Sleep apnea bill clears House, awaits Senate approval

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Updated Sep 27, 2013

apneaThe bill that would prevent the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from solely issuing guidance relative to sleep disorder/apnea screening of truck drivers passed in the House 405-0 Thursday, Sept. 26.

The so-called sleep apnea bill was introduced just two weeks ago in the House, and requires that if FMCSA takes action on sleep disorder screening, it do so via the formal rulemaking process. 

Related: Agency says it will use rulemaking on sleep apnea regulation

The Senate introduced its version of the bill this week, too, and it has been referred to the Senate’s transportation committee. 

Rep. Larry Buschon (R-Md.), one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a letter to colleagues earlier this month that FMCSA-issued guidance would “sidestep a thorough analysis of the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea among truck” drivers and not allow the bill to be properly evaluated by industry stakeholders and regulators, especially considering it’s projected to cost the for-hire industry roughly $1 billion a year, the letter said. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a statement after the House had introduced its version of the bill, saying it would use the formal rulemaking process after “collecting and analyzing the necessary data and research.” 

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



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