Drivers

Proposed Rule Would Simplify Insulin Exemption for Drivers

May 04, 2015

By David Cullen

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Proposed rule would replace individual exemptions for insulin-treated drivers with annual medical certification. Image: FMCSA
Proposed rule would replace individual exemptions for insulin-treated drivers with annual medical certification. Image: FMCSA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed that drivers with controlled insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) be permitted to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce without first obtaining an individual exemption for that medical condition from the agency.

Per the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published in the Federal Register, if enacted the rule would allow drivers with ITDM to obtain a Medical Examiner's Certificate (MEC) at least annually to operate in interstate commerce if the treating clinician — who is the healthcare professional responsible for prescribing insulin for the driver's diabetes — provides documentation to the Medical Examiner that the condition is “stable and well-controlled.” 

FMCSA noted in the NPRM that it believes the new procedure would “adequately ensure that drivers with ITDM manage the condition so that it is stable and well-controlled, and that such a regulatory provision creates a clearer, equally effective and more consistent framework than a program based entirely on exemptions.”

The agency added that its own evidence reports as well as ADA studies and other data “indicate that drivers with ITDM are as safe as other drivers when their condition is well-controlled.” 

Comments on the proposed rule (Docket Number FMCSA-2005-23151 may be submitted on or before July 6 via the Federal eRulemaking Portal, www.regulations.gov.

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