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Notice

Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of applications for exemptions from the diabetes standard; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 18 individuals for exemptions from the prohibition against persons with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. If granted, the exemptions would enable these individuals with ITDM to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before October 1, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments bearing the Department of Transportation (DOT) Docket Management System (DMS) Docket Start Printed Page 50443Number FMCSA-2007-28536 using any of the following methods:

  • DOT Web site: Go to http://dmses.dot.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery: Room W12-140 on the West Building ground floor, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number for this Notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change to http://dms.dot.gov, including any personal information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to http://dms.dot.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 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 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 the DOT'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 http://dms.dot.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Mary D. Gunnels, Chief, Physical Qualifications 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.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, 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 statutes also allow the Agency to renew exemptions at the end of the 2-year period. The 18 individuals listed in this notice each have 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 each applicant to determine whether granting an exemption will achieve the required level of safety mandated by the statutes.

Qualifications of Applicants

Stephen B. Atkinson

Mr. Atkinson, age 37, has had ITDM since 1977. His endocrinologist examined him in 2007 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Atkinson meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2007 and certified that he has stable nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class D operator's license from Arizona.

Thomas G. Blatchley, Jr.

Mr. Blatchley, 36, has had ITDM since 1983. His endocrinologist examined him in 2006 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Blatchley meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2007 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class E operator's license from Florida, which allows him to operate any non-commercial vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 26,001 pounds.

George T. Brawner

Mr. Brawner, 62, has had ITDM since 2004. His endocrinologist examined him in 2006 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Brawner meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2006 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) from Kentucky.

Anthony J. Clark

Mr. Clark, 41, has had ITDM since 2006. His endocrinologist examined him in 2007 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Clark meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2007 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class R operator's license from Colorado, which allows him to operate any motor vehicle with a gross vehicle rating of less than 26,001 pounds.

Jim E. Chester

Mr. Chester, 48, has had ITDM since 1970. His endocrinologist examined him in 2006 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Chester meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2007 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a chauffeur's license from Indiana.

Brian S. Fenley

Mr. Fenley, 32, has had ITDM since 2002. His endocrinologist examined him in 2007 and certified that 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 Start Printed Page 50444past 5 years; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Fenley meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2006 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a chauffeur's license from Indiana.

Carroll D. Fetcher

Mr. Fetcher, 68, has had ITDM since 2003. His endocrinologist examined him in 2007 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Fetcher meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2007 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Indiana.

James R. Hudson

Mr. Hudson, 31, has had ITDM since 2002. His endocrinologist examined him in 2006 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Hudson meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2006 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class D operator's license from Arizona.

Gaines E. Mathis

Mr. Mathis, 69, has had ITDM since 2005. His endocrinologist examined him in 2007 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Mathis meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2007 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from South Carolina.

Thomas F. Meade

Mr. Meade, 74, has had ITDM since 2001. His endocrinologist examined him in 2007 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Meade meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2006 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class B CDL from Virginia.

Jerry D. Schoolman

Mr. Schoolman, 52, has had ITDM since 2006. His endocrinologist examined him in 2007 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Schoolman meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2007 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Iowa.

Michael Shuler

Mr. Shuler, 37, has had ITDM since 2005. His endocrinologist examined him in 2007 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Shuler meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2007 and certified that he has stable nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class B CDL Washington, DC.

Kenneth G. Steinkamp

Mr. Steinkamp, 57, has had ITDM since 2006. His endocrinologist examined him in 2007 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Steinkamp meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2007 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Illinois.

Mark T. Swanberg

Mr. Swanberg, 63, has had ITDM since 2006. His endocrinologist examined him in 2006 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Swanberg meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2007 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Minnesota.

Chad L. Udy

Mr. Udy, 34, has had ITDM since 1980. His endocrinologist examined him in 2006 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Udy meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2006 and certified that he has stable nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class D operator's license from Utah.

Ronald C. Vertucci, Jr.

Mr. Vertucci, 43, has had ITDM since 2005. His endocrinologist examined him in 2007 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Vertucci meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2006 Start Printed Page 50445and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Illinois.

Jeffrey S. Volkman

Mr. Volkman, 32, has had ITDM since 2002. His endocrinologist examined him in 2007 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Volkman meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2006 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class R operator's license from Colorado, which allows him to operate any motor vehicle with a gross vehicle rating of less than 26,001 pounds.

Kendall H. Wilson

Mr. Wilson, 47, has had ITDM since 2007. His endocrinologist examined him in 2007 and certified that 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; understands diabetes management and monitoring; and has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Wilson meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2007 and certified that he has stable nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Illinois.

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. We will consider all comments received before the close of business on the closing date indicated earlier in the dates section of 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 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 49 U.S.C. 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 by the Notice in the Federal Register on November 8, 2005 (70 FR 67777), remain in effect.

Start Signature

Dated: August 27, 2007.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development.

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Footnotes

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. E7-17348 Filed 8-30-07; 8:45 am]

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