Feds greenlight more truck drivers with impaired vision

Federal regulators are considering letting another group of partially blind truck drivers hit the roads.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced Monday it is reviewing new exemptions for 33 truck drivers from federal vision requirements.

Most of the truck drivers can see clearly through one eye, but are completely or partially blind in the other eye, reducing their line of sight behind the wheel.

Despite this, federal regulators believe they can safely operate a commercial motor vehicle, because most of these truck drivers have been living with their condition since childhood and are accustomed to driving.

“They are unable to meet the vision requirement in one eye for various reasons,” the agency wrote in the Federal Register. "The exemptions will enable these individuals to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce without meeting the prescribed vision requirement in one eye."

Since August, the FMCSA has approved or is in the process of approving commercial drivers licenses for more than 100 truckers who are partially blind.

Earlier this month, the FMCSA exempted another 52 vision-impaired drivers from the same requirements. And in late August, the agency exempted 14 such drivers and said it was considering exemptions for another 35 drivers.

Then, on Monday the FMCSA announced the latest round of possible exemptions.

If approved, these truck drivers would be allowed to operate commercial motor vehicles for two years, before having to apply for another exemption.