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Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
15 August 2018


[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 158 (Wednesday, August 15, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 40624-40625]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-17569]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket Nos. FMCSA 2012-0294; FMCSA 2013-0442; FMCSA-2013-0445; FMCSA-
2015-0321]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and 
Seizure Disorders

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 exemptions for four 
individuals from the requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations (FMCSRs) that interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) 
drivers have ``no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of 
epilepsy or any other condition which is likely to cause loss of 
consciousness or any loss of ability to control a CMV.'' The exemptions 
enable these individuals who have had one or more seizures and are 
taking anti-seizure medication to continue to operate CMVs in 
interstate commerce.

DATES: Each group of renewed exemptions were applicable on the dates 
stated in the discussions below and will expire on the dates stated in 
the discussions below. Comments must be received on or before September 
14, 2018.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket Nos. FMCSA 2012-0294; FMCSA 2013-0442; 
FMCSA-2013-0445; FMCSA-2015-0321 using any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online 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., 
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Instructions: Each submission must include the Agency name and the 
docket number(s) 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., e.t., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The FDMS is available 24 hours each day e.t., 
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 online.
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits 
comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT 
posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information 
the commenter provides, to http://www.regulations.gov, as described in 
the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed 
at http://www.dot.gov/privacy.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Christine A. Hydock, 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., 
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have 
questions regarding viewing or submitting material to the docket, 
contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption 
for five years 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 statute also allows the 
Agency to renew exemptions at the end of the five-year period. FMCSA 
grants exemptions from the FMCSRs for a two-year period to align with 
the maximum duration of a driver's medical certification.
    The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding epilepsy 
found in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8) states that a person is physically 
qualified to drive a CMV 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 CMV.
    In addition to the regulations, FMCSA has published advisory 
criteria to assist Medical Examiners in determining whether drivers 
with certain medical conditions are qualified to operate a CMV in 
interstate commerce. [49 CFR part 391, APPENDIX A TO PART 391--MEDICAL 
ADVISORY CRITERIA, section H. Epilepsy: Sec.  391.41(b)(8), paragraphs 
3, 4, and 5.]
    The four individuals listed in this notice have requested renewal 
of their exemptions from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition 
in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8), in accordance with FMCSA procedures. 
Accordingly, FMCSA has evaluated these applications for renewal on 
their merits and decided to extend each exemption for a renewable two-
year period.

II. Request for Comments

    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.

III. Basis for Renewing Exemptions

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, each of the four 
applicants has satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an 
exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition. The four 
drivers in this notice remain in good standing with the Agency, have 
maintained their medical monitoring and have not exhibited any medical 
issues that would compromise their ability to safely operate a CMV 
during the previous two-year exemption period. In addition, for 
Commercial Driver's License (CDL) holders, the Commercial Driver's 
License Information System (CDLIS) and the Motor Carrier Management 
Information System (MCMIS) are searched for crash and violation data. 
For non-CDL holders, the Agency reviews the driving records from the 
State Driver's

[[Page 40625]]

Licensing Agency (SDLA). These factors provide an adequate basis for 
predicting each driver's ability to continue to safely operate a CMV 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.
    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, the following 
groups of drivers received renewed exemptions in the month of July and 
are discussed below:
    As of July 5, 2018, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 
31315, the following individual has satisfied the renewal conditions 
for obtaining an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders 
prohibition in the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers:
    Brian Checkley, Jr. (NJ).
    This driver was included in docket number FMCSA-2015-0321. His 
exemption is applicable as of July 5, 2018, and will expire on July 5, 
2020.
    As of July 8, 2018, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 
31315, the following two individuals have satisfied the renewal 
conditions for obtaining an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure 
disorders prohibition in the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers:
    Samuel Beverly (VA) and Michael Duprey (CT).
    The drivers were included in docket numbers FMCSA 2012-0294 and 
FMCSA-2013-0442. Their exemptions are applicable as of July 8, 2018, 
and will expire on July 8, 2020.
    As of July 14, 2018, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 
31315, the following individual has satisfied the renewal conditions 
for obtaining an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders 
prohibition in the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers:
    Ronald Blount (GA).
    This driver was included in docket number FMCSA-2013-0445. His 
exemption is applicable as of July 14, 2018, and will expire on July 
14, 2020.

IV. Conditions and Requirements

    The exemptions are extended subject to the following conditions: 
(1) Each driver must remain seizure-free and maintain a stable 
treatment during the two-year exemption period; (2) each driver must 
submit annual reports from their treating physicians attesting to the 
stability of treatment and that the driver has remained seizure-free; 
(3) each driver must undergo an annual medical examination by a 
certified Medical Examiner, as defined by 49 CFR 390.5; and (4) each 
driver must provide a copy of the annual medical certification to the 
employer for retention in the driver's qualification file, or keep a 
copy of his/her driver's qualification file if he/she is self-employed. 
The driver must also have a copy of the exemption when driving, for 
presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement 
official. 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.

V. Preemption

    During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall 
enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with this exemption with 
respect to a person operating under the exemption.

VI. Conclusion

    Based upon its evaluation of the four exemption applications, FMCSA 
renews the exemptions of the aforementioned drivers from the epilepsy 
and seizure disorders prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8). In accordance 
with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, each exemption will be valid for two 
years unless revoked earlier by FMCSA.

    Issued on: August 8, 2018.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2018-17569 Filed 8-14-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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