FR Doc 03-5015
[Federal Register: March 4, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 42)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[Docket Nos. FMCSA-2000-7006, FMCSA-2000-7363, and FMCSA-2000-7918]
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 the FMCSA's decision to renew the
exemptions for 29 individuals from the vision requirement in the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
DATES: This decision is effective March 7, 2003. Comments from
interested persons should be submitted by April 3, 2003.
ADDRESSES: You can mail or deliver comments to the U.S. Department of
Transportation, Dockets Management Facility, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001. You can also submit comments at
Please include the docket numbers that appear in
the heading of this document in your submission. You can examine and
copy this document and all comments received at the same Internet
address or at the Dockets Management Facility from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you want us to
notify you that we
received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped
envelope or postcard.
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
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Sandra Zywokarte, Office of Bus
and Truck Standards and Operations, (202) 366-2987, FMCSA, Department
of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590.
Office hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday through
Friday, except Federal holidays.
Under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), the FMCSA may renew an
exemption from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), which
applies to drivers of commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce,
for a 2-year period if it finds Asuch 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 receiving
an exemption (including renewals) are set out in 49 CFR Part 381,
Waivers, Exemptions, and Pilot Programs. This notice addresses 29
individuals who have requested renewal of their exemptions in a timely
manner. The FMCSA has evaluated these 29 petitions for renewal on their
merits and decided to extend each exemption for a renewable 2-year
period. The individuals are:
Henry Ammons, Jr.
Larry N. Arrington
Robert D. Bonner
James F. Bower
Ben T. Brown
David S. Carman
Darrell B. Dean
Cedric E. Foster
Glen T. Garrabrant
Johnny C. Hall
John R. Hughes
Joseph V. Johns
Alan L. Johnston
Mark J. Koscinski
John N. Lanning
Robert C. Leathers
Calvin E. Lloyd
Newton H. Mahoney, III
Luther A. McKinney
Carl A. Michel, Sr.
Dennis I. Nelson
Rance A. Powell
Shannon E. Rasmussen
James R. Rieck
Garfield A. Smith
Frederick E. St. John
Daniel R. Viscaya
Henry L. Walker
Michael P. Walsh
These exemptions are extended subject to the following conditions:
(1) That each individual have a physical exam 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
Each exemption will be valid for 2 years unless rescinded earlier
by the 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 2 years from its approval date and may be renewed upon
application for additional 2-year periods. In accordance with 49 U.S.C.
31315 and 31136(e), each of the 29 applicants has satisfied the entry
conditions for obtaining an exemption from the vision requirements (65
FR 20245, 65 FR 57230, 65 FR 45817, 65 FR 77066, 65 FR 66286, 66 FR
13825). Each of these 29 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 the safety record for each of these individuals, while
driving with the respective vision deficiencies over the past 2 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, the FMCSA concludes that extending the exemption for each
renewal applicant for a period of 2 years is likely to achieve a level
of safety equal to that existing without the exemption.
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, the FMCSA requests that interested parties with
specific data concerning the safety records of these drivers submit
comments by April 3, 2003.
In the past the FMCSA has received comments from Advocates for
Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) expressing continued opposition to
the 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 66 FR
17994 (April 4, 2001). The FMCSA continues to find its exemption
process appropriate to the statutory and regulatory requirements.
Issued on: February 24, 2003.
Pamela M. Pelcovits,
Acting Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development.
[FR Doc. 03-5015 Filed 3-3-03; 8:45 am]