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New physical exam standards for commercial drivers

Nov 29, 2012 - Truck Accidents by

For years, federal regulators have been working to improve safety standards for the trucking industry. The goal, of course, is to prevent truck accidents, in North Carolina and across the country.

One of the ways to do this is have clearer rules on driver qualifications. Much attention is paid to the number of hours that drivers can be on the road at one time. But it’s also important to make sure that drivers meet basic medical fitness standards.

That is why drivers must get physical examinations every two years in order to keep their commercial drivers’ licenses. This is a mandatory requirement under U.S. Department of Transportation rules.

But what type of medical provider is qualified to give these exams?

Under current rules, many different types of providers are permitted to do so. This includes not only medical doctors, but also chiropractors and others.

Beginning in May of 2014, however, new federal regulations will go into effect. These regulations will require many people who hold commercial licenses to have medical examinations performed by doctors who are specifically trained and certified to do so.

The drivers covered by the rule will include bus and truck drivers. Federal authorities hope that the new rule will help prevent emergency-related crashes caused by drivers’ health issues.

In short, if a bus, truck or other commercial driver wants to get or keep a commercial drivers’ license (CDL), he or she must be prepared to submit to a more thorough physical examination.

Training and certifying doctors on how to administer these exams should help to standardize the process. That standardization, in turn, should make the process run more efficiently.

Source: “New regulations will require bus, truck drivers to get certified exams,” The Republican-Eagle, Sarah Gorvin, 11-16-12

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