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Notice

Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing

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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 hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The exemptions enable these hard of hearing and deaf individuals to continue to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

DATES:

The exemptions were applicable on September 6, 2018. The exemptions expire on September 6, 2020.

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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., ET, 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. Public Participation

A. Viewing Documents and Comments

To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this notice as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Insert the docket number, FMCSA-2016-0002, in the keyword box, and click “Search.” Next, click the “Open Docket Folder” button and choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

B. 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 of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/​privacy.

II. Background

On November 14, 2018 FMCSA published a notice announcing its decision to renew exemptions for 11 individuals from the hearing standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) to operate a CMV in interstate commerce and requested comments from the public (83 FR 56905). The public comment period ended on December 14, 2018, and two 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)(11).

The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding hearing found in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) states that a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person first perceives a forced whispered voice in the better ear at not less than 5 feet with or without the use of a hearing aid or, if tested by use of an audiometric device, does not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater than 40 decibels at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with or without a hearing aid when the audiometric device is calibrated to American National Standard (formerly ASA Standard) Z24.5—1951.Start Printed Page 2319

49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) was adopted in 1970, with a revision in 1971 to allow drivers to be qualified under this standard while wearing a hearing aid, 35 FR 6458, 6463 (April 22, 1970) and 36 FR 12857 (July 3, 1971).

III. Discussion of Comments

FMCSA received two comments in this preceding. Kyle Guimarin agrees with the decision of renewing the 11 people, allowing them to drive a CMV in interstate commerce. Davis Benton also agrees with FMCSA's decision to renew the 11 people, exempting them from the hearing requirements required to operate a vehicle in interstate commerce.

IV. Conclusion

Based upon its evaluation of the 11 renewal exemption applications and comments received, FMCSA announces its decision to exempt the following drivers from the hearing requirement in 49 CFR 391.41 (b)(11).

As of September 6, 2018, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, the following 11 individuals have satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the hearing requirement in the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers (83 FR 56905).

Pricilla Brackenridge, (IL)

Gary Cordano, (NV)

Renaldo Martinez, (TX)

Michael Smith, (CO)

David Chappelear, (TX)

Samuel Fennell, (OH)

Katrina Parker, (NJ)

Michael Sweet, (GA)

Mathias Conway, (MI)

Richard Hoots, (AR

D'Neille Smith, (OH)

The drivers were included in docket number FMCSA-2016-0002. Their exemptions are applicable as of September 6, 2018, and will expire on September 6, 2020.

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: January 30, 2019.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2019-01261 Filed 2-5-19; 8:45 am]

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