Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Contact: Norita Taylor, [email protected]
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791
For Immediate Release
Truckers challenge medical certification rule over sleep apnea appendix
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has filed a petition for review challenging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s final rule on medical examiner’s certification integration saying that the agency bypassed the rulemaking process by adding an appendix on sleep apnea.
OOIDA filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in St. Louis saying that the appendix on sleep apnea was not included in the proposed rulemaking. The appendix includes instruction that examiners should consider whether a truck driver has obstructive sleep apnea. By law, the FMCSA is supposed conduct a formal rulemaking before requiring sleep apnea testing for commercial truck drivers.
FMCSA had issued a final rule in April 2015 that required certified medical examiners, who perform physicals on drivers of commercial motor vehicles, to use a new medical form. The agency announced it was creating procedures by which medical examiners would submit the results of driver medical examinations to the states so that a driver’s medical certification would be combined with the commercial driver’s license.
OOIDA contends, however, that the final rule added an appendix that wasn’t included in the proposal. Within the appendix is a section on respiratory dysfunction, which lists sleep apnea as one of the conditions. The appendix says “if the medical examiner detects a respiratory dysfunction that in any way is likely to interfere with the driver’s ability to safely control and drive a commercial motor vehicle, the driver must be referred to a specialist for further evaluation and therapy.”
In previous comments regarding the final rule, OOIDA said drivers are the ones forced to pay for the arbitrary standards.
“These practices pull safe drivers off the road for protracted periods of time and force them to spend thousands of dollars on unwarranted tests and expensive exams,” OOIDA wrote. “In worst-case situations, safe driving careers are ended and small businesses are forced to close. OOIDA members have experienced these consequences firsthand on too many occasions.”
OOIDA will file full arguments by Dec. 19.