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ANSWER TO EVIDENCE OF THE SPECIALIZED MOTOR CARRIERS ASSOCIATION
The witnesses Cassidy, Quinn, Lear, Vallee, and Mitchiner are, no doubt, qualified as experts with respect to the equipment they use in their respective field of operations. But here we are concerned, as Examiner Rannels said (R. 39) with the ability of amputees to drive trucks." We do not doubt the sincerity of these witnesses. They believe that an amputee could not operate the equipment used in their business. They point out that many men who the industry tries to develop as operators fail and it takes 8 or 9 years to advance up to a tandem truck driver. Unless we have overlooked it in the record, not a single one of these witnesses ever had an iota of experience with amputees. No distinction was made by any of these witnesses with respect to what kind of an amputation would prevent an amputee from handling their equipment. They are unable to speak as experts or from personal knowledge with respect to how a person who has a below-the-knee amputation is compensated for his loss by a modern prosthetic device. They possess, insofar as the record shows, absolutely no knowledge about the use of prosthetic equipment; they are in utter darkness with respect to how a prosthetic device aids an amputee and with the possible exception of Cassidy, none of these witnesses even used the term “artificial limb” or mentioned a prosthetic device.
The equipment described by the Specialized Motor Carriers Association's is very heavy, especially large, complicated machinery. There is no disputing the fact that the operation of this machinery is highly complicated and that it takes an extremely capable person to operate it. It is probably true that not a great many amputees, even though fitted with proper compensating prosthetic devices, could operate this equipment. On the other hand, testimony in the record by the experts shows that amputees "can do remarkable things." Elkow (R. 375). Carl Daniels (whose testimony began on (R. 290)), who is director of amputee rehabilitation at New York University, Belleville Center, a prosthetic specialist, with 34 years experience, and himself an amputee with a "7 inch below the patella knee cap” amputation, testified that he could operate a truck which contained well-drilling equipment (R. 295). Daniels has had experience with amputees who can handle tractor trailers, bulldozers, heavy duty equipment, and dirt shovels. He testified, "Your hands and feet are the same. We can do everything you can; you put the same pressure on your clutch and our feet actuate the same as your feet do.” (R. 295).
We seriously doubt whether there should be a per se prohibition inserted in the regulations which would deny amputees the right to compete for a job as an operator of the equipment described by the Specialized Motor Carriers Association. If the standard of employment in the Specialized Motor Carriers Association industry is such that an amputee cannot qualify as an operator of the equipment used by them, a change in the regulations would not impose a burden on the members of that association.
It is our opinion that the record does not contain sufficient technical evidence to justify a conclusion that an amputee, regardless of how completely he has been compensated for the lost limb by a prosthetic device, cannot operate the equip ment used by the members of the association. The only testimony in the record by witnesses who are competent to testify on the compensating effect of artificial limbs leads to the opposite conclusion.
TESTIMONY OF OTHERS OPPOSED TO CHANGE IN THE EXISTING REGULATIONS
Paul McCausland, a resident of Washington, D. C., but formerly of Texas, appeared as a voluntary witness in opposition to amending the existing regulations. He described his calling after his amputation as that of a salesman, and that he was presently engaged in selling insurance. He testified that his arm was amputated 2 inches below his left elbow, that he drove an automobile any place he wanted to "without any restrictions or hesitancy at all” (R. 135). He then testified, and his testimony was somewhat vague, about these particular points, that when he had been in Cleveland, he learned about the problem of "social withdrawal” from Possibilities Unlimited (R. 136-139). Social withdrawal, according to this witness, seems to mean that a man who has “gone through a period of social withdrawal is more inclined to quit” if confronted with an accident (R. 155). Social withdrawal, insofar as we have been able to deduce by the use of that term in the record, reduced to its simplicity, is nothing more than the existence of a mental condition which would handicap an amputee from meeting certain conditions in the driving of a motor vehicle. Apparently the
witness did not believe that the conditions exist in connection with his driving a passenger automobile (R. 135).
