July 8, 1996
The Federal Highway Administration will hold a public hearing August 9 in Chicago to obtain public views on research into the vision standards required to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
In place of the current prescribed visual acuity standards, we are interested in moving toward a performance-based standard
-- one that would reflect the actual physical conditions necessary for safe operation of commercial vehicles.
Goals of the proposed research are to (1) establish visual parameters that appear to hold promise as a basis for an improved standard, (2) evaluate the predictive validity of those tests, and (3) establish a trial vision standard and then test for validity.
We are considering both a short-term and a long-term approach. The short-term approach would build on existing knowledge to develop an improved vision test, perhaps adding some new tests. The longer-term approach would require new research and analysis, leading to the possible development of a new standard.
At the Chicago hearing, we are interested in comments addressing these issues:
- Are there methodological shortcomings in either plan?
- Is the plan likely to meet the objective of improved, performance-based standards?
- Does the plan reflect an understanding of current literature and consider its implications?
- Is the plan capable of adequately addressing practical matters, such as the cost of any new testing machinery, the level of training needed to conduct new tests, and the time needed for testing?
- Has the research been conducted in other professions and with what results?
- Should we proceed with either, both, or none of the two plans?
- Or should we proceed with another plan; if so, what?
Persons desiring to make presentations at the hearing -- to begin at 9:00 a.m. at the Chicago O'Hare Marriott Hotel -- or wanting further information are asked to contact Chuck Rombro (202-366-5615)or Albert Alvarez (202-366-4706) of the Office of Motor Carriers.
George L. Reagle
Associate Administrator for Motor Carriers