[Federal Register: March 13, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 49)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[FMCSA Docket No. FMCSA-2002-11507]
Alternative Physical Qualification Standards for the Loss or
Impairment of Limbs; Exemption Application for Kevin Howell
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.
SUMMARY: This notice announces the FMCSA's receipt of an application
from Mr. Kevin Howell for an exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) alternative physical qualification
standards for the loss or impairment of limbs. Mr. Howell's right arm
was amputated at the shoulder. Mr. Howell is applying for an exemption
to allow him to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate
commerce without a prosthesis. Mr. Howell believes his driving record
indicates that a level of safety can be achieved that is equivalent to,
or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained by
complying with the standards for the loss or impairment of limbs set
forth in 49 CFR 391.41 (b)(1) and 391.49.
DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 12, 2002.
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 as
well as see the submissions of other commenters at
Please include the docket number that appears in the heading of this
document. 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 to know that we received
your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped postcard or
include a copy of the acknowledgement page that appears after you
submit comments electronically.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about the exemption in
this notice, Ms. Teresa Doggett, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and
Operations, (202) 366-2990; for information about legal issues related
to this notice, Mr. Joseph Solomey, Office of the Chief Counsel, (202)
366-1374, 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.
Title 49 of the United States Code (U.S.C) sections 31315 and
31136, requires the FMCSA to publish a notice in the Federal Register
for each exemption requested, explaining that the request has been
filed; providing the public with an opportunity to inspect the safety
analysis and any other relevant information known to the agency; and
commenting on the request (49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(4)(A)). Prior to granting
a request for an exemption, the agency must publish in the Federal
Register the name of the person granted the exemption, the provisions
from which the person will be exempt, the effective period, and all
terms and conditions of the exemption (49 U.S.C. 31315 (b)(4)(B)). The
terms and conditions established by FMCSA must ensure that the
exemption will likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to,
or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption
(49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(6)).
The regulations at 49 CFR part 381 establish the procedures to be
followed to request waivers and to apply for exemptions from the
FMCSRs, and the procedures used to process them.
FMCSA is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), including the
physical qualifications of CMV drivers. Section 391.41(b)(1) of the
FMCSRs states that a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if
he or she has, among other things, ``no loss of a foot, a leg, a hand
or an arm, or has been granted a skill performance evaluation (SPE)
certificate [previously called a `waiver'] pursuant to section
391.49.'' The alternative physical qualification standards for the loss
or impairment of limbs, at 49 CFR 391.49(d)(3)(i)(B), include a
requirement that applicants for SPE certificates include with their
applications a medical evaluation summary that, among other things,
establishes that ``*-*-*the applicant is capable of demonstrating
precision prehension (e.g., manipulating knobs and switches) and power
grasp prehension (e.g., holding and maneuvering the steering wheel)
with each upper limb separately'' [emphasis added].
Kevin Howell's Application for an Exemption
Mr. Kevin Howell is a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver whose
right arm was amputated at the shoulder. He is an owner-operator motor
carrier and his principal place of business is located in Hooper, Utah.
On November 3, 2001, Mr. Howell applied for a SPE certification by
filing an application with the FMCSA's Utah State Director. By letter
dated November 19, 2001, Mr. Howell's SPE application was deferred
until he obtained a prosthetic or orthotic device and could demonstrate
the power grasp and precision prehension required under the alternative
physical qualification standards of 49 CFR 391.49. On November 21,
2001, Mr. Howell applied for an exemption from the Federal alternative
physical qualification standards for the loss or impairment of limbs
and the use of a prosthetic device when operating CMVs in interstate
commerce (49 CFR 391.41(b)(1) and 49 CFR 391.49). A copy of the
application is in the docket.
Mr. Howell indicated in his application that he was granted a limb
waiver in 1973 that allows him to operate without a prosthetic device
when driving CMVs in interstate commerce. The agency has no record of
the waiver. If a waiver had been issued, Mr. Howell would have been
required to renew the waiver every 2 years in accordance with
conditions applicable to waivers at the time. The FMCSA has records for
other drivers who were granted limb waivers in the 1970's and who have
renewed their waivers every 2 years, however, we find no record that
Mr. Howell sought a renewal in the years following 1973.
Mr. Howell stated in his application for exemption that he has had
his Class A CDL for 27 years, with no restrictions other than
corrective lenses. He owns and operates a CMV with manual transmission
on the right side of the steering column. He indicated that he
transports cargo for various other motor carrier companies and that he
will be the only driver affected if the FMCSA grants the exemption
requested here. Mr. Howell stated that he does not anticipate any
adverse safety impacts created by this exemption. As support for his
contention, he cited his current motor vehicle driving record, with no
current deficiencies, including no speeding tickets or accidents. Mr.
Howell stated that he has driven over 1,000,000 miles and has never had
an accident, injury or caused property damage as a result of driving
without a right arm. He maintains that this clearly shows a very high
level of safety and awareness, as well as excellent driving skills,
ability and judgment.
Request for Comments
In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(4) and 31136(e), FMCSA is
requesting public comment from all interested persons on whether the
exemption application from Mr. Kevin Howell should be granted. All
comments received before the closing date will be considered and will
be available for examination in the docket at the location listed under
the address section of this notice.
Issued on: March 8, 2002.
Julie Anna Cirillo,
[FR Doc. 02-6047 Filed 3-12-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P