OOIDA requests FMCSA delay the compliance date of medical registry rule

| April 08, 2014

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has filed a legal petition asking the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to push back the compliance date of the medical examiner registry rule until more agency-certified examiners are available for truck operators to utilize for medical certifications. 

The rule, made final in 2012, requires that after May 21, 2014, drivers be medically certified by an FMCSA-certified medical examiner when they’re due for recertification. 

In its rule, the agency projected 40,000 medical examiners would become registered by the compliance date, to provide certification for the FMCSA-estimated 4.4 million drivers who fall under the rule’s guidelines. 

Related

Medical certification deadline update: Extension to 2015 in the works

As the Jan. 30 deadline looms for CDL holders to self-certify their operating and medical credentials with their license-issuing state, drivers may still need to carry paper cards.

However, OOIDA says only a little more than 10,000 examiners have been certified by FMCSA by March 28, which the association says in its petition  will make it difficult for drivers to find medical examiners by their recertification date — potentially sidelining their operation — and will drive up costs for those that do. 

“This presents ‘good cause’ to justify a change to the compliance date,” OOIDA’s petition reads, and the agency has legal precedent to delay compliance, based on the causes laid out in its petition, the association says.

Related

Seminar: Medical registry rule upping urgency of sleep apnea testing

The looming deadline for truckers to be medically certified by examiners approved by FMCSA has ratcheted up the pressure for those who may be at risk for sleep apnea to be tested and treated, said a speaker this week in Louisville, Ky.

FMCSA also would be able to legally sidestep the rulemaking process to issue the compliance extension, OOIDA says.

As drivers are required to renew their medical certification once every two years, 2.2 million drivers must be examined each year, OOIDA’s petition notes, and FMCSA calculated the 40,000 medical examiners would suffice, calculating roughly 75 examinations per year for an estimated 3 million yearly exams. 

Related

Docs’ sleep apnea approach getting aggressive — and confused?

The story of a driver denied medical certification because of his successfully treated sleep apnea.

The lack or examiners now, however, will not suffice, OOIDA says.

“Many drivers will simply be unable to find registered examiners to certify them before their prior certification expires. This will cause interruptions in their employability, frustrate their ability to conduct their businesses, and do damage to their relationship with their employer or other transportation partners who rely upon them. This alone is sufficient good cause to delay implementation of the compliance date,” according to OOIDA’s petition. 

OOIDA also points to longer appointment wait times and the need to travel farther to find an examiner as other problems likely to stem from the lack of registered examiners. 

Related

FMCSA proposes rule to immediately transmit medical exam results to state licensing agencies

As an addition to its National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners rule, FMCSA is proposing paperwork changes and more direct transmission procedures.

The association does not specify a new date of compliance, only saying it shouldn’t be “until a sufficient number of medical examiners are on the registry for the program to operate as described in the regulatory record.” 

Click here to read OOIDA’s full petition.

The agency earlier this year announced a delay to part of the rule, pushing back the date through which drivers must continue to carry paper copies of their medical certification to Jan. 30, 2015, from Jan. 30, 2014. 

Note: Response from FMCSA will be added when it becomes available. 

  • whyismycachealwaysclearing

    When does it end? When can we get an administration in office, with a cabinet that doesn’t have its head up its ass?

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  • pete

    Check out the list and n ote how many of these Medical Examiners are only chiropractors.

  • gemstoneprincess

    This is getting so crazy. Seriously if they truly cared about highway safety, they would aggressively educate the motoring public about what they should and should not do around big trucks. No differently than they would educate people in any work zone where large equipment is being used.
    People feel like they do not need to have any regard for the jobs we are trying to do. The low level of accountability on the motoring public, only increases my stress. The senseless laws they keep making just causes me stress. It is all becoming a distraction, that makes my job so difficult, I am seriously considering training to do something else. I am a good driver with over 17 years safe driving. But it’s becoming beaureautic nonsense. And these people who think they are making the world a better place have no idea how ignorant and stupid they are becoming.

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  • DavidMac

    The FMCSA, like all bureaucracies, thinks that merely publishing a rule will make it so. It’s that erroneous perception of power and control that result in a mish-mash of rules that eventually become so burdensome that the public will just ignore them. The IRS tax code, for example, and ObamaCare for another, result in the general public losing any confidence in their government. When the public no longer believes the government is concerned with the public welfare and only with governmental aggrandizement, bad things will happen.

  • eric

    I noticed the same thing! Let’s go to a new doctor or stay with the one that knows your medical history. I say let’s have them certified by a person who cracks backs. That’s safer! Jackasses!

  • JPMINN

    I live in rural MN. The nearest certifed examiner to me is a chiropractor 70 miles away. More beaurecratic BS, what joke. Its becoming more and more impossible to do this job.

  • Soda Pop

    Im just about finished with the trucking industry – I have been a driver for 17 years and the government – is making this life a living hell –
    so lets take out all the good drivers and replace them with swift school grads –
    I’d rather load the truck then operate one now