[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 180 (Wednesday, September 16, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 57930-57932]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-20394]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0213; FMCSA-2015-0323]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and 
Seizure Disorders

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemptions; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew exemptions for seven 
individuals from the requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations (FMCSRs) that interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) 
drivers have ``no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of 
epilepsy or any other condition which is likely to cause loss of 
consciousness or any loss of ability to control a CMV.'' The exemptions 
enable these individuals who have had one or more seizures and are 
taking anti-seizure medication to continue to operate CMVs in 
interstate commerce.

DATES: Each group of renewed exemptions were applicable on the dates 
stated in the discussions below and will expire on the dates stated in 
the discussions below. Comments must be received on or before October 
16, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0213 or Docket No. 
FMCSA-2015-0323 using any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2014-0213 or http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2015-0323. Follow the online 
instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Docket Operations; U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: Docket Operations, West Building Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 
9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. 
To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 366-9317 or 
(202) 366-9826 before visiting Docket Operations.
     Fax: (202) 493-2251.
    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. 
See the ``Public Participation'' portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section for instructions on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Christine A. Hydock, Chief, 
Medical Programs Division, (202) 366-4001, [email protected], FMCSA, 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W64-224, 
Washington, DC 20590-0001. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., 
ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have 
questions regarding viewing or submitting material to the docket, 
contact Docket Operations, (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

[[Page 57931]]

I. Public Participation

A. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
notice (Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0213 or FMCSA-2015-0323), indicate the 
specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and 
provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit 
your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, 
but please use only one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you 
include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone 
number in the body of your document so that FMCSA can contact you if 
there are questions regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2014-0213 or http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2015-0323. Click on the ``Comment Now!'' button and type your comment 
into the text box on the following screen. Choose whether you are 
submitting your comment as an individual or on behalf of a third party 
and then submit.
    If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them 
in an unbound format, no larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches, suitable for 
copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would 
like to know that they reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, 
self-addressed postcard or envelope.
    FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the 
comment period.

B. Viewing Documents and Comments

    To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this notice 
as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2014-0213 or http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2015-0323 or and choose the document to review. If you do not have 
access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting 
Docket Operations in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West 
Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. To 
be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 366-9317 or 
(202) 366-9826 before visiting Docket Operations.

C. Privacy Act

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the 
public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these 
comments, without edit, including any personal information the 
commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system 
of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
www.transportation.gov/privacy.

II. Background

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), FMCSA may grant an exemption 
from the FMCSRs for no longer than a 5-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 statute also allows the Agency to renew exemptions at 
the end of the 5-year period. FMCSA grants medical exemptions from the 
FMCSRs for a 2-year period to align with the maximum duration of a 
driver's medical certification.
    The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding epilepsy 
found in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8) states that a person is physically 
qualified to drive a CMV if that person has no established medical 
history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition which 
is likely to cause the loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to 
control a CMV.
    In addition to the regulations, FMCSA has published advisory 
criteria \1\ to assist medical examiners (MEs) in determining whether 
drivers with certain medical conditions are qualified to operate a CMV 
in interstate commerce.
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    \1\ These criteria may be found in APPENDIX A TO PART 391--
MEDICAL ADVISORY CRITERIA, section H. Epilepsy: Sec.  391.41(b)(8), 
paragraphs 3, 4, and 5, which is available on the internet at 
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2015-title49-vol5/pdf/CFR-2015-title49-vol5-part391-appA.pdf.
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    The seven individuals listed in this notice have requested renewal 
of their exemptions from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition 
in Sec.  391.41(b)(8), in accordance with FMCSA procedures. 
Accordingly, FMCSA has evaluated these applications for renewal on 
their merits and decided to extend each exemption for a renewable 2-
year period.

III. Request for Comments

    Interested parties or organizations possessing information that 
would otherwise show that any, or all, of these drivers are not 
currently achieving the statutory level of safety should immediately 
notify FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any adverse evidence submitted 
and, if safety is being compromised or if continuation of the exemption 
would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 
31136(e) and 31315(b), FMCSA will take immediate steps to revoke the 
exemption of a driver.

IV. Basis for Renewing Exemptions

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), each of the 
seven applicants has satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an 
exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition. The 
seven drivers in this notice remain in good standing with the Agency, 
have maintained their medical monitoring and have not exhibited any 
medical issues that would compromise their ability to safely operate a 
CMV during the previous 2-year exemption period. In addition, for 
Commercial Driver's License (CDL) holders, the Commercial Driver's 
License Information System and the Motor Carrier Management Information 
System are searched for crash and violation data. For non-CDL holders, 
the Agency reviews the driving records from the State Driver's 
Licensing Agency. These factors provide an adequate basis for 
predicting each driver's ability to continue to safely operate a CMV in 
interstate commerce. Therefore, 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.
    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), the following 
groups of drivers received renewed exemptions in the month of September 
and are discussed below.
    As of September 9, 2020, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) 
and 31315(b), the following three individuals have satisfied the 
renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the epilepsy and 
seizure disorders prohibition in the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers:
    Mark Anderson (NC); Jeremy Bradford (AL); and Jeffrey B. Green 
(CA).
    The drivers were included in docket number FMCSA-2015-0323. Their 
exemptions were applicable as of September 9, 2020, and will expire on 
September 9, 2022.
    As of September 16, 2020, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) 
and 31315(b), the following four individuals have satisfied the renewal 
conditions for obtaining an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure 
disorders prohibition in the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers:

Lee H. Anderson (MA)
Gary Combs, Jr. (KY)
Roland Mezger (PA)
Robert Thomas, Jr. (NC)


[[Page 57932]]


    The drivers were included in docket number FMCSA-2014-0213. Their 
exemptions are applicable as of September 16, 2020, and will expire on 
September 16, 2022.

V. Conditions and Requirements

    The exemptions are extended subject to the following conditions: 
(1) Each driver must remain seizure-free and maintain a stable 
treatment during the 2-year exemption period; (2) each driver must 
submit annual reports from their treating physicians attesting to the 
stability of treatment and that the driver has remained seizure-free; 
(3) each driver must undergo an annual medical examination by a 
certified ME, as defined by Sec.  390.5; and (4) each driver must 
provide a copy of the annual medical certification to the employer for 
retention in the driver's qualification file, or keep a copy of his/her 
driver's qualification file if he/she is self-employed. The driver must 
also have a copy of the exemption when driving, for presentation to a 
duly authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement official. 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. 31136(e) and 31315(b).

VI. Preemption

    During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall 
enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with this exemption with 
respect to a person operating under the exemption.

VII. Conclusion

    Based on its evaluation of the seven exemption applications, FMCSA 
renews the exemptions of the aforementioned drivers from the epilepsy 
and seizure disorders prohibition in Sec.  391.41(b)(8). In accordance 
with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), each exemption will be valid for 
2 years unless revoked earlier by FMCSA.

Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2020-20394 Filed 9-15-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P