FMCSA issues exemptions for 40 hearing-impaired drivers

February 13, 2013

Washington – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Feb. 1 approved (.pdf file) 40 deaf or hard-of-hearing drivers to operate commercial motor vehicles for interstate commerce.

Federal standards typically prohibit these drivers from operating CMVs unless they can prove they drive as safely as drivers who do not have hearing problems.

The Silver Spring, MD-based National Association of the Deaf supported the exemption, citing a 2008 FMCSA Medical Review Board report (.pdf file) that concluded privately licensed hearing-impaired drivers are not more likely to crash than people with no hearing problems.

The exemptions went into effect on Feb. 1 and are scheduled to expire on Feb. 2, 2015.