Medical professionals who conduct health screenings for commercial drivers must receive training on driver health issues under new rules adopted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The new rules, released April 18, require medical professionals to pass a qualifications test and then register with a national database. Those interested in participating have until May 2014 to comply.
The rule is intended to improve health care providers’ expertise with medical issues relevant to medium- and heavy-duty truck drivers to make sure drivers are healthy enough to take the wheel of a commercial vehicle. Congress ordered FMCSA to develop the rule in 2005 transportation legislation. The Department of Transportation started work on the rule in December 2008.
Critics have said the rule might drive some doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and others out of the work, thereby raising the price of the required exams, but DOT secretary Ray LaHood said the rule will ensure that those who administer the exams “fully understand all of the demands required to operate large trucks and passenger buses safely.”