Trips to sleep apnea listening sessions must be made easier

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | 5/5/2016

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration are hosting public listening sessions Thursday, May 12, in Washington, D.C.; Tuesday, May 17, in Chicago; and Wednesday, May 25, in Los Angeles in order to hear views on potential sleep apnea regulations from interested parties. The problem is that none of the locations have truck parking available on site.

One group is working to make it easier for truck drivers to attend upcoming listening sessions on sleep apnea. Truckers for a Cause, a support group for drivers with sleep apnea, has researched the options for available truck parking and access via public transportation to the listening sessions. Options for ways to get to each of the listening sessions are available on the website. There is also a page to help truck drivers share a ride to the listening session and cut down on expenses.

It’s also created a Facebook group to bring truck drivers together so they can exchange information about transportation to the listening sessions. The parking information is provided by fellow truck drivers and not the FMCSA.

The FMCSA and FRA published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on March 10 to receive feedback about any potential sleep apnea regulations.

The first listening session will be at the National Association of Home Builders, 1201 15th St., Washington, DC 20005. The May 17 meeting will be at the Marriott Courtyard Chicago Downtown/River North, 30 E. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60611. The final session will be at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites, 404 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90071. All of the sessions run from 10 a.m. to noon and 1:30-3:30 p.m. local time.

For those who are unable to attend in person, the entire proceedings of all three meetings will be available on the internet through a live webcast. The FMCSA and FRA will post specific information on how to participate in the webcast at and in advance of the listening sessions.

Written comments regarding possible sleep apnea requirements can be submitted at the website or by mailing Docket Services, U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001. You are asked to identify whether you are in the transportation industry or medical profession, but you can choose to remain anonymous.

The 90-day comment period ends June 8.

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