Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

CourtFederal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Citation86 FR 74211
Record Number2021-28307
Publication Date29 December 2021
Federal Register, Volume 86 Issue 247 (Wednesday, December 29, 2021)
[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 247 (Wednesday, December 29, 2021)]
                [Notices]
                [Pages 74211-74213]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2021-28307]
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                DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
                Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
                [Docket No. FMCSA-2006-25854; FMCSA-2010-0203; FMCSA-2013-0106; FMCSA-
                2013-0107; FMCSA-2013-0108; FMCSA-2015-0117; FMCSA-2015-0119; FMCSA-
                2017-0178; FMCSA-2017-0181; FMCSA-2017-0251; FMCSA-2018-0052]
                Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and
                Seizure Disorders
                AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Department
                of Transportation (DOT).
                ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemptions; request for comments.
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                SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew exemptions for 14
                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 January
                28, 2022.
                ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket
                Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2006-25854, Docket No.FMCSA-
                2010-0203, Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0106, Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0107,
                Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0108, Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0117, Docket No.
                FMCSA-2015-0119, Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0178, Docket No. FMCSA-2017-
                0181, Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0251, or Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0052 using
                any of the following methods:
                 Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/,
                insert the docket number, FMCSA-2006-25854, FMCSA-2010-0203, FMCSA-
                2013-0106, FMCSA-2013-0107, FMCSA-2013-0108, FMCSA-2015-0117, FMCSA-
                2015-0119, FMCSA-2017-0178, FMCSA-2017-0181, FMCSA-2017-0251, or FMCSA-
                2018-0052 in the keyword box and click ``Search.'' Next, sort the
                results by ``Posted (Newer-Older),'' choose the first notice listed,
                and click on the ``Comment'' button. Follow the online instructions for
                submitting comments.
                 Mail: Dockets Operations; 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 20590-0001 between 9 a.m.
                and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
                 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,
                DOT, 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 Dockets
                Operations, (202) 366-9826.
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
                [[Page 74212]]
                I. Public Participation
                A. Submitting CommentsIf you submit a comment, please include the
                docket number for this notice (Docket No. FMCSA-2006-25854, Docket No.
                FMCSA-2010-0203, Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0106, Docket No. FMCSA-2013-
                0107, Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0108, Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0117, Docket
                No. FMCSA-2015-0119, Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0178, Docket No. FMCSA-2017-
                0181, Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0251, or Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0052),
                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 www.regulations.gov/, insert
                the docket number, FMCSA-2006-25854, FMCSA-2010-0203, FMCSA-2013-0106,
                FMCSA-2013-0107, FMCSA-2013-0108, FMCSA-2015-0117, FMCSA-2015-0119,
                FMCSA-2017-0178, FMCSA-2017-0181, FMCSA-2017-0251, or FMCSA-2018-0052
                in the keyword box and click ``Search.'' Next, sort the results by
                ``Posted (Newer-Older),'' choose the first notice listed, click the
                ``Comment'' 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 Comments
                 To view comments go to www.regulations.gov. Insert the docket
                number, FMCSA-2006-25854, FMCSA-2010-0203, FMCSA-2013-0106, FMCSA-2013-
                0107, FMCSA-2013-0108, FMCSA-2015-0117, FMCSA-2015-0119, FMCSA-2017-
                0178, FMCSA-2017-0181, FMCSA-2017-0251, or FMCSA-2018-0052 in the
                keyword box, and click ``Search.'' Next, sort the results by ``Posted
                (Newer-Older),'' choose the first notice listed, and click ``Browse
                Comments.'' If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the
                docket online by visiting Dockets Operations in Room W12-140 on the
                ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE,
                Washington, DC 20590-0001, 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
                Dockets Operations.
                C. Privacy Act
                 In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the
                public to better inform its regulatory 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 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 14 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 14
                applicants has satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an
                exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition. The 14
                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 December
                and are discussed below.
                 As of December 16, 2021, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e)
                and 31315(b), the following 11 individuals have satisfied the renewal
                conditions for obtaining an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure
                disorders
                [[Page 74213]]
                prohibition in the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers:
                Eric Barnwell (MI)
                Christopher Bird (OH)
                Gary Clark (KY)
                Todd Davis (WI)
                Scott DeJarnette (KY)
                Gary J. Gress (PA)
                Curtis Alan Hartman (MD)
                Wendell F. Headley (MO)
                Jason Kirkham (WI)
                Dannie Kuck (MT)
                Robert Spencer (FL)
                 The drivers were included in docket number FMCSA-2010-0203, FMCSA-
                2013-0106, FMCSA-2013-0107, FMCSA-2015-0117, FMCSA-2015-0119, FMCSA-
                2017-0178, FMCSA-2017-0181, FMCSA-2017-0251, or FMCSA-2018-0052. Their
                exemptions were applicable as of December 16, 2021 and will expire on
                December 16, 2023.
                 As of December 23, 2021, 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:
                 Gary Freeman (WI); Aaron Gillette (SD); and David Kestner (VA)
                 The drivers were included in docket number FMCSA-2006-25854 and
                FMCSA-2013-0108. Their exemptions are applicable as of December 23,
                2021 and will expire on December 23, 2023.
                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 14 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. 2021-28307 Filed 12-28-21; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
                

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