The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is moving
ahead with its proposal to link information from truckers' medical certificates
into the CDL process. After announcing yesterday he'd signed off on the
proposal, the agency's new administrator, John Hill, posted the proposal Nov.
17 in the Federal Register.
This proposed change to the regs is not a new deal, but old
business that first drew official comments from OOIDA 10 years ago. What it
means is that interstate truckers subject to the physical qualification
requirements of the federal regulations would need to provide an original or
copy of their medical card to their state licensing agency. That agency would
then be required to marry the medical certification to the database that
holds all the commercial driver's license information.
While the feds feel this would ensure accurate and timely
medical info be maintained, some industry stakeholders have concerns. OOIDA's
concerns are that the net effect will simply build more bureaucracy
with greater cost overall. The Association also points out that the overall
effort will lead to certification of medical providers which may inadvertently
exclude a driver's family physician from doing the driver physicals.
"The significance of this is that it's often the family
doctor who really knows the health condition of the patient," said OOIDA
Executive Vice President Todd Spencer.
In order to implement this plan, the FMCSA must go through an
official process. The agency is requesting comments by Feb. 14, 2007.
All submissions must include the agency name and docket
number, FMCSA-1997-22101, and the Regulatory Identification Number -- RIN
Comments may be submitted by personal delivery, fax, postal
or e-mail delivery. Fax your completed comments to (202) 493-2251. Online, go
to the federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for
If you are mailing your comments, use this address:
Docket Management Facility
U.S. Department of Transportation
400 Seventh St. SW, Nassif Building
Washington, DC 20590-0001.
- By Sandi Soendker,