[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 79 (Wednesday, April 24, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24301-24302]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-09690]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0106]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and 
Seizure Disorders

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of applications for exemption, request for comments.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 10 individuals 
for an exemption from the prohibition against persons with a clinical 
diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition which is likely to cause a 
loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to operate a commercial 
motor vehicle (CMV) from operating CMVs 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 2 
years in interstate commerce.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before May 24, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2013-0106- 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.
    Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket ID for 
this Notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change 
to http://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 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 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 the DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal 
Register published on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316; January 17, 2008). 
This information is also available at http://Docketinfo.dot.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elaine Papp, Chief, Medical Programs 
Division, (202) 366-4001, or via email at fmcsamedical@dot.gov, or by 
letter FMCSA, Room W64-113, Department of Transportation, 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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA may grant an exemption 
for a 2-

[[Page 24302]]

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 10 individuals 
listed in this notice have recently 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 commercial motor vehicle 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 which 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 fully recovered 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.

Summary of Applications

 Steven L. Gordon

    Mr. Gordon is a 57 year-old CMV driver in Montana. He has a history 
of seizures as a result of a head injury in 1986 and his last seizure 
was in 2005. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and 
frequency remaining the same for over 7 years. If granted the 
exemption, he would like to drive a tractor trailer. His physician 
states he is supportive of Mr. Gordon receiving an exemption to operate 
a CMV.

Kevin A. Jandreau

    Mr. Jandreau is a 46 year-old Class A CMV driver in Maine. He has a 
diagnosis of seizure disorder. He has remained seizure free for at 
least 15 years. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and 
frequency remaining the same for 15 years. If granted the exemption, he 
would like to drive a tractor trailer.

Jason C. Kirkham

    Mr. Kirkham is a 39 year-old CMV driver in Wisconsin. He has a 
history of seizures and has remained seizure free for 17 years. He 
takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining 
the same for 17 years. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive 
straight trucks, cranes, or heavy equipment. His physician states he is 
supportive of Mr. Kirkham receiving an exemption.

James M. Kivett, Jr.

    Mr. Kivett is a 49 year-old CMV driver in Ohio. He has a history of 
seizures due to a brain tumor, which was removed in 2005. He has 
remained seizure free for more than 1 year. He takes anti-seizure 
medication. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a tractor 
trailer. His physician states he is supportive of Mr. Kivett returning 
to work as a commercial driver after 3 months.

William P. Lago

    Mr. Lago is a 26 year-old driver in Massachusetts. He has a 
diagnosis of epilepsy and has remained seizure free for 8 years. He 
takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining 
the same since June 2010. If granted the exemption, he would like to 
drive a dump truck.

Michael K. Lail

    Mr. Lail is a 54 year-old CMV driver in North Carolina. He had a 
single post-traumatic seizure 46 years ago and has remained seizure 
free since that time. Mr. Lail has not taken anti-seizure medication 
since July 2012. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a 
tractor trailer. His physician states he is supportive of Mr. Lail 
receiving an exemption.

Verbon T. Latta

    Mr. Latta is a 43 year-old driver in Alabama. He has had 2 
seizures, both in May of 2007, 13 days apart while on a new medication 
following back surgery. He has remained seizure free since that time. 
He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency 
remaining the same for 6 years. If granted the exemption, he would like 
to drive a tractor trailer.

Jeffrey P. Moore

    Mr. Moore is a 36 year-old driver in New York. He has a diagnosis 
of seizure disorder and his last seizure was in July of 1999. He has 
remained seizure free since that time. He takes anti-seizure medication 
with the dosage and frequency remaining the same for over 12 years. If 
granted the exemption, he would like to drive a box truck or van.

Michael E. Righter

    Mr. Righter is a 38 year-old driver in Pennsylvania. Mr. Righter 
has a diagnosis of seizure disorder and his last seizure was in March 
of 1987. He has remained seizure free since that time. He takes anti-
seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same for 
over 20 years. If granted the exemption, he would like to drive a Class 
B truck with air brakes.

Douglas S. Slagel

    Mr. Slagel is a 48 year-old CMV driver in Ohio. Mr. Slagel has a 
diagnosis of seizure disorder and his last seizure was in 1977. He has 
remained seizure free since that time. He takes anti-seizure medication 
with the dosage and frequency remaining the same for over 20 years. If 
granted the exemption, he would like to a Class B truck with air 
brakes. His physician is supportive of Mr. Slagel receiving his 
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.

    Issued on: April 9, 2013.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2013-09690 Filed 4-23-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P