There has finally been a break through in the rules for sleep disorders for truck drivers. There will be some standards set so that we will know for sure what the rules are.
President Barack Obama Tuesday quietly signed into law legislation to ensure any federal standards governing screening, testing, or treatment of individuals operating commercial motor vehicles for sleep disorders would be through a rule making instead of guidance, which has previously been the case.The legislation, highly applauded by trucking stakeholders was somewhat moot because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had already announced it was following the wishes of the trucking industry and would deal with the sleep disorders issue through the rule making process rather than regulatory guidance.
Truckers and medical professionals have long complained that fuzziness in federal guidance on obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) testing and treatment has resulted in pendulum swings from one extreme to the other. One extreme mentioned by drivers is that an examiner may see a trucker’s stomach sticking out over his belt and immediately order sleep apnea testing. From an examiner’s point of view, it’s not worth staking one’s medical career on, so better to be safe than sorry and test pretty much everyone.
Though Obama has recently been under fire over the “tragic” Affordable Care Act, many of us in the trucking industry agree with this legislation. Anything that will help cut down on the stereotyping and laziness is tops in our book.