Fleet Management

Sleep Apnea Bill Receives Final Congressional Approval, Awaits President’s Signature

October 06, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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Despite the feud between Republicans, Democrats and the Obama administration that has resulted in a partial shutdown of the federal government, the U.S. Senate came together late Friday to give approval to legislation regarding sleep apnea and truckers.

It requires any Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration action on sleep apnea to go through the usual rulemaking process, rather than the agency simply issuing guidance. HR 3095 was approved in the Senate by unanimous consent after passing the U.S. House by a vote of 405-0 Sept. 26. It now heads to President Obama for his signature.

The measure, introduced by Reps. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind., and Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., does not require FMCSA to issue any policy or regulation regarding sleep apnea. Rather, the bill ensures that any future policy issued on sleep apnea does not avoid a thorough analysis of the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea among truck and bus drivers, the range of possible actions to address the problem, and the costs and benefits of any policy.

Proponents of the legislation say FMCSA guidance on sleep apnea could cost trucking $1 billion annually.

Shortly after the legislation was introduced, FMCSA announced it would address sleep apnea through the usual rulemaking procedure, rather than simply issuing guidance. Many trucking interests had expressed reservations about FMCSA issuing guidance rather than a rulemaking because it does not allow for public comment period like a rulemaking does, and does not give employers a clear enough statement of their legal responsibilities.

Comments

  1. 1. amish trucker [ October 07, 2013 @ 05:25AM ]

    Yay. Congress can pat themselves on the back for coming together to pass this historic legislation....which was not needed in the first place as FMCSA had already agreed to go through the rulemaking process. Go Congress!

  2. 2. Don Lanier [ October 07, 2013 @ 01:02PM ]

    Im happy its going to rulemaking BUT if Drivers are forced by companys to partisiptae in tests because LEGAL is in fear of getting sued by Ambulance chasers ???WE DESERVE A VOICE and the fact this costs far more then 1 BILLION more like 5 Billion and its ongoing so thats another BILLION each year etc....Its just not necessary, Its a LOBBY and its forced its TESTING,DEVICES, AND LABS onto the Truker, Tell me how many people SNORE....I guess every person out there snores....so when do people who drive a CAR applying for there license face the tests BEFORE there given a license, and they dont even take physicals...

  3. 3. WILLIAM DOLLOFF [ October 08, 2013 @ 01:12PM ]

    I GUESS THE BUREACRATS WIN AGAIN. BURDEN THE INDUSTRY UNTIL U BREAK IT. WHEN DOES IT STOP THERE IS NO UTOPIA. LIKE THE EPA WANTING CLEANER AIR OUT THE EXHAUST THAT WHAT COMES IN.

  4. 4. Harry Kimball CDS CDT [ October 09, 2013 @ 09:05AM ]

    I agree with Don Lanier, Lets not single out a particular industry. If testing and treatments is going to make our highways safer, lets test everyone. Trucking is just a part of the transportation industry. They need to include airlines, rail and the general public. I believe it is safe to say the majority of the accidents are normally involving the general public falling asleep at the wheel as well.

  5. 5. Charlie Lemmel [ October 09, 2013 @ 09:10AM ]

    This still does not explain how to deal with companies that are touting that sleep apnea test can be required under current regulations when there are none. I have come across two companies, J.B. Hunt and NFI, that claim it is the law and they can automatically fail drivers if they suspect apnea. Since this is being passed, does that make those staements null and void?

  6. 6. Steve [ October 12, 2013 @ 09:36AM ]

    Overregulated under paid ,harassed by Local ,State And Federal Governments. Gosh wonder why nobody wants to work in this Industry It was nice working with some of you guys and ladies over the years.But I believe my time has come to Go.

  7. 7. Steve [ October 12, 2013 @ 09:37AM ]

    Overregulated under paid ,harassed by Local ,State And Federal Governments. Gosh wonder why nobody wants to work in this Industry It was nice working with some of you guys and ladies over the years. But I believe my time has come to Go.

  8. 8. dan gerster [ October 26, 2013 @ 04:46AM ]

    ya know I had both studies the nite time test was a breeze the day time test wasn't as fun, 8 hours of staring at a red lite in a dark room with 20 minute breaks and an hour for lunch and no cat naps while on your break was tough . the nite time test 2000.00 the day time test was 3000.00 out of my pocket up front before the test was given. so no money no test and no 1 year physical card talk about holding your life of driving as a ransome do u know airplane pilots are only required to take a 4 hour test day or nite test. really they can kill more people in accident than one truck can kill in one accident and the doctor who adminstered the test where rude

 

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