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Notice

Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

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AGENCY:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of final disposition.

SUMMARY:

FMCSA announces its decision to renew exemptions for 11 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 was effective on the dates stated in the discussions below and will expire on the dates stated in the discussions below.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Christine A. Hydock, 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., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have questions regarding viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Electronic Access

You may see all the comments online through the Federal Document Management System (FDMS) at: http://www.regulations.gov.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov and/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., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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 http://www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at http://www.dot.gov/​privacy.

II. Background

On October 14, 2016, FMCSA published a notice announcing its decision to renew exemptions for 11 individuals from the Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8) to operate a CMV in interstate commerce and requested comments from the public (81 FR 71181). The public comment period ended on November 14, 2016, and no comments were received on January 9, 2017, FMCSA published a second notice announcing its decision to renew exemptions for the same 11 individuals from the Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8) to operate a CMV in interstate commerce and requested comments from the public (81 FR 71181). The public comment period ended on February 8, 2017, and no comments were received.

As stated in the previous notice, FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of these applicants and determined that renewing these exemptions would achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved by complying with the current regulation 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8).

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 to assist Medical Examiners in determining whether drivers with certain medical conditions are qualified to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. [49 CFR part 391, APPENDIX A TO PART 391—MEDICAL ADVISORY CRITERIA, section H. Epilepsy: Section 391.41(b)(8), paragraphs 3, 4, and 5.]

III. Discussion of Comments

FMCSA received no comments in this preceding.

IV. Conclusion

Based upon its evaluation of the 11 renewal exemption applications and no comments received, FMCSA confirms its' decision to exempt the following drivers from the Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders requirement in 49 CFR 391.41 (b)(8), subject to the requirements cited above.

As of April 8, 2016, the following four individuals have satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8), from driving CMVs in interstate commerce (81 FR 71181): Jeffrey Ballweg (WI); Michael Ranalli (PA); Lonnie Reicker (IL); and Jay Whitehead (NY). These drivers were included in FMCSA-2011-0389; and FMCSA-2012-0294; FMCSA-2013-0109. The exemptions were effective on April 8, 2016, and will expire on April 8, 2018.

As of April 23, 2016, the following seven individuals have satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8), from driving CMVs in interstate commerce (81 FR 71181):

Charles Blood (NY)

Raymond Lobo (NJ)

Randy Pinto (PA)

Brent Robinson (NC)

Douglas Teigland (MN)

Joseph Thomas (MD)

James Spece (PA)

These drivers were included in FMCSA-2013-0442. The exemptions were effective on April 23, 2016, and will expire on April 23, 2018.

In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315, each exemption will be valid for two years from the effective date unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be revoked if the following occurs: (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 prior to being granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136 and 31315.

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Issued on: May 26, 2017.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2017-11649 Filed 6-5-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P