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Thursday, April 22, 2021

FMCSA attempts to reduce exemptions BUT doesn’t keep ahead of technology

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration received exemption requests from 91 drivers with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus asking to be allowed to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce.

FMCSA is authorized to grant two-year exemptions from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations if it finds “such exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved absent such an exemption.” The agency will evaluate the qualifications of each driver requesting the exemption, including their disease management and current health status.

In the past, effective management of diabetes mellitus was a significant challenge for over-the-road truck drivers, because insulin had to be refrigerated, and limited cooking ability in the cab made it difficult for drivers to control their diets. Now, however, many types of insulin are available in portable packaging that does not have to be refrigerated. Drivers also have access to more options for cooking their own meals, including in-cab appliances.

These requests come just weeks after the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance called on FMCSA to cut back on the number of regulatory exemptions it grants.

FMCSA is accepting public comments on the requests through March 31. To submit a comment online, visit www.regulations.gov and enter docket number FMCSA-2015-0342.