a June 10 Senate hearing, FMCSA Acting Administrator Annette Sandberg
said the agency needed a standing medical review board to provide
expert advice on driver qualification standards and guidelines,
medical examiner education and medical research.
spoke before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation,
which is considering recommendations for FMCSA's reauthorization,
including the administration's legislative proposal known as the
Safe, Accountable Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act
members would come from leading medical/academic institutions and
serve three- to five-year terms. In the past, we have assembled
expert medical specialists on an ad hoc basis to review the standards
and guidelines for qualifying truck and bus drivers," Sandberg
said. "A standing review board will greatly enhance the agency's
ability to adopt regulations that reflect current medical advances.
Many of the medical standards currently in effect were originally
adopted in the 1970s or earlier."
said FMCSA had more than 6 million commercial drivers under its
must ensure that only drivers physically qualified to operate a
commercial vehicle are doing so. There are tragic examples where
this has not been the case," she said.
told of a medical examiner lacking familiarity with FMCSA's medical
criteria who certified a Louisiana bus driver with heart and kidney
disease. The driver later crashed, killing 22 passengers.
medical examiner registry, as called for in our proposal, will help
FMCSA to provide more comprehensive information on medical practitioners
to drivers and carriers. It will help disseminate information to
practitioners regarding medical policies and requirements relevant
to the physical qualifications of commercial drivers. A medical
registry is necessary to upgrade the quality of CDL driver medical
qualification exams," Sandberg added.