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Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
October 22, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 204 (Tuesday, October 22, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 62935-62938]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-24748]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0166]


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 26 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 November 21, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0166 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 Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) published in the Federal Register on January 
17, 2008 (73 FR 3316).

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 26 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

Herbert R. Benner

    Mr. Benner, age 44, has had amblyopia in his left eye since birth. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/25, and in his left eye, 20/
400. Following an examination in 2013, his optometrist noted, ``Most 
recently Mr. Benner presented with a list of criteria for him to keep 
his medical card needed to continue driving hazardous materials . . . 
It is my opinion that because Mr.

[[Page 62936]]

Benner has been monocular since birth, and his history of no work 
related vehicle incidents whatsoever, he should be a good example of 
why there are always exceptions to the rule. It would be a shame to not 
allow Mr. Benner to continue to drive and make a living hauling 
hazardous materials.'' Mr. Benner reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 25 years, accumulating 1 million miles. He holds a Class B 
Commercial Driver's License (CDL) from Maine. His driving record for 
the last 3 years shows no crashes and one conviction for a moving 
violation in a CMV; he exceeded the speed limit by 18 mph.

Junior Chavarria

    Mr. Chavarria, 31, has had amblyopia in his left eye since 
childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left 
eye, 20/60. Following an examination in 2013, his optometrist noted, 
``In my medical opinion, I feel that Mr. Chavarria has sufficient 
vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Chavarria reported that he has driven tractor-trailer 
combinations for 3 years, accumulating 1,500 miles. He holds a Class A 
CDL from New Mexico. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no 
crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Albert M. DiVella

    Mr. DiVella, 71, has had macular degeneration in his left eye since 
2007. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 
20/50. Following an examination in 2013, his ophthalmologist noted, 
``No change has occurred in Mr. DiVella's vision in over 7 years. No 
driving restrictions are necessary for this patient to safely operate a 
commercial motor vehicle.'' Mr. DiVella reported that he has driven 
buses for 8 years, accumulating 320,000 miles. He holds a Class B CDL 
from Nevada. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes 
and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Terry D. Elliot

    Mr. Elliot, 58, has had amblyopia in his right eye since childhood. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/80, and in his left eye, 20/
20. Following an examination in 2013, his ophthalmologist noted, ``In 
my medical opinion he has sufficient vision to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Elliot reported that he has driven straight trucks for 
12 years, accumulating 240,000 miles. He holds Class A CDL from 
Tennessee. His driving record for the last 3 years shows one crash, to 
which he contributed by improper backing and careless or erratic 
driving, and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Bernard T. Gillette

    Mr. Gillette, 45, has had a retinal detachment in his right eye 
since 1989. The visual acuity in his right eye is hand motion, and in 
his left eye, 20/25. Following an examination in 2013, his optometrist 
noted, ``In my medical opinion he does have sufficient vision to 
perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle 
under the current driving regulations.'' Mr. Gillette reported that he 
has driven straight trucks for 40 years, accumulating 1.4 million 
miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 38 years, accumulating 
399,000. 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.

James B. Grega

    Mr. Grega, 30, has had amblyopia in his right eye since birth. The 
visual acuity in his right eye is counting fingers, and in his left 
eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2012, his optometrist noted, 
``In my medical opinion, he has sufficient vision to perform the 
driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Grega 
reported that he has driven straight trucks for 4 years, accumulating 
4,000 miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 4 years, accumulating 
400 miles. He holds an 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.

Steven M. Hoover

    Mr. Hoover, 37, has a prosthetic right eye due to a traumatic 
incident in 1985. The visual acuity in his right eye is no light 
perception, and in his left eye, 20/15. Following an examination in 
2013, his optometrist noted, ``Has vision capable of driving a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Hoover reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 20 years, accumulating 10,000 miles, and tractor-trailer 
combinations for 6 years, accumulating 90,000 miles. He holds a Class A 
CDL from Illinois. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no 
crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Gregory R. Johnson

    Mr. Johnson, 45, has a retinal detachment in his right eye due to a 
traumatic incident in 1976. The visual acuity in his right eye is no 
light perception, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination 
in 2012, his optometrist noted, ``It is my professional opinion that 
since Mr. Johnson has apparently had a flawless driving record over the 
past 3 years doing this work that he has sufficient vision to perform 
his required tasks. It should be noted that I have had many 
professional truck drivers over the past 40 years who had amblyopia, 
trauma et. al. to one of their eyes and there was never a problem of 
driving safety. Most had been driving for many, many years with 
flawless records.'' Mr. Johnson reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 6 years, accumulating 90,000 miles. He holds an operator's 
license from South Carolina. His driving record for the last 3 years 
shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Lewis J. Johnson

    Mr. Johnson, 48, has a retinal detachment in his right eye due to a 
traumatic incident in 1998. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/
70, and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2013, his 
optometrist noted, ``Bilateral vision is sufficient to operate 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Johnson reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 28 years, accumulating 420,000 miles. He holds an 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.

