Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes Mellitus
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes Mellitus
Larry W. Minor
Federal Highway Administration
February 25, 2013
[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 37 (Monday, February 25, 2013)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-04190]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[FMCSA Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0350]
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of final disposition.
SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 16 individuals from its
rule prohibiting persons with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM)
from operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce.
The exemptions will enable these individuals to operate CMVs in
DATES: The exemptions are effective February 25, 2013. The exemptions
expire on February 25, 2015.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elaine M. Papp, Chief, Medical
Programs Division, (202) 366-4001, email@example.com, FMCSA, Room
W64-224, 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.
You may see all the comments online through the Federal Document
Management System (FDMS) at: http://www.regulations.gov.
Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or
comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov and/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.
Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments
received into any of DOT's 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, or other
entity). You may review DOT's Privacy Act Statement for the Federal
Docket Management System (FDMS) published in the Federal Register on
December 29, 2010 (75 FR 82132), or you may visit http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-12-29/pdf/2010-32876.pdf.
On January 9, 2013, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of Federal
diabetes exemption applications from 16 individuals and requested
comments from the public (78 FR 1923). The public comment period closed
on February 8, 2013, and no comments were received.
FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of the 16 applicants and
determined that granting the exemptions to these individuals would
achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that
would be achieved by complying with the current regulation 49 CFR
Diabetes Mellitus and Driving Experience of the Applicants
The Agency established the current requirement for diabetes in 1970
because several risk studies indicated that drivers with diabetes had a
higher rate of crash involvement than the general population. The
diabetes rule provides that ``A person is physically qualified to drive
a commercial motor vehicle if that person has no established medical
history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus currently requiring
insulin for control'' (49 CFR 391.41(b)(3)).
FMCSA established its diabetes exemption program, based on the
Agency's July 2000 study entitled ``A Report to Congress on the
Feasibility of a Program to Qualify Individuals with Insulin-Treated
Diabetes Mellitus to Operate in Interstate Commerce as Directed by the
Transportation Act for the 21st Century.'' The report concluded that a
safe and practicable protocol to allow some drivers with ITDM to
operate CMVs is feasible. The September 3, 2003 (68 FR 52441), Federal
Register notice in conjunction with the November 8, 2005 (70 FR 67777),
Federal Register notice provides the current protocol for allowing such
drivers to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
These 16 applicants have had ITDM over a range of 1 to 23 years.
These applicants report no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in
loss of consciousness or seizure, requiring the assistance of another
person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred
without warning symptoms, in the past 12 months and no recurrent (2 or
more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the past 5 years. In each case,
an endocrinologist verified that the driver has demonstrated a
willingness to properly monitor and manage his/her diabetes mellitus,
received education related to diabetes management, and is on a stable
insulin regimen. These drivers report no other disqualifying
conditions, including diabetes-related complications. Each meets the
vision requirement at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10).
The qualifications and medical condition of each applicant were
stated and discussed in detail in the January 9, 2013 Federal Register
notice and they will not be repeated in this notice.
Discussion of Comments
FMCSA received one comment in this proceeding. Mark Sokolow stated
he is in favor of all exemptions.
Basis for Exemption Determination
Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption
from the diabetes requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) if the exemption
is likely to achieve an equivalent or greater level of safety than
would be achieved without the exemption. The exemption allows the
applicants to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
To evaluate the effect of these exemptions on safety, FMCSA
considered medical reports about the applicants' ITDM and vision, and
reviewed the treating endocrinologists' medical opinion related to the
ability of the driver to safely operate a CMV while using insulin.
Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these
applicants from the diabetes requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) is
likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the
Conditions and Requirements
The terms and conditions of the exemption will be provided to the
applicants in the exemption document and they include the following:
(1) That each individual submit a quarterly
monitoring checklist completed by the treating endocrinologist as well
as an annual checklist with a comprehensive medical evaluation; (2)
that each individual reports within 2 business days of occurrence, all
episodes of severe hypoglycemia, significant complications, or
inability to manage diabetes; also, any involvement in an accident or
any other adverse event in a CMV or personal vehicle, whether or not it
is related to an episode of hypoglycemia; (3) that each individual
provide a copy of the ophthalmologist's or optometrist's report to the
medical examiner at the time of the annual medical examination; and (4)
that each individual provide a copy of the annual medical certification
to the employer for retention in the driver's qualification file, or
keep a copy in his/her driver's qualification file if he/she is self-
employed. The driver must also have a copy of the certification when
driving, for presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local
Based upon its evaluation of the 16 exemption applications, FMCSA
exempts Shawn J. Ball (ID), Buck H. Bowers (OH), Jeffrey S. Bublitz
(WI), Ira S. Chamberlain (ME), Victor W. Dannenbrink (IA), James K.
Dowden (MN), Myron P. Egbert (UT), Michael T. Evans (OH), Stephen P.
Honen (OH), Charles E. Johnston (MS), Steve A. Rau (ND), Jack M Sipich
(IL), Roger N. Stauffer (MI), Tyrone Taylor (NC), Michael E. Westley
(FL), and Travis M. Whitt (CA) from the ITDM requirement in 49 CFR
391.41(b)(3), subject to the conditions listed under ``Conditions and
In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 each exemption will
be valid for two years unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption
will be revoked if the following occurs: (1) The person fails to comply
with the terms and conditions of the 1/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. If the
exemption is still effective at the end of the 2-year period, the
person may apply to FMCSA for a renewal under procedures in effect at
Issued on: February 15, 2013.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2013-04190 Filed 2-22-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
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