In order to ascertain whether there was any unusual mental hazard existing in the mind of a rehabilitated amputee, we asked Dr. S. D. Vestermark, who has had 15 years' experience in the field of psychiatry, to appear and answer certain hypothetical questions which were drawn in the most part, from the testimony given by Mr. McCausland. Dr. Vestermark was asked whether the fact that a person'was an amputee would make such a person emotionally inclined to adopt à bullying or a road-hogging attitude. His answer was “No” (R. 446). He was also asked whether a physically rehabilitated amputee would suffer any emotional conditions which would impair his ability to drive a motor vehicle and whether such person would have average ability to meet and overcome emergencies which might arise in connection with the operation of a motor vehicle on the public highway. His answer was “No” (R. 446).
Mr. McCausland's reference to "social withdrawal” and its relationship to Possibilities Unlimited is not clear. However, that social withdrawal presented any kind of a difficult problem to Possibilities Unlimited was not mentioned by George J. Kruger, founder and first president of that organization, who testified at the May 17, 1948, hearing (R. 402). That organization has among its membership, six persons who are gainfully employed in driving motor vehicles; one member (see 403) operated as a "hell driver" performing movie stunts where he was required to go through various life-risking tactics. He lost a leg in a pleasurecar accident and returned to his “old occupation." This does not sound like Possibilities Unlimited was troubled too much by the social withdrawal problem." Furthermore, this emotional condition visualized by Mr. McCausland was not shared by a single one of the various amputees who testified before Examiner Rannels. In connection with this so-called problem of social withdrawal, the attention of the Commission is directed to a portion of the exhibit filed by Commander T. J. Cante (for reference see R. 485) which reads:
“Our follow-up records show that 90 percent of all the amputees processed through this center have made a satisfactory adjustment, both emotionally and socially and are either working or going to school. Five percent are having further difficulty due to physical disabilities and 5 percent are failures. Our former patients now in civil life are engaged in every type of work including Congressmen, professional, business, skilled trades, farmers and common laborers. The 5 percent of failures is no greater than the percentage of failures of men who have been separated from the service uninjured in any respect." (İtalics supplied.)
The National Association of Motor Bus Operators was represented by J. Garrett Scott, Esq., Washington, D. C. In his opening statement (R. 317), Mr. Scott expressed “profound sympathy, and respect and admiration for their courage (referring to the amputees) and resourcefulness in obtaining rehabilitation in order that they become or may become and be active and productive members of the community.” Insofar as we have been able to find in the record, no one who is in favor of amending the existing regulations based his request on a plea for sympathy. We have merely made a request which we believe is reasonable, that the regulations be amended so one who can demonstrate that he has the ability to drive a motor vehicle should not be deprived of an opportunity to earn a living because he is an amputee. But the witnesses for the National Association of Motor Bus Operators, say "No, no; this would not be consistent with safety." Therefore, let us anlayze their evidence and see where their sympathy has carried them in getting to the root of the problem presented.
Mr. A. N. Bryon, president of the New England Greyhound Lines and chairman of the safety committee of the National Association of Motor Bus Operators, testified that the "modern bus is not necessarily complicated to the extent that it is a difficult vehicle for a man to drive having all of the requirements to drive" (R. 327). There is no doubt but what he is well versed in the scientific and practical operations of a bus and that he is against amending the regulations.
However, he made no effort before coming to the hearing to find out what the accident experience of amputees was in their driving of motor vehicles (R. 342). He further testified that he had not made any test in dealing with the “ability of any amputee of any category to operate an over-the-road bus” (R. 346), but he did doubt whether a single one of the amputees who testified could pass the
1 This matter could no doubt have been further clarified but neither Mr. Kruger nor the writer of this brief was present at the April 6 hearing and did not know of witness McCausland's reference to Possibilities Unlimited.
