Federal Register: March 31, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 62)
DOCID: FR Doc E6-4683
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Docket ID: [Docket Nos. FMCSA-99-5578, FMCSA-99-6156, FMCSA-99-6480, FMCSA-2002- 13411, FMCSA-2003-16241, FMCSA-2003-16564]
ACTION: Motor carrier safety standards:
DOCUMENT ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemption; request for comments.
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision
DATES: This decision is effective April 14, 2006. Comments must be received on or before May 1, 2006.
FMCSA announces its decision to renew the exemptions from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for 16 individuals. FMCSA has statutory authority to exempt individuals from its vision standards if the exemptions granted will not compromise safety. The Agency has concluded that granting these exemptions will provide a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety maintained without the exemptions for these commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.
Driver qualifications; vision requirement exemptions,
Under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA may renew an exemption
from the vision requirements in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), which applies to
drivers of CMVs in interstate commerce, for a twoyear 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 procedures for requesting an exemption (including
renewals) are set out in 49 CFR part 381. This Notice addresses 16
individuals who have requested renewal of their exemptions in a timely
manner. FMCSA has evaluated these 16 applications for renewal on their
merits and decided to extend each exemption for a renewable twoyear period. They are:
Lawrence M. Daley
Clifford H. Dovel
Glenn E. Gee
Robert N. Heaton
Laurent G. Jacques
Jay W. Jarvis
Michael W. Jones
Earl E. Martin
Craig W. Miller
Jack D. Miller
Eric M. Moats, Sr.
Robert W. Nicks
Tommy L. Ray, Jr.
Wolfgang V. Spekis
Edward J. Sullivan
Steven L. Valley
These exemptions are extended subject to the following conditions: (1) That each individual have an examination every year (a) by an ophthalmologist or optometrist who attests that the vision in the better eye continues to meet the standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), and (b) by a medical examiner who attests that the individual is otherwise physically qualified under 49 CFR 391.41; (2) 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 (3) that each individual provide a copy of the annual medical certification to the employer for retention in the driver's qualification file and retain a copy of the certification on his/her person while driving for presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement official. Each exemption will be valid for two years unless rescinded earlier by FMCSA. 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. 31315 and 31136(e).
Basis for Renewing Exemptions
Under 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(1), an exemption may be granted for no longer than two years from its approval date and may be renewed upon application for additional twoyear periods. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), each of the 16 applicants has satisfied the entry conditions for obtaining an exemption from the vision requirements (64 FR 27027; 64 FR 51568; 67 FR 10475; 69 FR 8260; 64 FR 54948; 65 FR 159; 67 FR 17102; 69 FR 17267; 64 FR 68195; 65 FR 20251; 67 FR 76439; 68 FR 10298; 68 FR 61857; 68 FR 75715; 68 FR 74669; 69 FR 10503). Each of these 16 applicants has requested timely renewal of the exemption and has submitted evidence showing that the vision in the better eye continues to meet the standard specified at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10) and that the vision impairment is stable. In addition, a review of each record of safety while driving with the respective vision deficiencies over the past two years indicates each applicant continues to meet the vision exemption standards. These factors provide an adequate basis for predicting each driver's ability to continue to drive safely 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.
Request for Comments
FMCSA will review comments received at any time concerning a particular driver's safety record and determine if the continuation of the exemption is consistent with the requirements at 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e). However, FMCSA requests that interested parties with specific data concerning the safety records of these drivers submit comments by May 1, 2006.
FMCSA believes that the requirements for a renewal of an exemption under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e) can be satisfied by initially granting the renewal and then requesting and evaluating, if needed, subsequently comments submitted by interested parties. As indicated above, the Agency previously published notices of final disposition announcing its decision to exempt these 16 individuals from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). That final decision to grant the exemption to each of these individuals was based on the merits of each case and only after careful consideration of the comments received to its Notices of applications. Those Notices of applications stated in detail the qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each applicant for an exemption from the vision requirements. That information is available by consulting the above cited Federal Register publications.
Interested parties possessing information that would suggest 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. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA
will take immediate steps to revoke the exemption(s) in question. [[Page 16412]]
Issued on: March 24, 2006.
Rose A. McMurray,
Associate Administrator, Policy and Program Development.
[FR Doc. E64683 Filed 33006; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910EXP
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Dr. Mary D. Gunnels, Chief, Physical Qualifications Division, (202) 3664001, email@example.com FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 205900001. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.