The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing to ease its standards for granting exemptions to driver vision requirements.
In a Federal Register notice the agency is seeking comments on a plan to shorten the amount of experience required for a driver to obtain an exemption.
Under current rules, the agency considers exemptions on a case-by-case basis for drivers who have three years of intrastate experience immediately before the application. The drivers are required to meet numerous other standards, including no suspensions, citations or convictions for a serious traffic violation.
Now the agency is considering a couple of options to ease this standard, based on research showing that the collision rates of visually impaired drivers are no higher than those of non-impaired drivers.
One option would be to require just one year of experience, rather than three. The other would be to remove the experience requirement altogether.
The agency also is considering changes to its driver safety performance requirements for the exemption.