FHWA Proposes More Vision Exemptions

May 18, 1999

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The Federal Highway Administration has announced its intention to exempt another 33 truck drivers from federal vision requirements.

Since Congress revised the agency's authority to grant waivers and exemptions last year, FHWA has given conditional licenses to some two dozen drivers with impaired vision in one eye. The exemptions are good for two years, during which time the drivers must undergo regular physical and vision exams.
To qualify, a driver must have at least three years of experience driving with impaired vision (drivers who don't meet federal vision standards may still operate in some states) and must have a safe driving record for at least three years prior to their application for an exemption.
One driver on this latest list was initially disqualified because of a 15-month period prior to his application when he had not been employed as a truck driver. After the driver filed suit FHWA agreed to reconsider. It has now proposed to grant the exemption, noting a five-year driving record with no citations and only one accident which was judged non-preventable.
Comments are due in writing June 17. Notices appeared in the May 18 Federal Register.

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