@dot.gov, or by 
letter FMCSA, Room W64-113, Department of Transportation, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., 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. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA may grant an exemption 
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 statutes also allow the 
Agency to renew exemptions at the end of the 2-year period. The 14 
individuals listed in this notice have recently requested an exemption 
from the epilepsy prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8), which applies to 
drivers who operate CMVs as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, in interstate 
commerce. Section 391.41(b)(8) states that a person is physically 
qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if that person has no 
established medical history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any 
other condition which is likely to cause the loss of consciousness or 
any loss of ability to control a commercial motor vehicle.
    FMCSA provides medical advisory criteria for use by medical 
examiners in determining whether drivers with certain medical 
conditions should be certified to operate commercial motor vehicles in 
intrastate commerce. The advisory criteria indicate that if an 
individual has had a sudden episode of a non-epileptic seizure or loss 
of consciousness of unknown cause which did not require anti-seizure 
medication, the decision whether that person's condition is likely to 
cause the loss of consciousness or loss of ability to control a CMV 
should be made on an individual basis by the medical examiner in 
consultation with the treating physician. Before certification is 
considered, it is suggested that a 6-month waiting period elapse from 
the time of the episode. Following the waiting period, it is suggested 
that the individual have a complete neurological examination. If the 
results of the examination are negative and anti-seizure medication is 
not required, then the driver may be qualified.
    In those individual cases where a driver had a seizure or an 
episode of loss of consciousness that resulted from a known medical 
condition (e.g., drug reaction, high temperature, acute infectious 
disease, dehydration, or acute metabolic disturbance), certification 
should be deferred until the driver has fully recovered from that 
condition, has no existing residual complications, and is not taking 
anti-seizure medication. Drivers who have a history of epilepsy/
seizures, off anti-seizure medication and seizure-free for 10 years, 
may be qualified to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. Interstate 
drivers with a history of a single unprovoked seizure may be qualified 
to drive a CMV in interstate commerce if seizure-free and off anti-
seizure medication for a 5-year period or more.

Summary of Applications

Salvatore Gerard Adamita

    Mr. Adamita is a 45 year-old CMV driver in the state of Florida. He 
has a history of epilepsy and has had two seizures in his lifetime; the 
last seizure was in 1992. He has remained seizure free for 20 years. He 
takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining 
the same for 20 years. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive 
straight trucks or single tractor trailer trucks. His physician states 
he is supportive of Mr. Adamita receiving an exemption and Mr. Adamita 
states he feels he would operate a vehicle at the same safety level as 
someone who did not require an exemption.

John W. Boerth

    Mr. Boerth is a 64 year-old class CML driver in the State of 
Wisconsin. He had brain surgery in 2002 and has since had 2 seizures, 
one in 2002 and the last seizure was June 2003. He takes anti-seizure 
medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same for over 10 
years. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive vehicles from 
one-half ton vans to 18,000 pound straight trucks in interstate 
commerce.

Michael C. Breitbach

    Mr. Breitbach is a 56 year-old CMV driver in the State of Iowa. He 
has a history of two nocturnal seizures in his lifetime; the last 
seizure was in 2002. He has remained seizure free for 10 years. He 
takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining 
the same for 5 years. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive 
tractor trailer trucks. His physician states he is supportive of Mr. 
Breitbach receiving an exemption.

Sonja D. Cottle

    Ms. Cottle is a 55 year-old CDL driver in the State of Wisconsin. 
She had brain surgery with the removal of a left frontal meningioma in 
September 2011. She was placed on anti-seizure medication as a 
preventative measure during and after the surgery. She remains on the 
anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the 
same since September 2011. She has never had a seizure. If granted the 
exemption, she would like to return to driving semi-tractors with 
trailers. Her medical provider states that she believes it is safe for 
Ms. Cottle to return to driving CMVs.

Jeffrey Blake Davis

    Mr. Davis is a 47 year-old CMV driver in the State of Maryland. He 
has a

[[Page 3079]]

diagnosis of seizure disorder post aneurysm with three seizures related 
to the diagnosis of the aneurysm. His last seizure was August 2011. He 
has remained seizure free for 10 months. He takes anti-seizure 
medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same for 10 
months. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive dump trucks in 
interstate commerce. His physician states he is supportive of Mr. Davis 
receiving an exemption.