Carol Kelly

    Ms. Kelly, 51, has had amblyopia in her left eye since birth. The 
visual acuity in her right eye is 20/20, and in her left eye, 20/200. 
Following an examination in 2013, her optometrist noted, ``In my 
opinion she has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required 
to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Ms. Kelly reported that she has 
driven straight trucks for 4 years, accumulating 223,200 miles, 
tractor-trailer combinations for 1 year, accumulating 24,000, and buses 
for 16 years, accumulating 2.95 million miles. She holds a Class B CDL 
from Indiana. Her driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes 
and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Jeremy W. Knott

    Mr. Knott, 38, has had a retinal detachment in his right eye since 
1998. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/200, and in his left 
eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2013, his optometrist noted, 
``In my medical opinion, Jeremy has sufficient vision to operate 
commercial motor vehicles.'' Mr. Knott reported that he has driven

[[Page 62937]]

straight trucks for 14 years, accumulating 87,500 miles. He holds a 
Class A CDL from North Carolina. His driving record for the last 3 
years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
CMV.

Chase L. Larson

    Mr. Larson, 42, has had amblyopia in his left eye since birth. The 
visual acuity in his right eye is 20/25, and in his left eye, 20/80. 
Following an examination in 2013, his optometrist noted, ``In my 
professional opinion Mr. Larson has the vision sufficient to operate a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Larson reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 2 years, accumulating 115,000 miles, and tractor-trailer 
combinations for 1.5 years, accumulating 116,250 miles. He holds a 
Class A CDL from Washington. His driving record for the last 3 years 
shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Ronald E. Loper

    Mr. Loper, 58, has had amblyopia in his left eye since birth. The 
visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 20/100. 
Following an examination in 2013, his optometrist noted, ``Mr. Loper 
has been a commercial truck driver for many years and I believe his 
visual function is adequate to continue driving a commercial vehicle.'' 
Mr. Loper reported that he has driven straight trucks for 37 years, 
accumulating 1.1 million miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 37 
years, accumulating 1.1 million miles. He holds an operator's license 
from Louisiana. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no 
crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

James M. McCleary

    Mr. McCleary, 39, has had amblyopia in his right eye since 
childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/400, and in his 
left eye, 20/25. Following an examination in 2012, his optometrist 
noted, ``For Federal Vision Exemption, he has sufficient vision if 
above conditions meets requirements and approval of the vision program 
to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. McCleary reported that he has 
driven straight trucks for 2 years, accumulating 40,000 miles, and 
tractor-trailer combinations for 4 years, accumulating 100,000 miles. 
He holds a Class A CDL from Ohio. His driving record for the last 3 
years shows one crash, to which he did not contribute and for which he 
was not cited, and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Michael E. Miles

    Mr. Miles, 67, has had a retinal detachment in his right eye since 
1988. The visual acuity in his right eye is counting fingers, and in 
his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2013, his optometrist 
noted, ``With my findings, Mr. Miles has sufficient vision to perform 
the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Miles 
reported that he has driven straight trucks for 40 years, accumulating 
1.2 million miles. He holds a Class AM CDL from Illinois. His driving 
record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for 
moving violations in a CMV.

Jeremy L. Miller

    Mr. Miller, 38, has had amblyopia in his right eye since childhood. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/60, and in his left eye, 20/
20. Following an examination in 2013, his optometrist noted, ``He has 
sufficient vision to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Miller 
reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 12.5 
years, accumulating 937,500 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Oregon. 
His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no 
convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Ronald L. Newlin

    Mr. Newlin, 65, has had amblyopia in his left eye since birth. The 
visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, counting 
fingers. Following an examination in 2013, his optometrist noted, ``In 
my opinion, as his eye doctor of 8 years, Ronald Newlin has sufficient 
vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Newlin reported that he has driven straight trucks for 
48 years, accumulating 48,000 miles. He holds a Class B CDL from 
Illinois. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and 
no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Carlos A. Osollo

    Mr. Osollo, 44, has had amblyopia in his left eye since birth. The 
visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, counting 
fingers. Following an examination in 2013, his optometrist noted, ``He 
has the sufficient vision necessary to perform the driving tasks 
required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Osollo reported that he 
has driven straight trucks for 8 years, accumulating 240,000 miles, and 
tractor-trailer combinations for 8 years, accumulating 272,000 miles. 
He holds a Class A CDL from New Mexico. His driving record for the last 
3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a 
CMV.

