[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 231 (Monday, December 2, 2002)]
[Pages 71610-71611]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-30338]



Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket Nos. FMCSA-99-6480, FMCSA-2000-7006, FMCSA-2000-7165, FMCSA-
2000-7363, and FMCSA-2000-8203]

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 from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Regulations for 44 individuals.

DATES: This decision is effective December 8, 2002. Comments from 
interested persons should be submitted by January 2, 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 
http://dms.dot.gov. 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.

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.


Exemption Decision

    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 ``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 receiving 
an exemption (including renewals) are set out in 49 CFR part 381. This 
notice addresses 44 individuals who have requested renewal of their 
exemptions in a timely manner. The FMCSA has evaluated these 44 
petitions for renewal on their merits and decided to extend each 
exemption for a renewable 2-year period. They are:

Henry W. Adams           Donald Grogan            Arthur A. Sappington
Willie F. Adams          Christopher L.           James L. Schneider
Delbert R. Bays          Nelson V. Jaramillo      Patrick W. Shea
Robert F. Berry          Jimmie W. Judkins        Carl B. Simonye
James A. Bright          Bruce T. Loughary        Everett J. Smeltzer
Robert W. Brown          Demitrio Lozano          William H. Smith
Gary Bryan               Michael L. Manning       Paul D. Spalding
Robert R. Buis           Wayne R. Mantela         Timothy W. Strickland
David D. Bungori, Jr.    Kenneth D. May           George W. Thornhill
Richard S. Carter        David P. McCabe          Rick N. Ulrich

[[Page 71611]]

Lynn A. Childress        Harold J. Mitchell       Roy F. Varnado, Jr.
David R. Cox             Gordon L. Nathan         Larry D. Wedekind
Gerald W. Cox            Jerry L. New             Daniel G. Wilson
Rosalie A. Gifford       Bernice R. Parnell       Wonda L. Wooten
Eugene A. Gitzen         Franklin D. Reed, Sr.    ......................

    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 
official. 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 31136(e).

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 44 applicants has satisfied the entry 
conditions for obtaining an exemption from the vision requirements (63 
FR 30285, 63 FR 54519, 64 FR 68195, 65 FR 20251, 65 FR 20245, 65 FR 
57230, 65 FR 33406, 65 FR 45817, 65 FR 77066), and two of the 
applicants have previously satisfied the conditions for renewing an 
exemption (65 FR 66293, 65 FR 77069). Each of these 44 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 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 a 
period of 2 years is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that 
existing without the exemption for each renewal applicant.


    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 January 2, 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: November 22, 2002.
Brian M. McLaughlin,
Associate Administrator, Policy and Program Development.
[FR Doc. 02-30338 Filed 11-29-02; 8:45 am]