[Federal Register: February 6, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 24)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[FMCSA Docket No. FMCSA-2006-26321]
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of final disposition.
SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt sixty-six individuals
from its rule prohibiting persons with insulin-treated diabetes
mellitus (ITDM) from operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in
interstate commerce. The exemptions will enable these individuals to
operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
DATES: The exemptions are effective February 6, 2007. The exemptions
expire on February 6, 2009.
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., Washington, DC
20590-0001. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through
Friday, except Federal holidays.
You may see all the comments online through the Document Management
System (DMS) at: http://dmses.dot.gov.
Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or
comments received, go to http://dms.dot.gov and/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.
Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments
received into any of DOT's 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, or other
entity). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the
Federal Register (65 FR 19477, Apr. 11, 2000). This statement is also
available at http://dms.dot.gov.
On December 13, 2006, FMCSA published a notice of receipt of
Federal diabetes exemption applications from sixty-six individuals, and
requested comments from the public (71 FR 74986). The public comment
period closed on January 12, 2007 and no comments were received.
FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of the sixty-six applicants and
determined that granting the exemptions to these individuals would
achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level
that would be achieved by complying with the current regulation 49 CFR
Diabetes Mellitus and Driving Experience of the Applicants
The Agency established the current standard for diabetes in 1970
because several risk studies indicated that diabetic drivers had a
higher rate of crash involvement than the general population. The
diabetes rule provides that "A person is physically qualified to drive
a commercial motor vehicle if that person has no established medical
history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus currently requiring
insulin for control" (49 CFR 391.41(b)(3)).
FMCSA established its diabetes exemption program, based on the
Agency's July 2000 study entitled "A Report to Congress on the
Feasibility of a Program To Qualify Individuals With Insulin-Treated
Diabetes Mellitus To Operate in Interstate Commerce as Directed by the
Transportation Act for the 21st Century." The report concluded that a
safe and practicable protocol to allow some drivers with Insulin-
Treated Diabetes Mellitus (ITDM) to operate CMVs is feasible. The 2003
notice in conjunction with the November 8, 2005 (70 FR 67777) Federal
Register Notice provides the current protocol for allowing such drivers
to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
These sixty-six applicants have had ITDM over a range of 1 to 38
years. These applicants report no hypoglycemic reaction that resulted
in loss of consciousness or seizure, that required the assistance of
another person, or resulted in impaired cognitive function without
warning symptoms in the past 5 years (with one year of stability
following any such episode). In each case, an endocrinologist has
verified that the driver has demonstrated willingness to properly
monitor and manage their diabetes, received education related to
diabetes management, and is on a stable insulin regimen. These drivers
report no other disqualifying conditions, including diabetes-related
complications. Each meets the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10).
The qualifications and medical condition of each applicant were
stated and discussed in detail in the December 13, 2006, Federal
Register Notice (71 FR 74986). Because there were no docket comments on
the specific merits or qualifications of any applicant, we have not
repeated the individual profiles here.
Basis for Exemption Determination
Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption
from the diabetes standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) if the exemption is
likely to achieve an equivalent or greater level of safety than would
be achieved without the exemption. The exemption allows the applicants
to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
To evaluate the effect of these exemptions on safety, FMCSA
considered medical reports about the applicants' ITDM and vision, and
reviewed the treating endocrinologist's medical opinion related to the
ability of the driver to safely operate a CMV while using insulin.
Consequently, FMCSA finds that exempting these applicants from the
diabetes standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) is likely to achieve a level
of safety equal to that existing without the exemption.
Conditions and Requirements
The terms and conditions of the exemption will be provided to the
applicants in the exemption document and they include the following:
(1) That each individual submit a quarterly monitoring checklist
completed by the treating endocrinologist as well as an annual
checklist with a comprehensive medical evaluation; (2) that each
individual reports within 2 business days of occurrence, all episodes
of severe hypoglycemia, significant complications, or inability to
manage diabetes; also, any involvement in an accident or any other
adverse event in a CMV or personal vehicle, whether or not they are
related to an episode of hypoglycemia; (3) 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 (4) that
each individual provide a copy of the annual medical certification to
the employer for retention in the driver's qualification file, or keep
a copy in his/her driver's qualification file if he/she is self-
employed. The driver must also have a copy of the certification when
driving, for presentation to a duly authorized [[Page 5493]] Federal, State, or local enforcement official.
Discussion of Comments
FMCSA received no comments in this proceeding.
There were no comments to the docket, therefore, based upon its
evaluation of the sixty-six exemption applications, FMCSA exempts,
Louis T. Aceto, James D. Barton, Lawrence H. Behrens, Joel L.
Bogenrief, Timothy W. Brogan, Eddy B. Brown, Kenneth E. Buck, Carolynda
Cain, Roy B. Carter, Bradley D. Case, Jonathan M. Cleek, David D.
Collart, Donald L. Cowan, Michael J. Drake, Thomas D. Dyke, Glenn D.
Folkers, Anthony L. Gentry, Howard L. Gocke, James S. Goldman, Carol D.
Hardin, Jerry Hardy, Michael T. Hartley, David A. Heider, John A. Helm,
John A. Herbert, Lester H. Hughes, Gayle E. Jones, Gerald P. Kargus,
Christopher A. Knott, Norman L. Krietemeyer, Jerome A. Krupka, James A.
Kunkel, Mark W. Lavorini, Jeffrey C. Link, Londell W. Luther, Harry E.
Marsh, Joseph C. McMasters, George R. McMullen, James B. Morris,
Bradley S. Mowdy, James R. Murphy, Ronald W. Nelson, Vincent A.
Palumbo, Kent E. Pelkey, Keith E. Peterson, Victor C. Port, Lee F.
Powell, Allen W. Quon, Armand O. Rondeau, Carl J. Satariano, Randall W.
Skaggs, Louis L. Sorenson, James L. Spencer, Ronald D. Stewart, Andy L.
Strommenger, Richard J. Symonies, Sr., Douglas K. Thompson, Richard L.
Thompson, James L. Tjon, Lowell T. Tucker, Shawn P. Wathley, John P.
Westbay, John M. White, Jeffrey M. Wood, Christopher T. Worsley, and
Fredrick J. Young from the ITDM standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3),
subject to the conditions listed under "Conditions and Requirements"
In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 each exemption will
be valid for two years unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption
will be revoked 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 31315. If the exemption is
still effective at the end of the 2-year period, the person may apply
to FMCSA for a renewal under procedures in effect at that time.
Issued on: January 30, 2007.
Pamela M. Pelcovits,
Office Director, Policy Plans and Regulation.
[FR Doc. E7-1839 Filed 2-5-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P