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Notice

Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

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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 21 individuals for an exemption from the prohibition against persons with a clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition that is likely to cause a loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. The regulation and the associated advisory criteria published in the Code of Federal Regulations as the “Instructions for Performing and Recording Physical Examinations” have resulted in numerous drivers being prohibited from operating CMVs in interstate commerce based on the fact that they have had one or more seizures and are taking anti-seizure medication, rather than an individual analysis of their circumstances by a qualified medical examiner. If granted, the exemptions would enable these individuals who have had one or more seizures and are taking anti-seizure medication to operate CMVs for up to 2 years in interstate commerce.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before August 12, 2015 .

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2015-0116 using any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to 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 or Courier: 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.

Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket ID for this Notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change to www.regulations.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 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: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/​privacy.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Charles A. Horan, III, Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety, (202) 366-4001, or via email at fmcsamedical@dot.gov, or by letter to FMCSA, Room W64-113, Department of Start Printed Page 40128Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 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. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA may grant an exemption for up to 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 allow the Agency to renew exemptions at the end of the 2-year period. The 21 individuals listed in this notice have requested an exemption from the epilepsy prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8), which applies to drivers who operate CMVs as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, in interstate commerce. Section 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.

FMCSA provides medical advisory criteria for use by medical examiners in determining whether drivers with certain medical conditions should be certified to operate CMVs in intrastate commerce. The advisory criteria indicate that if an individual has had a sudden episode of a non-epileptic seizure or loss of consciousness of unknown cause that did not require anti-seizure medication, the decision whether that person's condition is likely to cause the loss of consciousness or loss of ability to control a CMV should be made on an individual basis by the medical examiner in consultation with the treating physician. Before certification is considered, it is suggested that a 6-month waiting period elapse from the time of the episode. Following the waiting period, it is suggested that the individual have a complete neurological examination. If the results of the examination are negative and anti-seizure medication is not required, then the driver may be qualified.

In those individual cases where a driver had a seizure or an episode of loss of consciousness that resulted from a known medical condition (e.g., drug reaction, high temperature, acute infectious disease, dehydration, or acute metabolic disturbance), certification should be deferred until the driver has recovered fully from that condition, has no existing residual complications, and is not taking anti-seizure medication.

Drivers who have a history of epilepsy/seizures, off anti-seizure medication and seizure-free for 10 years, may be qualified to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. Interstate drivers with a history of a single unprovoked seizure may be qualified to drive a CMV in interstate commerce if seizure-free and off anti-seizure medication for a 5-year period or more.

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 “FMCSA-2015-0116” 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-2015-0116” and click “Search.” Next, click “Open Docket Folder” and you will find all documents and comments related to the proposed rulemaking.

Summary of Applications

William Howard Brown

Mr. Brown is a 58 year-old class A CDL holder in North Carolina. He has a history of epilepsy and has remained seizure free since 1999. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Brown receiving an exemption.

Leo Arnold Burns

Mr. Burns is a 59 year-old driver in Nevada. He has a history of a seizure disorder and has remained seizure free since 2010. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since March 2015. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Burns receiving an exemption.

Daniel Dellaserra

Mr. Dellaserra is a 54 year-old class A CDL holder in California. He has a history of seizures and has remained seizure free since 1998. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Dellaserra receiving an exemption.

Rodney Lee Ericson

Mr. Ericson is a 51 year-old class A CDL holder in Iowa. He has a history of epilepsy and has remained seizure free since 2010. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Ericson receiving an exemption.

Kristopher Alan Fraser

Mr. Fraser is a 31 year-old driver in Washington. He has a history of epilepsy and has remained seizure free since 2007. He takes anti-seizure medication with a change in dosage in October 2014. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is not supportive of Mr. Fraser receiving an exemption.

Todd A. Fuller

Mr. Fuller is a 45 year-old driver in Pennsylvania. He has a history of a seizure in January 2014. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Fuller receiving an exemption.

Thomas A. Granese

Mr. Granese is a 70 year-old class A CDL holder in Massachusetts. He has a history of seizure disorder and has Start Printed Page 40129remained seizure free since 2003. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since 2010. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Granese receiving an exemption.

Paul E. Granger

Mr. Granger is a 50 year-old chauffeur license holder in Michigan. He has a history of a seizure disorder and has remained seizure free since 1987. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, she would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Granger receiving an exemption.

Charles Terrell Gray

Mr. Gray is a 69 year-old driver in Oklahoma. He has a history of a single unprovoked seizure and has remained seizure free since 1993. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Gray receiving an exemption.

David Allen Griggs

Mr. Griggs is a 55 year-old class A CDL holder in Minnesota. He has a history of a seizure disorder and has remained seizure free since 1987. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since April 2013. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Griggs receiving an exemption.

Howard Pearce Hill

Mr. Hill is a 67 year-old class A CDL holder in Georgia. He has a history of a seizure disorder and has remained seizure free since 1990. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since January 2015. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Hill receiving an exemption.

Eric A. Hilmer

Mr. Hilmer is a 39 year-old class A CDL holder in Wisconsin. He has a history of epilepsy and has remained seizure free since 2007. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Hilmer receiving an exemption.

Dennis Edward Klamm

Mr. Klamm is a 52 year-old class C CDL holder in Minnesota. He has a history of a seizure disorder and has remained seizure free since 1987. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Klamm receiving an exemption.

Victor John Martinez

Mr. Martinez is a 26 year-old driver in California. He has a history of epilepsy and suffered a seizure in December 2013. He underwent a left temporal craniotomy and lobectomy in 2013. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV.

Sean Michael Monroe

Mr. Monroe is a 42 year-old driver in Virginia. He has a history of epilepsy and has remained seizure free since 2011. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Monroe receiving an exemption.

Christina L. Petti

Ms. Petti is a 45 year-old class B CDL holder in New Jersey. She has a history of a seizure disorder and has remained seizure free since 1985. She takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, she would like to drive a CMV. Her physician states that he is supportive of Ms. Petti receiving an exemption.

Robert H. Philley

Mr. Philley is a 47 year-old driver in California. He has a history of a seizure disorder and has remained seizure free since 2013. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Philley receiving an exemption.

Christopher L. Phillips

Mr. Phillips is a 46 year-old class A CDL holder in Pennsylvania. He has a history of a seizure disorder and has remained seizure free since 1989. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Phillips receiving an exemption.

David T. Pomianek, Jr.

Mr. Pomianek is a 37 year-old class A CDL holder in New Jersey. He has a history of epilepsy and has remained seizure free since 2011. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Pomianek receiving an exemption.

Gregory Roy Schaefer

Mr. Schaefer is a 46 year-old driver in Texas. He has a history of a single seizure in June 2014. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Schaefer receiving an exemption.

Maciej Skrzyniarz

Mr. Skrzyniarz is a 28 year-old class A CDL holder in Illinois. He has a history of a single seizure in February 2014 associated with alcohol consumption. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since that time. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a CMV. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Skrzyniarz receiving an exemption.

Request for Comments

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

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Issued on: July 1, 2015.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2015-17022 Filed 7-10-15; 08:45 am]

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