House’s transportation committee to consider trucking sleep apnea bill

| September 18, 2013

Trucker-Tim-Edit017The House’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will consider Thursday, Sept. 19, the recently introduced House bill that would require the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to — if it were to take any action — pursue a formal sleep disorder screening rule rather than guidance. 

Nick McGee, press secretary for one of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Larry Buschon (R-Md.), did not say the bill would necessarily come to a vote, but he did say it would be considered.

The bill was introduced last week. If it were to become law, it would force FMCSA to go through the formal rulemaking process instead of simply issuing guidance on requirements for carriers to screen, diagnose and treat sleep apnea disorders like obstructive sleep apnea. 

In a letter intended to rally support from colleagues circulated last week, Buschon and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) said such screening and diagnosing would cost the industry $1 billion or more per year, and that a formal rule, unlike guidance, would require the regulation’s cost and benefits to be properly evaluated and allow trucking industry stakeholders and the public to comment. 

The bill by itself does not require FMCSA to make a rule, but only requires that any action taken on sleep disorder screening come as a rule not as guidance. 

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the American Trucking Associations support the bill.

However, according to govtrack.us, the bill has only a 27 percent chance of getting past the T&I Committee and a 7 percent chance of being enacted.

  • g

    Truckers To Shut Down America is just up on Facebook and has 2 million hits….Convoy and shutdown Oct 11-13.
    Many pages of articles google: Trucker shutdown OCT 11 2013…….join the fun..or stay parked for those days.

  • MercenaryMan

    It wont cost the INDUSTRY, It will cost YOU AND ME…the guys whose Insurance wont pay, those without Insurance, and the cost wont be 1 billion its 5 BILLION…..This law benefits the Health marketplace and manufactures RESMED, PHILLIPS and GE, Who after spending lots of money on Lobbyists got some congressmen to vote on thisngs they dont even understand, but after enough 300 dollar lunches they gave in….WHO PROFITS, WHO LOSES…when a driver says he would take a nap in the afternoon, when his routine is to drive all night, is that wrong…..BIG MEN AND WOMEN are at risk, when is the last time we saw a Linebacker on Monday Night Football fall asleep during the game, NEVER…this is GREED and those companies whose board members sit on the same boards that makes these laws apply to the Trucker is wrong.

    I do know some people have sleep apnea, and those that get treatment and enjoy a better life thats wonderful, But saying that ALL TRUCKERS, ALL BIG PEOPLE, must have it and were dangerous is stigmatizing an industry needlessly.

    A drivers safety record should speak for him, not his waist size.

  • Shawn L Hubbard

    Then Congress will mandate sleep apnea testing for all licensed drivers, right? Because its only fair, right? Yeah right, I’m dreaming, that would never happen. This is why I continue to work on my college degree so I can get my butt out of the truck. I’m so sick of the increased government regulation and intrusion into my life and livelihood. Leave me alone already!

  • Mortifis

    three people tat commented before are obviously not reading the bill correctly. What the feds have done is in our benefit, the bill is forcing Anne and her fang of over bearing gorillas to do a proper study which includes cost and benefit analysis before forcing more rules down our throats, unlike the new HOS which was not protected like this bill is!!

  • Bret

    just saw an wright up on the protest in the minutemen paper there calling it the 1 million truck march to DC we need to get this done

  • baldwin filters

    Too much of the government trying to oversee every detail of peoples lives. We need less government by politicians and more trucking industry veterans leading change.