[Federal Register Volume 68, Number 42 (Tuesday, March 4, 2003)]
[Pages 10300-10301]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 03-5015]



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 
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

[[Page 10301]]

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 http://dms.dot.gov.

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 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]