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Notice

Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes Mellitus

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of applications for exemptions request for comments.

SUMMARY:

FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 16 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 CMVs in interstate commerce.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before November 22, 2013.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0187 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 Federal Docket Management System (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 Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316).

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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.

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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.” The statute also allows the Agency to renew exemptions at the end of the 2-year period. The 16 individuals listed in this notice have recently requested such 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 the exemption will achieve the required level of safety mandated by statute.

Qualifications of Applicants

Richard J. Batzel

Mr. Batzel, 64, has had ITDM since 2012. His endocrinologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has had no severe 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 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Batzel understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Batzel meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has stable non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Minnesota.

Peter J. Benz

Mr. Benz, 56, has had ITDM since 1973. His endocrinologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has had no severe 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 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Benz understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Benz meets the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has stable, non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Start Printed Page 63299He holds a Class E operator's license from Florida.

Michael L. Collins

Mr. Collins, 57, has had ITDM since 2009. His endocrinologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has had no severe 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 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Collins understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Collins meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has stable non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Washington.

Steven M. Dent

Mr. Dent, 62, has had ITDM since 2011. His endocrinologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has had no severe 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 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Dent understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely.

Mr. Dent meets the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2013 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class B CDL from Iowa.

Leburn L. Gardner

Mr. Gardner, 68, has had ITDM since 2012. His endocrinologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has had no severe 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 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Gardner understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Gardner meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2013 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Missouri.

Isadore Johnson, Jr.

Mr. Johnson, 71, has had ITDM since 2004. His endocrinologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has had no severe 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 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Johnson understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Johnson meets the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from New York.

Brian K. Lester

Mr. Lester, 59, has had ITDM since 2010. His endocrinologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has had no severe 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 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Lester understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Lester meets the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2013 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Montana.

Richard E. Li

Mr. Li, 51, has had ITDM since 2011. His endocrinologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has had no severe 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 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Li understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Li meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2013 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class D operator's license from Massachusetts.

Brent L. McDaniels

Mr. McDaniels, 42, has had ITDM since 2005. His endocrinologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has had no severe 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 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. McDaniels understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. McDaniels meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has stable non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class O operator's license from Michigan.

Travis F. Moon

Mr. Moon, 42, has had ITDM since 1987. His endocrinologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has had no severe 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 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Moon understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Moon meets the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2013 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Georgia.

Steven D. Nowakowski

Mr. Nowakowski, 51, has had ITDM since 2011. His endocrinologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has had no severe 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 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Nowakowski understands Start Printed Page 63300diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Nowakowski meets the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class C operator's license from Maryland.

Stephen Plesz

Mr. Plesz, 60, has had ITDM since 2012. His endocrinologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has had no severe 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 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Plesz understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Plesz meets the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Connecticut.

Stanley A. Sabin

Mr. Sabin, 62, has had ITDM since 1980. His endocrinologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has had no severe 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 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Sabin understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Sabin meets the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has stable, non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Kentucky.

Stephen A. Stewart

Mr. Stewart, 56, has had ITDM since 1998. His endocrinologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has had no severe 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 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Stewart understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Stewart meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2013 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class E operator's license from Missiouri.

Thomas L. Stoudnour

Mr. Stoudnour, 60, has had ITDM since 1995. His endocrinologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has had no severe 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 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Stoudnour understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Stoudnour meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Pennsylvania.

Merle L. Weyer

Mr. Weyer, 39, has had ITDM since 2012. His endocrinologist examined him in 2013 and certified that he has had no severe 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 12 months and no recurrent (2 or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last 5 years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Weyer understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Weyer meets the vision requirements of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2013 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from South Dakota.

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 in the date section of the notice.

FMCSA notes that section 4129 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users 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) elimination of the requirement for 3 years of experience operating CMVs while being treated with insulin; and (2) 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 USC. 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.

The 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.

Submitting Comments

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 and in the search box insert the docket number Start Printed Page 63301FMCSA-2013-0187 and click the search button. When the new screen appears, click on the blue “Comment Now!” button on the right hand side of the page. On the new page, enter information required including the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 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.

We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period and may change this proposed rule based on your comments. FMCSA may issue a final rule at any time after the close of the comment period.

Viewing Comments and Documents

To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this preamble, To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and in the search box insert the docket number FMCSA-2013-0187 and click “Search.” Next, click “Open Docket Folder” and you will find all documents and comments related to the proposed rulemaking.

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Issued on: October 7, 2013.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

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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. 2013-24764 Filed 10-22-13; 8:45 am]

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