Federal Register: October 28, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 208)

DOCID: fr28oc10-88 FR Doc 2010-27293


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration


DOCID: fr28oc10-88

DOCUMENT ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemptions; request for comments.


[Docket No. FMCSA-1998-3637; FMCSA-1999-6156; FMCSA-2000-7006; FMCSA- 2000-7165; FMCSA-2000-8203; FMCSA-2002-12294; FMCSA-2004-18885; FMCSA- 2007-27897; FMCSA-2008-0106; FMCSA-2008-0266]

DATES: This decision is effective November 9, 2010. Comments must be received on or before November 29, 2010.


FMCSA announces its decision to renew the exemptions from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for 13 individuals. FMCSA has statutory authority to exempt individuals from the vision requirement if the exemptions granted will not compromise safety. The Agency has concluded that granting these exemption renewals 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.


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision



Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, 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.

Exemption Decision

This notice addresses 13 individuals who have requested renewal of their exemptions in accordance with FMCSA procedures. FMCSA has evaluated these 13 applications for renewal on their merits and decided to extend each exemption for a renewable twoyear period. They are: Jack E. Benjamin
Todd A. Chapman
Gerald L. Culverwell
Richard B. Eckert
Gary R. Evans
Harlan L. Gunter
Steven H. Heidorn
Danny E. Hillier
Gary L. Killian
Elvis E. Rogers, Jr.
Gary R. Setters
Jimmy E. Settle

Hubert Whittenburg

The exemptions are extended subject to the following conditions: (1) That each individual has a physical 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 provides 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 retains 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. 31136(e) and 31315.

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 two year periods. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, each of the 13 applicants has satisfied the entry conditions for obtaining an exemption from the vision requirements (63 FR 30285; 63 FR 196; 64 FR 54948; 65 FR 159; 67 67234; 69 FR 62741; 71 FR 62147; 73 FR 74565; 65 FR 20245; 65 FR 57230; 67 FR 57266; 67 FR 67234; 65 FR 33406; 65 FR 57234; 65 FR 66293; 67 FR 46016; 67 FR 57267; 69 FR 53493; 69 FR 62742; 71 FR 62148; 72 FR 39879; 72 FR 52419; 73 FR 75194; 73 FR 48273; 73 FR 51689; 73 FR 63047). Each of these 13 applicants has requested 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. 31136(e) and 31315. However, FMCSA requests that interested parties with specific data concerning the safety records of these drivers submit comments by November 29, 2010.

FMCSA believes that the requirements for a renewal of an exemption under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 can be satisfied by initially granting the renewal and then requesting and evaluating, if needed, subsequent comments submitted by interested parties. As indicated above, the Agency previously published notices of final disposition announcing its decision to exempt these 13 individuals from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). The final decision to grant an exemption to each of these individuals was made on the merits of each case and made only after careful consideration of the comments received to its notices of applications. The 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 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.

Issued on: October 22, 2010.
Charles A. Horan, III,
Office Director, Bus and Truck Standards and Operation.
[FR Doc. 201027293 Filed 102710; 8:45 am]


Dr. Mary D. Gunnels, Director, Medical Programs, (202) 3664001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Room W64224, Washington, DC 205900001. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.