Samuel Sherman, who is deaf, has created a petition to allow deaf drivers to drive any kind of commercial vehicles and is requesting that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration remove rule/regulation 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11). Please read below for more detail information or click on the petition itself to find out what everything is all about!
Hello America! I am going to try and make this very simple; as we Americans like things simple right?
Currently to get a Commercial class A drivers license you are required to pass a forced whisper test per 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) .
Does that Regulation work? Ask yourself that. I offer you some clear examples of why we shouldn’t let this prejudice against the deaf continue. Yes, I the creator of this Petition, am deaf. I am speaking for the entire country(’s deaf community) on this issue. I myself have almost a million miles under my belt, and have driven in many states. I drive for a company with my own vehicle, traveling approximately 2000-4000 miles per month, and I have never been involved in a crash (knocks on wood). No human being is perfect. Anyone can make mistakes. Do you agree? Good I’m glad you agree! If not- apparently you think you’re perfect; please close the browser as you no longer need to continue reading!
Now the examples,
A tractor hauling a 53’ van is going Northbound on 2 lane hwy 10; a tractor trailer hauling a liquid tank (not sure what was in it at that time,) is crossing Hwy 10 to get on the southbound route from a rural co. hwy 32. The tractor with liquid trailer crosses the hwy, and gets t-boned by that northbound tractor/trailer. It was a huge mess, -and yes I personally saw this. I will assume both had valid CDL-A licenses and valid medical cards.(At least I hope so.) I’m betting the northbound driver was blaring his horn in hopes that the crossing driver would stop. But it didn’t help.
Now think about this, how could the 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) regulation have prevented this collision? It would not have. A responsible and attentive driver would have prevented this.
Collisions mainly happen because of irresponsible drivers that don’t pay attention to the road -not from being unable to hear. Does anyone -hearing or not- just turn the steering wheel to change lanes while waiting for a sound to alert them that you’re getting in someone’s way? No we don’t do that, I hope you don’t. I hope you check all mirrors, reflections, shadows, before even hitting the turn signal, then double and check again to make sure it’s clear before ever turning the wheel!
To ensure the safety of everyone on the road all over the nation; it is every drivers’ responsibly is to pay attention, be smart, plan ahead, and have common sense as we all have to share that same road.
I know some of you would think OMG!!! Deaf people driving trucks?? No way!! That would make the roads unsafe! That is a total misconception. I personally believe that within a year or so -after FMCSA removes that regulation, several companies will want to have more Deaf drivers as they will notice that Deaf drivers are actually safer and bring their equipment back the same way it left the facility! But of course we all are human; no one can guarantee this certain person will never get into a collision.
Anything can happen as none of us are perfect. I believe it is the company’s responsibility to do a certain amount of training with a driver they want to hire to see if they are a responsible and safe driver or not. Even a veteran driver with clean record could get in a collision the next day of hiring. Its all about being responsible and paying attention.
Please sign this petition to end this pointless regulation, and share it via email, social network, text, or even snail mail! Thank you!
A copy of 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) for your reading.
“A person is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if that person —
First perceives a forced whispered voice in the better ear at not less than 5 feet with or without the use of a hearing aid or, if tested by use of an audiometric device, does not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater than 40 decibels at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with or without a hearing aid when the audiometric device is calibrated to American National Standard (formerly ASA Standard) Z24.5–1951.”
The required tests screen for hearing loss in the range of normal conversational tones.
Two tests are used to screen hearing: a forced whisper test AND/OR anaudiometric test.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>Either test may be administered first.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>Test both ears.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>Administration of the second test may be omitted when the test results of the initial test meet the hearing requirement for that test.
Hearing requirements are:
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>First perceive a forced whispered voice, in one ear, at not less than five feet.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>Have an average hearing loss, in one ear, less than or equal to 40 decibels (dB).
When a hearing aid is used to meet the hearing qualification requirement, the hearing aid must be used while driving.
Disqualify when both the forced whisper test AND the audiometric test are failed.
Founder of SG