[Federal Register: January 3, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 1)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[Docket No. FMCSA-00-7363, FMCSA-04-17984, FMCSA-04-18885]
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemptions; request for comments.
SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew the exemptions from the
vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for
8 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 exemptions will
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 (CMV) drivers.
DATES: This decision is effective January 3, 2007. Comments must be
received on or before February 2, 2007.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT Docket Management
System (DMS) Docket Numbers FMCSA-00-7363, FMCSA-04-17984, FMCSA-04-
18885, using any of the following methods.
- Web Site: http://www.regulations.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.
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov.
Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and
docket numbers for this Notice. 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 for further
Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or
comments received, go to http://dms.dot.gov at any time or 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. The DMS is available 24 hours each day, 365
days each year. 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
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 the Department of Transportation's complete Privacy Act
Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR
19477; Apr. 11, 2000). This information is also available at http://dms.dot.gov.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Mary D. Gunnels, Chief, Physical
Qualifications Division, (202) 366-4001, firstname.lastname@example.org, FMCSA,
Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Room 8301,
Washington, DC 20590-0001. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
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 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 8
individuals who have requested renewal of their exemptions in a timely
manner. FMCSA has evaluated these 8 applications for renewal on their
merits and decided to extend each exemption for a renewable two-year
period. They are:
David D. Bungori, Jr., David R. Cox, Timothy A. DeFrange, Robert T.
Hill, Francisco J. Jimenez, Robert B. Schmitt, Rick N. Ulrich, Larry D.
These exemptions are extended 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. 31136(e) 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. 31136(e) and 31315, each of the 8 applicants has satisfied the
entry conditions for obtaining an exemption from the vision
requirements (65 FR 45817; 65 FR 77066; 67 FR 71610; 69 FR 64810; 69 FR
33997; 69 FR 61292; 69 FR 53493; 69 FR 62742). Each of these 8
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
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 February 1, 2007.
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 8 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
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: December 20, 2006.
Rose A. McMurray,
Associate Administrator, Policy and Program Development.
[FR Doc. E6-22505 Filed 12-29-06; 8:45 am]
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