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Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Application From Thomas Deke; Diabetes

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.


Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.


FMCSA announces receipt of application from Mr. Thomas Deke for an exemption from the prohibition against persons with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. If granted, the exemption would enable Mr. Deke to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce.


Comments must be received on or before May 8, 2006.


You may submit comments identified by DOT Docket Management System (DMS) Docket Number FMCSA-2006-24016 using any of the following methods:

  • Web site: Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

All submissions must include the agency name and docket number for this notice. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to at any time or Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The DMS 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 online.

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 the Department of Transportation's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477; Apr. 11, 2000). This information is also available at

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Dr. Mary D. Gunnels, Chief, Physical Qualifications Division, (202) 366-4001,, FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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Under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA may grant an exemption 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 statute also allows the agency to renew exemptions at the end of the 2-year period. The individual listed in this notice has recently requested an exemption from the diabetes prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3), which applies to drivers of CMVs in interstate commerce. Accordingly, the agency will evaluate the qualifications of this applicant to determine whether granting the exemption will achieve the required level of safety mandated by the statute. Start Printed Page 17559

Qualifications of Applicant

Thomas G. Deke

Mr. Deke, age 51, has had ITDM since 2002. He has had no hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 5 years. His endocrinologist examined him in 2005 and stated, “Mr. Deke has demonstrated excellent willingness to monitor and manage his diabetes since starting on insulin in October, 2005”. Mr. Deke meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2005 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Montana.

Request for Comments

In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests public comment from all interested persons on Mr. Deke's exemption application. We will consider all comments received before the close of business on the closing date indicated earlier in the notice.

FMCSA notes that Section 4129 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) requires the Secretary to revise its diabetes exemption program established on September 3, 2003 (68 FR 52441).[1] The revision must provide for individual assessment of drivers with diabetes mellitus, and be consistent with the criteria described in section 4018 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (49 U.S.C. 31305).

Section 4129 requires: (1) the elimination of the requirement for three years of experience operating CMVs while being treated with insulin; and (2) the establishment of a specified minimum period of insulin use to demonstrate stable control of diabetes before being allowed to operate a CMV.

In response to section 4129, FMCSA made immediate revisions to the diabetes exemption program established by the September 3, 2003 Notice. FMCSA discontinued use of the 3-year driving experience criterion and fulfilled the requirements of section 4129 while continuing to ensure that operation of CMVs by drivers with ITDM will achieve the requisite level of safety required of all exemptions granted under 49USC 31136 (e).

Section 4129(d) also directed FMCSA to ensure that drivers of CMVs with ITDM are not held to a higher standard than other drivers, with the exception of limited operating, monitoring and medical requirements that are deemed medically necessary. FMCSA concluded that all of the operating, monitoring and medical requirements set out in the September 3, 2003 Notice, except as modified, were in compliance with section 4129(d). Therefore, all of the requirements set out in the September 3, 2003 Notice, except as modified in the notice in the Federal Register on November 8, 2005 (70 FR 67777), remain in effect.

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Issued on: March 31, 2006.

Rose A. McMurray,

Associate Administrator, Policy and Program Development.

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1.  Section 4129(a) refers to the 2003 Notice as a “final rule.” However, the 2003 Notice did not issue a “final rule,” but did establish the procedures and standards for issuing exemptions for drivers with ITDM.

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[FR Doc. E6-4972 Filed 4-5-06; 8:45 am]