reaction test of a bus driver (R. 347). He had testified that the test which the members of his association required a bus driver to pass in order to secure employment as a driver, was more stringent than the test set up by the Commission (R. 353), so we do not know what test he was talking about. Mr. William F. Grant, who followed Mr. Brown of New England Greyhound, was opposed to any relaxation of the rules so far as intercity busses are concerned (R. 361). He would give substantially the same answers Mr. Bryon gave as to why he is opposed to changing the regulations. He further testified that when he was working with the Pennsylvania Greyhound, that that company had “quite a number of amputees working in the garage.” But as safety director in his present job (for the same company Mr. Bryon is president of) in answer to the question, “Would you not consider an amputee at all?" he replied, “We have not in the past” (R. 361). Regardless of what the Commission does with the regulation under discussion, New England Greyhound has at least to its own satisfaction, solved the problem with respect to employing amputees.
R. E. Johnson, of Raleigh, N. C., director of safety and claims for the Carolina Trailway Bus Co., adopted Mr. Bryon's testimony as his own (R. 385). He has occupied that position 312 years and prior to that time was a claims attorney for the Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. He identified pictures of busses, was able to identify the instrument panel, point out where the directional signal was located and that the gear-shift lever was to the right of the steering wheel. Like Mr. Bryon, he was against amending the regulations but he failed to give any testimony about the ability of an amputee to drive a motor vehicle. Mr. B. A. Reynolds, Charlottesville, Va., an employee of Virginia State Lines, Inc., also agreed with Mr. Bryon that the existing regulations should not be changed (R. 389). If he knew what the word amputee means, the record does not show it. Marvin E. Walsh, secretary and general manager of Safeway Trails, Inc., who heard the testimony of Mr. Bryon gave an emphatic “I sure do," when asked if he agreed with Mr. Bryon's testimony as to the desirability of leaving the Interstate Commerce Commission rule as it is. Mr. F. P. Paternoster, employed by Central Greyhound over objection, testified that it would be difficult for an amputee who has lost one or both of his arms to do mechanical work on a certain type of bus engine (R. 414). He knew nothing about prosthetic devices used by chauffeurs (R. 415) and had no knowledge as to whether an amputee could perform the operations necessary in the driving of a new modern over-the-road bus (R. 441). Russell M. Haney, Jr., employed by the Virginia Trailways identified some photographs from which he successfully pointed out the location of the foot control, instrument panel which contained among other things, two black buttons which the driver had to reach for to operate the gear-shift lever and the emergency hand brake as well as some other instruments. But he did not have any knowledge with respect to whether an amputee, perfectly fitted scientifically with an artificial limb, could operate the devices and do the work on the busses he described. He testified he was “not an expert in the field of prosthetics” (R. 456) and had never made any effort to try to find out whether an amputee had the capacity to operate the bus he described.
EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF THE CHANGE IN THE EXISTING REGULATIONS
Let us refer briefly to the evidence of a few of the witnesses who are of the opinion that amputees, properly fitted with artificial limbs can safely drive motor vehicles.
Paul Sims, the amputee driving instructor at Walter Reed General Hospital (R. 284) and who has trained about 3,400 amputees to drive automobiles (R. 288) gave us his opinion that such amputees were efficient and safe drivers (R. 287). Surely, a man who has trained 3,400 amputees to drive automobiles can speak with considerable authority on that subject.
Clyde Shreve, an amputee was his left leg off 4 inches below the knee has been in the automobile business since 1921. He had driven all of the heavier trucks (R. 269). His artificial leg has never interfered with his efficiency in operating a truck (R. 270). While he has not driven a truck commercially since 1921, because of the nature of his business he is familiar with the modern-day truck and he testified that he could drive a modern-day truck because they are a whole lot easier to operate than the trucks which he drove commercially (R. 273). He was also of the opinion that he could drive with safety a tractortrailer, a modern city bus and an intercity bus (R. 273). He has driven over a million miles and has never been held responsible for an accident (R. 271).
Jesse Arthur, Marmet, W. Va. (R. 514), age 25, with a below-the-knee amputation of the right leg wears a prosthetic device, has been driving trucks for 6 years, has operated up to 12-ton trucks (R. 515). He never had an accident (R. 516), and has no trouble raising his foot from the accelerator to the brake, and believes he is well qualified to drive a truck (R. 517).
