FMCSA withdraws rulemaking on vision standards

In an action that appears aimed at clearing out the brush in its regulatory docket, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has withdrawn an advance notice of proposed rulemaking that had been issued in 1992 regarding the vision standard for commercial motor vehicle drivers. The Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Motor Carriers – the predecessor to FMCSA – had sought comment on whether to revise its driver qualification requirements regarding vision, including visual acuity, field of vision and color perception.

After reviewing comments, FMCSA said it believes there is insufficient data to support moving forward with a proposal to change the vision standard at this time. A review of vision standards will occur, however, as part of FMCSA’s long-term plan to reevaluate all of its commercial driver health standards and guidelines.

Although FMCSA has not changed vision standards, it has granted numerous waivers of those standards in recent years to drivers who don’t strictly qualify but who have excellent safety records.