Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision

Summary:

FMCSA announces receipt of applications from twelve individuals for exemption from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. If granted, the exemptions would enable these individuals to qualify as drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce without meeting the Federal vision requirement.

Table of Contents

Dates:

Comments must be received on or before May 2, 2012.

Addresses:

You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2011-0378 using any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.

Fax:1-202-493-2251.

Instructions: Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket numbers for this notice. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below for further information.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time or Room W12-140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want acknowledgment that we received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments on-line.

Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our 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, etc.). You may review DOT's Privacy Act Statement for the FDMS published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316), or you may visit http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-785.pdf.

For further information contact:

Elaine M. Papp, Chief, Medical Programs Division, (202) 366-4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, 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., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Supplementary information:

Background

Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 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.” FMCSA can renew exemptions at the end of each 2-year period. The twelve individuals listed in this notice have each requested such an exemption from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), which applies to drivers of CMVs in interstate commerce. Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate the qualifications of each applicant to determine whether granting an exemption will achieve the required level of safety mandated by statute.

Qualifications of Applicants

Robert J. Abbas

Mr. Abbas, age 62, has had amblyopia in his left eye since birth. The best corrected visual acuity in right eye is 20/20 and in his left eye, 20/100. Following an examination in 2011, his ophthalmologist noted, “In my medical opinion, this patient has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.” Mr. Abbas reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 31 years, accumulating 2.3 million miles. He holds a Class A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) from Minnesota. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and one conviction for speeding in a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV); he exceeded the speed limit by 13 mph.

Paul T. Browning

Mr. Browning, 50, has a severed optic nerve in his right eye due to a traumatic injury sustained in 1995. The best corrected visual acuity in right eye is light perception and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2011, his optometrist noted, “It is my opinion after examining Mr. Browning that visually he is able to operate a commercial motor vehicle in a safe and prudent manner.” Mr. Browning reported that he has driven straight trucks for 13 years, accumulating 273,000 miles. He holds a Class B CDL from Montana. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Robert P. Clark

Mr. Clark, 66, has a detached retina in his left eye due to a traumatic injury sustained in 1967. The best corrected visual acuity in right eye is 20/20 and in his left eye, hand motion vision. Following an examination in 2011, his optometrist noted, “It is my opinion that Mr. Clark has sufficient vision to operate a commercial vehicle.” Mr. Clark reported that he has driven straight trucks for 45 years, accumulating 1.1 million miles. He holds a Class B CDL from New York. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and one conviction for a moving violation in a CMV; driving a CMV while disqualified.

Carey C. Earwood

Mr. Earwood, 67, has a corneal scar in his left eye due to an injury sustained 55 years ago. The best corrected visual acuity in right eye is 20/20 and in his left eye, 20/70. Following an examination in 2011, his optometrist noted, “Based on the results of the examination, Mr. Carey Earwood was found to have sufficient vision to safely operate a motor vehicle.” Mr. Earwood reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 40 years, accumulating 4.4 million miles. He holds a Class D operator's license from Alabama. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Cheryl G. Johnson

Mrs. Johnson, 66, has had complete loss of vision in her left eye since birth. The best corrected visual acuity in righteye 20/20. Following an examination in 2011, his ophthalmologist noted, “In my opinion Mrs. Johnson has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.” Mrs. Johnson reported that she has driven buses trucks for 24 years, accumulating 288,000 miles. She holds a chauffeur's license from Indiana. Her driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Kevan J. Larson

Mr. Larson, 28, has had macular scarring in his left eye since birth. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/15, and in his left eye, count-finger vision. Following an examination in 2011, his optometrist noted, “In my medical opinion, and based upon results of Kevan's vision examination, I believe he has sufficient vision capabilities to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.”

Mr. Larson reported that he has driven straight trucks for 10 years, accumulating 280,000 miles. He holds a Class D operator's license from Idaho. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Melvin D. Rolfe

Mr. Rolfe, 57, has had amblyopia in his left eye since childhood. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20 and in his left eye, 20/200. Following an examination in 2011, his optometrist noted, “I feel he has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks of a commercial vehicle.” Mr. Rolfe reported that he has driven straight trucks for 4 years, accumulating 80,000 miles. He holds a Class D operator's license from Minnesota. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Gilbert M. Rosas

Mr. Rosas, 44, has had amblyopia in his left eye since childhood. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/20 and in his left eye, 20/100. Following an examination in 2011, his optometrist noted, “I certify that patient Gilbert Rosas has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.” Mr. Rosas reported that he has driven straight trucks for 14 years, accumulating 1.1 million miles and tractor-trailer combinations for 3 years, accumulating 150,000 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Arizona. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Kim A. Shaffer

Mr. Shaffer, 61, has a prosthetic right eye due to a traumatic injury sustained as a child. The best corrected visual acuity in his left eye is 20/20. Following an examination in 2011, his optometrist noted, “This patient has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.” Mr. Shaffer reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 40 years, accumulating 1.4 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Pennsylvania. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Larry W. Slinker

Mr. Slinker, 59, has had amblyopia in his right eye since childhood. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/200 and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2011, his ophthalmologist noted, “In my opinion, he should be able to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.” Mr. Slinker reported that he has driven tractor-trailer combinations for 2 years, accumulating 280,000 miles and buses for 2 years, accumulating 41,600 miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Virginia. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Lonnie J. Supanchick

Mr. Supanchick, 59, has had amblyopia in his left eye since childhood. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/25, and in his left eye, 20/150. Following an examination in 2011, his optometrist noted, “In my opinion, Mr. Lonnie Supanchick has sufficient vision to perform the driving tasks required to operate a commercial vehicle.” Mr. Supanchick reported that he has driven straight trucks for 11 years, accumulating 137,500 miles and tractor-trailer combinations for 10 years, accumulating 175,000 miles. He holds a Class B CDL from Nevada. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Gerald W. Warner

Mr. Warner, 20, has had amblyopia in his right eye since birth. The best corrected visual acuity in his right eye is 20/70 and in his left eye, 20/20. Following an examination in 2011, his ophthalmologist noted, “In my professional opinion, Mr. Warner has sufficient vision to operate a commercial vehicle and to perform the driving tasks required.” Mr. Warner reported that he has driven straight trucks for 32 years, accumulating 480,000 miles and tractor-trailer combinations for 32 years, accumulating 1.6 million miles. He holds a Class A CDL from Ohio. His driving record for the last 3 years shows no crashes and no convictions for moving violations in a CMV.

Request for Comments

In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA requests public comment from all interested persons on the exemption petitions described in this notice. The Agency will consider all comments received before the close of business May 2, 2012. Comments will be available for examination in the docket at the location listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The Agency will file comments received after the comment closing date in the public docket, and will consider them to the extent practicable.

In addition to late comments, FMCSA will also continue to file, in the public docket, relevant information that becomes available after the comment closing date. Interested persons should monitor the public docket for new material.

Issued on: March 28, 2012. Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

References

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