FMCSA could remove 16K DOT docs from registry | Smuggled tramadol found in-cab at border

Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024:

FMCSA proposes to remove certain medical examiners from registry

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing to remove medical examiners (MEs) from its National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners who have failed to access their National Registry account using login.gov and update the profile information in their account as required.

Since June 2018, by using the email, physical address and telephone number these MEs provided to FMCSA in their National Registry account, the agency has attempted to notify them of the requirement to access their account using login.gov.

There are approximately 15,727 examiners in the registry of docs and other examiners who perform or performed DOT physicals who have not accessed their National Registry account using login.gov. As a result, those examiners are not able to fulfill regulatory requirements, such as reporting results of DOT physicals performed on drivers, receiving FMCSA communications, and completing required training.

[Related: Action required: Updates to FMCSA account logins coming]

MEs who are removed from the National Registry will no longer be certified to perform DOT physicals of truckers. To avoid being removed from the National Registry, MEs to whom this notice applies must complete certain corrective actions within 30 days of the notice being published on Wednesday, Jan. 24. MEs who are subject to the notice must create a login.gov account and correct all outdated contact information in their profiles.

Examiners who do not complete this process within 30 days will be removed from the National Registry.

The agency said MEs not using login.gov must be removed from the National Registry before June 23, 2025, when FMCSA will begin electronically transmitting medical certification information for drivers from the National Registry to the state driver’s licensing agencies. If an ME does not access their National Registry account using login.gov and report results of physicals performed, FMCSA will not be able to electronically transmit those results for posting to the drivers’ records.

Medical certificates issued by MEs who are removed from the Registry before they are removed will not be invalidated. MEs removed from the Registry will continue to appear on the public website for three years following the date of their removal, along with an indication that they are no longer certified as an ME.

[Related: FMCSA's revised medical handbook holds no new sleep apnea guidance]

Border Patrol seizes ‘significant amount’ of tramadol from truck at border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers assigned to the World Trade Bridge in Laredo, Texas, recently seized a significant amount of tramadol within a commercial truck.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection tramadol bustBoxes containing 159 pounds of tramadol were seized by CBP officers at World Trade Bridge.U.S. CBP“Frontline officers at the World Trade Bridge demonstrated exceptional effort in successfully disrupting this smuggling attempt,” said Port Director Alberto Flores, Laredo Port of Entry. “This drug bust is a prime example of the efficient targeting strategies utilized in the cargo environment to help disrupt the illicit smuggling of this highly addictive opioid into our communities.”

The seizure occurred on Thursday, Jan. 18, when a CBP officer referred a 2012 Freightliner for a secondary inspection. Following non-intrusive inspection system examination, CBP officers discovered a total of 159.65 pounds of tramadol within the cab area of the truck.

Tramadol is an opioid analgesic medication prescribed for pain relief. If misused, this drug could lead to potentially adverse health effects and addiction, CBP said.

CBP seized the controlled medication and Homeland Security Investigations special agents are investigating the seizure.

[Related: $10M in drugs hidden in load at border: Latest bust]

I-8 rest areas in Arizona reopen

The Interstate 8 Sentinel Rest Areas located about 30 miles west of Gila Bend, Arizona, have reopened after renovations to their restrooms, parking lots, water and wastewater systems, and more.

The facilities, serving both directions of I-8 at milepost 83, closed in late 2021. Other improvements from the $7.6 million renovation include updated pavement markings and signage, along with improving access for individuals with disabilities. 

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