Steven J. Scesnewicz

    Mr. Scesnewicz, 50, has had amblyopia in his right eye since 
childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/125, and in his 
left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2013, his optometrist 
noted, ``In my clinical opinion the patient has sufficient vision to 
perform the tasks required to operate a commercial driving vehicle.'' 
Mr. Scensnewicz reported that he has driven straight trucks for 20 
years, accumulating 160,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from 
Illinois. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and 
no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Henry D. Smith

    Mr. Smith, 51, has had a prosthetic left eye since childhood. The 
visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, no light 
perception. Following an examination in 2012, his optometrist noted, 
``Mr. Smith, despite having a prosthetic left eye, has fully functional 
vision in his right eye. Because of this, and because of the fact that 
he has had a functional CDL with no problems for years, I feel that 
driving abilities are not compromised by his monocular vision.'' Mr. 
Smith reported that he has driven straight trucks for 17 years, 
accumulating 1.36 million miles. He holds a Class B CDL from North 
Carolina. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and 
no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Dennis R. Stockert

    Mr. Stockert, 50, has a retinal detachment in his left eye due to a 
traumatic incident in 1987. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/
20, and in his left eye, light perception. Following an examination in 
2013, his optometrist noted, ``In my opinion, Mr. Stockert sees well 
enough binocularly to perform the driving tasks required to operate a 
commercial vehicle.'' Mr. Stockert reported that he has driven straight 
trucks for 30 years, accumulating 900,000 miles. He holds an operator's 
license from Minnesota. His driving record for the last 3 years shows 
no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Kolby W. Strickland

    Mr. Strickland, 35, has had amblyopia in his right eye since birth. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/60, and in his left eye, 20/
15. Following an examination in 2013, his optometrist noted, ``In my 
opinion, Mr. Strickland's

[[Page 62938]]

vision will not impair his ability to operate a commercial vehicle.'' 
Mr. Strickland reported that he has driven straight trucks for 10 
years, accumulating 3,500 miles. He holds a Class B CDL from 
Washington. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes 
and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Eric Taniguchi

    Mr. Taniguchi, 54, has had Harada's disease in his left eye since 
1984. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/15, and in his left eye, 
no light perception. Following an examination in 2012, his 
ophthalmologist noted, ``It is my medical opinion that Mr. Taniguchi 
has sufficient vision to operate any vehicle or equipment.'' Mr. 
Taniguchi reported that he has driven straight trucks for 5 years, 
accumulating 50,000 mile, and tractor-trailer combinations for 23 
years, accumulating 230,000. He holds an operator's license from 
Hawaii. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no 
convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Stephen G. Vermilya

    Mr. Vermilya, 59, has had amblyopia in his left eye since 
childhood. The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left 
eye, 20/100. Following an examination in 2013, his optometrist noted, 
``In my opinion, the patient has sufficient vision to continue 
performing the drive [sic] tasks required to operate a commercial 
vehicle.'' Mr. Vermilya reported that he has driven straight trucks for 
40 years, accumulating 1.2 million miles, and tractor-trailer 
combinations for 40 years, accumulating 1.2 million miles. He holds a 
Class AM CDL from Pennsylvania. His driving record for the last 3 years 
shows no crashes and one conviction for a moving violation in a CMV; he 
disregarded a traffic lane signal.

Cesar Villa

    Mr. Villa, 44, has had central scotoma in his left eye since 2009. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20, and in his left eye, 
counting fingers. Following an examination in 2013, his ophthalmologist 
noted, ``The patient presents with CNV to the left eye and presents 
stable and has sufficient vision to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. 
Villa reported that he has driven straight trucks for 8 years, 
accumulating 440,000 miles, tractor-trailer combinations for 8 years, 
accumulating 520,000, and buses for 4 months, accumulating 6000 miles. 
He holds an 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 CMV.

Dennis E. White

    Mr. White, 58, has had strabismus in his right eye since childhood. 
The visual acuity in his right eye is 20/400, and in his left eye, 20/
20. Following an examination in 2013, his optometrist noted, ``Mr. 
White's central peripheral vision is adequate to perform the driving 
tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.'' Mr. White reported 
that he has driven straight trucks for 41 years, accumulating 1.64 
million miles, and tractor-trailer combinations for 35 years, 
accumulating 875,000. 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.

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 November 21, 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.

Submitting Comments

    You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, 
or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. FMCSA 
recommends that you include your name and a mailing address, an email 
address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that FMCSA 
can contact you if there are questions regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
in the search box insert the docket number FMCSA-2013-0166 and click 
the search button. When the new screen appears, click on the blue 
``Comment Now!'' button on the right hand side of the page. On the new 
page, enter information required including the specific section of this 
document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each 
suggestion or recommendation. If you submit your comments by mail or 
hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 8\1/2\ 
by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit 
comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, 
please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.
    We will consider all comments and material received during the 
comment period and may change this proposed rule based on your 
comments. FMCSA may issue a final rule at any time after the close of 
the comment period.

Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this 
preamble, To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and in the search box insert the docket number 
FMCSA-2013-0166 and click ``Search.'' Next, click ``Open Docket 
Folder'' and you will find all documents and comments related to the 
proposed rulemaking.

    Issued on: September 27, 2013.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2013-24748 Filed 10-21-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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