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Truck driver medical check-ups to be performed by certified examiners

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has released its final rule covering the health care professional responsible for performing medical exams on truckers.

The FMCSA is responsible for regulating interstate truck and bus drivers. The agency requires all covered drivers meet basic health standards. This is to ensure that drivers are able to operate their vehicles safely.

The new rule creates uniform training and testing standards for medical examiners, and the agency has set up a National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners online to enable drivers to easily find an approved examiner.

Because the standards for certification were only recently announced, health care professionals have until May 21, 2014 to qualify for certification. Truck drivers after that date must have received a medical exam from a certified examiner.

The Goal: Reducing Crashes

The agency's mission is to reduce highway crashes involving commercial motor vehicles. The medical exams on truck and bus drivers will now be performed by health care professional trained to look for medical factors that could compromise the driver's ability to drive safely.

The rule was in part created in response to four specific recommendations the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) suggested during truck accident investigations. Generally, the NTSB requested the FMCSA require uniform training for the medical examiners who certified drivers and better tracking of driver medical certificates.

To facilitate that tracking, on May 21, 2014, the states will be required to list the medical examiner's national registry number from the certificate into Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS) for each interstate driver.

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