A summary of the 21 affidavits referred to (R. 265) shows that 12 of the amputees had below-the-knee amputations, 2 were above the knee, and 7 had hand or arm amputations. All were equipped with artificial limbs. The types of vehicles operated by these amputees ranged from Dodge one-half ton pick-up to 10-ton trucks, single unit, 10-wheel, 3-ton trucks, semitrailers ranging from 5 to 16 tons, 3-ton White trucks, GMC trucks of various tonnage, a 2-ton school bus, International trucks and Chevrolet trucks of various tonnage. With the exception of one person, a leg amputee who had a Dodge truck equipped with a hand clutch; none of the vehicles had any special driving equipment.
The experience of these drivers, after their amputations, varied from 10 months to 20 years, and the mileage covered by them varied from approximately 6,000 miles to over a million miles. Only 2 of the amputees had had accidents, neither of which was attributed to the fact that they were amputees.
George J. Kruger (R. 402), president of Dennis Trucker, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio, past president, founder and trustee of Possibilities Unlimited, and himself an amputee, testified that organization had six members who are gainfully employed as drivers of motor vehicles in the city of Cleveland. He named the job each was performing, but “one in particular had been driving a passenger bus [White) for the city of Cleveland transit department with a below-the-knee amputation for several years” (R. 403). He uses an artificial leg with no special equipment on the bus (R. 406).
Charles McDonald Kerr, himself an amputee, coauthor of Civilian Amputees in Action (exhibit 64) has 24 years of experience in training amputees fitted with prosthesis. He testified that 90 percent of these amputees could participate in activities which required more than normal skill in a manner comparable with the normal individual (R. 301).
Carl Daniels whose testimony has hereinbefore been referred to, said in referring to persons who had been properly trained to use prosthetic devices, “Your hands and feet are the same. You cannot have more than two feet or hands. We can do everything you can; you put the same pressure on your clutch and our feet actuate the same as your feet do."
Dr. Joseph Duke Elkow (R. 366), author of Testing Methods and Techniques for Use in the Licensing of Drivers with Orthopedic Disabilities (exhibit 67) conducted research for 2 years at the center of safety education at New York University. The purpose of this research or study was to determine the efficiency of the disabled in automobile operations (R. 366). Thirty-five experts in the field of safety education worked with Dr. Elkow (R. 367). He determined what physical requirements were necessary to drive an automobile. He devised a test to determine what was necessary to meet these requirements and he came out with “data which indicated that some persons had, despite their disabilities, complete power in motor vehicle operations” (R. 367). Some of the disabled who took the test were amputees (R. 367). The test made was confined to passenger vehicles. However, light trucks were comparable to some of the passenger cars. Therefore scientifically and in reality, he proved that some amputees properly fitted with artificial limbs could drive light trucks and automobiles, just as safely as persons who were pot amputees. (Italics supplied.)
Only one witness who was an amputee appeared in opposition to amending the regulations. None of the other witnesses ever had any experience with amputees. Mr. Byron and his associates like Cassidy, Quinn, Lear, Vallee, and Mitchiner are experienced in their respective fields of operation. But they are unable to speak as experts or from personal knowledge concerning how an amputee is compensated for his lost member by a modern prosthetic device. Not one of these witnesses possesses, insofar as the record discloses, any knowledge with respect to the strength, durability, or use of prosthetic equipment. They are all in utter darkness concerning the ability or lack of ability of amputees to drive motor vehicles.
However, Mr. Byron testified that, in the interest of safety, the present regulation should not be amended; and insofar as the issue in this case is concerned that means that amputees, regardless of the kind of amputation, regardless of how the lost member has been compensated for by use of a prosthetic device, cannot safely
drive any motor vehicle which comes under the jurisdiction of the Commission. Mr. Byron's testimony, opinions, or conclusions, we are not sure which, was adopted by Grant, Johnson, Walsh, and Reynolds.
Therefore, let us compare their testimony with that of the witnesses who were qualified to speak on the question of amputees' ability to drive motor vehicles safely. Some "elements in the matter of the operation of intercity buses which entered into” Mr. Bryon's "thinking” (R. 328) as as follows:
(a) “Sanding by bus drivers” (R. 328). This operation is done with the right foot and there is no reason why a person with a left leg amputation could not perform this operation. There is evidence in the record by an amputee, an expert in the use of prosthetics, that a right leg amputee with an artificial limb could successfully perform this operation (R. 295).
(6) "Double clutching”. Too much emphasis was placed on the difficulty of double clutching. However, Mr. Bryon (R. 357) finally said that he did not know whether a left leg amputee, properly fitted with an artificial limb, could handle this operation. The witness Walsh concluded, "I imagine they could do it in time” (R. 393). John Snyder, a left leg amputee who wears an artificial limb had no trouble double clutching a bus or a truck (R. 506).
(c) “As to hands, there is no question that a great amount of strength is an absolute necessity in the driving of a motorbus” (R. 329). Surely it could not be seriously argued that John Snyder, Jesse Arthur (R. 514) or Clyde Schreve (R. 269) would not have the required strength in their hands to handle a bus safely.
(d) Very often it is “necessary for physical strength in the matter of the passengers themselves" (R. 331). John Snyder testified that he could carry Mr. Wender, who weighs 180 pounds (R. 511), and, quite aside from Mr. Bryon's reference to "superhuman strength” (R. 329), Snyder's physical qualifications with respect to strength would seem to be sufficient to meet any situation that could be handled by most bus drivers. Snyder drove a 37-passenger International bus which was not equipped with any special appliances (R. 500). He changed tires on the bus and even the “inside tire” (R. 503).
(e) The vast amount of material placed in the record describing in minute detail the numerous push buttons in a bus, the two-way radiotelephone, the radio for passengers (R. 423) and other equipment, some of which is only on an experimental bus, the location of the thermostat and air governor—that they are difficult to get at (R. 413), the levers used to raise and lower the driver's window, the strength required to open the door with the step down because three out of five buses have bent steps due to the fact that drivers have hit the curb with the step (R. 417), the location of the fire extinguisher, the number of bolts in the front bumper which must be removed in order to let it down so that the spare tire may be removed, passengers molesting girls, and Paternoster's experiences, ending up in the ditch, wrestling with unruly passengers (R. 431), has little if anything to do with the issue presented in this case. It does add considerable confusion to a difficult problem.
We cannot help but observe that whatever difficulties, imaginary or real, were intended to be presented by this testimony, could adequately be met by John Snyder or the other amputees who testified at the hearing.
We have no reason to believe that the witnesses who are opposed to amending the regulations are any more interested in safety than the witnesses who are of the opinion that the regulations should be amended. If those who oppose amending the regulations do not want to employ amputees, that is entirely their own business. But it is not their business to oppose a change in the regulations where the proposed change would permit Roy Johnson to lease his own truck to Film Transit, Inc., and then drive his truck for that company within the State of Arkansas. (R. 64.) We do not believe that the opposition is any more interested in safety than the employer of the amputee who drives the 2-ton school bus or the parents of the children who ride the bus. (See p. 14 of this brief.) We believe that Dr. Joseph Duke Elkow, Maj. Maurice Fletcher of the United States Army, Dr. Verne K. Harvey of the United States Civil Service Commission, Commander T. J. Cante (M. C.), United States Navy, and the other witnesses who testified in favor of the amendment are just as much interested in safety and are as high-minded and public-spirited citizens as the witnesses for the opposition. We submit that they were better qualified to speak on the issue before the Commission than were the witnesses for the opposition.
While the evidence in the record by the amputees and the experts in the use of prosthetic devices is, in our opinion, alone sufficient to demonstrate that amputees properly fitted with prosthetic devices can drive motor vehicles with