Director Safety & Compliance Services
FMCSA Proposes Diabetic Exemption Process May Not Be Needed
The FMCSA has recently proposed rulemaking whereby truck drivers with “stable, well-controlled insulin-treated diabetes (ITDM)” will be qualified to operate commercial motor vehicles. At the present time, ITDM drivers are prohibited from driving unless they obtain an exemption from the FMCSA which must be renewed every two years. Over the past year, approximately 1,000 diabetes exemptions have been issued.
Under the proposed change, the drivers would have to be examined yearly by a medical examiner listed in the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. The examiner would have to receive documentation from the driver’s treating clinician who is responsible for prescribing his/her insulin. The treating clinician would have to provide proof that the condition is “stable and well-controlled.”
This is a critical issue. Over 6% of America’s workforce is employed in the trucking industry, and over 9% of America’s population is diagnosed with diabetes. Couple that with the fact that the rate of diabetes is 50% higher in truck drivers than in the general population. These high numbers translate into a reduced pool of experienced, qualified drivers. Drivers who work hard to stabilize their condition should have the opportunity to continue to make a living behind the wheel.
If you would like to have your voice heard, the FMCSA will accept comments on the proposal until July 6. The official proposed rulemaking may be found by visiting Docket ID: FMCSA-2005-23151 at regulations.gov.
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