[Federal Register: November 8, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 215)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[Docket Nos. FMCSA-99-5578, FMCSA-99-5748, FMCSA-2000-7363, FMCSA-2000-8398, FMCSA-2003-14223, FMCSA-2003-15892]
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemption; request for comments.
SUMMARY: This notice publishes FMCSA decision to renew the exemptions
from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Regulations for 22 individuals. FMCSA has statutory authority to exempt
individuals from the vision standards if the exemptions granted will
not compromise safety. The agency has concluded that granting the
renewal of these exemptions will continue to provide a level of safety
that will be equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety
maintained without the exemptions for these commercial motor vehicle
DATES: This decision is effective November 30, 2005. Comments from
interested persons should be submitted by December 8, 2005.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT DMS Docket Numbers
FMCSA-99-5578, FMCSA-99-5748, FMCSA-2000-7363, FMCSA-2000-8398, FMCSA-
2003-14223, FMCSA-2003-15892 by any of the following methods:
- Web Site: http://dms.dot.gov. Follow the instructions for
submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.
- Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
- Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401,
Washington, DC 20590-0001.
- Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the
Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and
docket numbers for this notice. For detailed instructions on submitting
comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the
Public Participation heading of the Supplementary Information section
of this document. Note that all comments received will be posted
without change to http://dms.dot.gov, including any personal
information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading under
Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or
comments received, go to http://dms.dot.gov at any time or to Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW.,
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday,
except Federal Holidays.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Mary D. Gunnels, Office of Bus and
Truck Standards and Operations, (202) 366-4001, FMCSA, Department of
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday,
except Federal holidays.
Public Participation: The DMS is available 24 hours each day, 365
days each year. You can get electronic submission and retrieval help
guidelines under the "help" section of the DMS web site. If you want
us to notify you 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 is able to search the electronic form of all
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the
Department of Transportation's complete Privacy Act Statement in the
Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70;
Pages 19477-78) or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov.
Under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA may renew an exemption from [[Page 67777]]
the vision requirements in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), which applies to
drivers of CMVs in interstate commerce, for a two-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.'' The procedures for requesting an exemption (including
renewals) are set out in 49 CFR part 381. This notice addresses 22
individuals who have requested renewal of their exemptions in a timely
manner. FMCSA has evaluated these 22 applications for renewal on their
merits and decided to extend each exemption for a renewable two-year
period. They are:
Terry J. Aldridge
Jerry D. Bridges
Roosevelt Bryant, Jr.
Thomas P. Cummings
Ralph E. Eckels
Marion R. Fox, Jr.
Gary R. Gutschow
Richard J. Hanna
James J. Hewitt
Carl M. Hill
John K. Love
Albert E. Malley
Roger J. Mason
David L. Menken
Richard L. Messinger
Rodney M. Mimbs
Walter F. Moniowczak
Ronald L. Roy
Thomas E. Walsh
Kevin P. Weinhold
Thomas A. Wise
These exemptions are renewed subject to the following conditions:
(1) That each individual have 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
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
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. 31315 and 31136(e), each of the 22 applicants has satisfied the
eligibility requirements for obtaining an exemption from the vision
standard (64 FR 27027; 64 FR 51568; 66 FR 48504; 68 FR 54775; 64 FR
68195; 65 FR 20251; 67 FR 17102; 65 FR 45817; 65 FR 77066; 68 FR 1654;
66 FR 17743; 66 FR 33990; 66 FR 30502; 66 FR 41654; 67 FR 68719; 68 FR
2629; 68 FR 10301; 68 FR 19596; 68 FR 52811; 68 FR 61860). Each of
these 22 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
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 December 8, 2005.
In the past FMCSA has received comments from Advocates for Highway
and Auto Safety (Advocates) expressing continued opposition to FMCSA's
procedures for renewing exemptions from the vision requirement in 49
CFR 391.41(b)(10). Specifically, Advocates objects to the agency's
extension of the exemptions without any opportunity for public comment
prior to the decision to renew, and reliance on a summary statement of
evidence to make its decision to extend the exemption of each driver.
The issues raised by Advocates were addressed at length in 69 FR
51346 (August 18, 2004). FMCSA continues to find its exemption process
consistent with the statutory and regulatory requirements.
Issued on: November 3, 2005.
Rose A. McMurray,
Associate Administrator, Policy and Program Development.
[FR Doc. 05-22263 Filed 11-7-05; 8:45 am]
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