periodically publishes the names of those individuals [who do not meet the requirements] to satisfy the statutory requirement for disclosing such information to the public.”12 Individuals who do not meet the requirements are notified by letter. This, however, is contrary to the
explicit dictates of federal law,13 the FMCSRs,14 the Diabetes Exemption Program.15
and the Federal Register notice announcing
In the nearly three years that the Diabetes Exemption Program has been in place, hundreds of individuals have sought an exemption, yet, as of the date of the filing of this comment, only thirteen individuals have been granted exemptions by FMCSA.16 Until very recently only four individuals had received exemptions. There are several reasons for such an alarmingly low number, but the Association believes that the cumbersome procedures of the exemption program itself are a major barrier to a fair and effective system for individual assessment.
(2) How should FMCSA ensure that health care professionals who might be applying any revised standards do so in a consistent and appropriate manner which ensures both that the physical conditions of such drivers are adequate to enable them to operate safely and that the operation of CMVs is not deleterious to their health?
Ensuring that health care providers appropriately apply revised standards
Notice of final disposition, Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes, 71 Fed. Reg. 17157
(April 5, 2006).
See 49 U.S.C. § 31315(b)(4)(A).
Cf. “Exemption Application, Diabetes Standard” available at:
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/safetyprograms/Diabetes/diabetes-exemption-package.pdf (last visited April 28, 2006) (stating “If the applicant is eligible for an exemption, a notice must be published in the Federal Register requesting public comment on the application” and suggesting that only those applicants the agency deems eligible after an initial review are afforded the opportunity for public notice and comment).
14 See 49 C.F.R. § 381.315(a) (“The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will review your application and prepare, for the Administrator’s signature, a Federal Register notice requesting public comment on your application for an exemption.”).
15 See Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes, 68 Fed. Reg. 52441, 52442 (Sept. 3, 2003) (stating “FMCSA must publish a notice in the Federal Register for each exemption requested, explaining that the request has been filed, and providing the public an opportunity to inspect the safety analysis and any other relevant information known to the agency, and comment on the request. Prior to granting a request for an exemption, the agency must publish a notice in the Federal Register identifying the person or class of persons who will receive the exemption, the provisions from which the person will be exempt, the effective period, and all terms and conditions of the exemption.”).
16 The agency published a Federal Register notice on June 2, 2006 regarding forty-seven other individuals, who must now wait additional time for the public to comment on their applications and for FMCSA to make its final determination. (It is unclear if this group has already received preliminary approval.) See Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes, 71 Fed. Reg. 32177 (June 2, 2006). According to federal law, these forty-seven individuals should have had their names published in the Federal Register when their requests for exemptions were received several months ago – not for the first time now when the agency is ready to make a decision.