Timothy Grant Edwards

    Mr. Edwards is a 25 year-old driver in the state of Tennessee. He 
has a diagnosis of complex partial seizures. His last seizure was in 
1992. He has remained seizure free for 20 years. He takes anti-seizure 
medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same for 10 
years. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a service truck 
for his employer that weighs more than 10,000 pounds, but less than 
26,000 pounds, in interstate commerce.

Juan Flores

    Mr. Flores is a 40 year-old driver in the state of Massachusetts. 
He had a closed head injury at age 17 and has had 5 or 6 seizures in 
his lifetime, the last one being January 2011. He has remained seizure 
free since that time. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage 
and frequency remaining the same for 1 year. If granted the exemption, 
he would like to drive CMVs with aerial buckets and derrick diggers to 
install utility poles.

Glenn Gervais

    Mr. Gervais is a 49 year-old class E driver in the state of 
Florida, allowing him to drive a commercial non-CDL vehicle. He has had 
2 seizures, one in 2009 and the last seizure was February 2011, one 
year ago. This seizure was the result of his physician taking him off 
of his anti-seizure medication. He has remained seizure free for 1 
year. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency 
remaining the same for 1 year. If granted the exemption, he would like 
to return to driving a package delivery truck for UPS in interstate 
commerce.

Daryl Goodman

    Mr. Goodman is a 38 year-old CDL driver in the state of New York. 
He had a single seizure following brain surgery to remove a tumor in 
March 2010. He was taking anti-seizure medication until September 2010, 
when his physician stopped the medication. He has remained seizure free 
for 2 years. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a tractor 
trailer in interstate commerce.

James Gorniak

    Mr. Gorniak is a 49 year-old CMV driver in the state of Wisconsin. 
Mr. Gorniak had a single seizure in January 2007. It was discovered he 
had a brain tumor which was then removed. He was given anti-seizure 
medication for a short time after the surgery, but has been off the 
medication for 5 years and has remained seizure free since 2007. His 
physician states he is supportive of him receiving the exemption. If 
granted an exemption, he would like to return to driving tractor 
trailers in interstate commerce.

Brian Hanson

    Mr. Hanson is a 53 year-old driver in the state of Oregon. Mr. 
Hanson has a diagnosis of epilepsy and his last seizure was in April 
2004. He has been off of anti-seizure medication for 6 years. He has 
remained seizure free for 8 years. If granted the exemption, he would 
like to attend truck driving school and drive tractor trailer with his 
wife, as she is a long haul driver.

Victor Marquez

    Mr. Marquez is a 23 year-old driver in the state of Idaho. Mr. 
Marquez has had 3 seizures in his lifetime with the last being March 
2003. He has been on anti-seizure medication, with the dosage and 
frequency remaining the same for 9 years. His physician states that he 
believes Mr. Marquez is a good candidate for an exemption. If granted 
an exemption, he would like to drive a water truck or flatbed truck in 
interstate commerce.

Robert J. Mooney

    Mr. Mooney is a 51 year-old CMV driver in the State of Ohio. He has 
a diagnosis of seizure disorder and his last seizure was in 1981. He 
has remained seizure free since that time. He takes anti-seizure 
medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same for over 20 
years. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive 18-passenger 
busses in interstate commerce.

Gary Osley

    Mr. Osley is a 36 year-old CDL driver in the state of Kentucky. He 
has not ever experienced a seizure. He was given anti-seizure 
medication as a precaution before having brain surgery to remove a mass 
in October 2011. He remains on the anti-seizure medication at present 
for a period up to one year following the surgery, October 2012. He has 
remained seizure free. If granted an exemption, he would return to 
driving in interstate commerce.

Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests 
public comment from all interested persons on the exemption 
applications described in this notice. We will consider all comments 
received before the close of business on the closing date indicated 
earlier in the notice.

    Issued on: January 10, 2013.
 Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2013-00713 Filed 1-11-13; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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