An updated rule regarding the allowance of diabetics to get behind the wheel eliminates a typical two-or-three month delay for drivers with diabetes to request an exemption from the FMCSA after being automatically disqualified for having the condition.
In a statement supporting the new rule, the American Diabetes Association said, “The old rule contained a blanket exclusion against insulin use regardless of how well a person managed his or her diabetes. In 2003, FMCSA began granting exemptions to individuals who could satisfy criteria and wait out a long and cumbersome application process.”
Under the old regulations, diabetic drivers were not allowed to drive while waiting for exemption resulting in a loss of income that could last up to 6-months.
Dropping the exemption process under the new rule essentially moves the decision-making process from the FMCSA to the driver’s medical examiner, who determines whether or not the individual has his or her diabetes under control.
“It was not something that we asked to do; it was something FMCSA wanted us to do,” said Brian Morris, a Doctor and FMCSA Medical Review Board member. “We put a lot of work into this, and in my opinion, we didn’t really have a level of comfort doing it. What it does, in essence, is shift the responsibility and liability on diabetics who use insulin from the FMCSA to the certified medical examiner.”
On the other-hand, FMCSA Administrator, Raymond Martinez said in a statement, “This final action delivers economic savings to affected drivers and our agency and streamlines processes by eliminating unnecessary regulatory burdens and redundancy.”