DOT may alter protocol for diabetic truck drivers

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checking blood sugarInsulin-dependent diabetic truckers may no longer have to request a formal exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, should a new federal rule go into effect.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Monday it is seeking public comments on a revised 2015 rule eliminating the exemption requirement for insulin-dependent diabetic drivers. Instead, the rule would give individual medical examiners authority to grant or deny diabetic drivers their medical certificates.

FMCSA is accepting public comments through Sept. 25. As part of the revised rule, FMCSA may have drivers submit an assessment form to their medical examiner. The form would ask about the driver’s history with insulin, date of their last comprehensive eye exam, any diabetes-related complications they’ve experienced, and more.

“This information will assist the (medical examiner) in determining whether insulin treatment or any medical complications of diabetes will impact a driver’s ability to safely operate a CMV,” the agency said in its announcement. “Therefore, FMCSA expects that 100 percent of drivers who are treated with insulin and intend to operate a CMV in interstate commerce will have the form completed by their (treating clinician).”

The agency hasn’t provided a timeline for when it would implement the new protocol, should it proceed with the rule.

Public comments on the revised rule proposal, identified as FMCSA-2005-23151, can be submitted online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal.