The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSA is proposing to ease its standards for granting exemptions to driver vision requirements. In a December Federal Register notice the agency announced it is seeking comments on a plan to shorten the amount of experience required for a driver to obtain an exemption.
Recent findings from a University of Kentucky College of Public Health study indicate that the lack of a safety restraint is the main factor in injury severity to truck drivers and passengers in commercial vehicle crashes – rather than the location of drivers and passengers within the cab.
Despite regulatory limits on the amount of time commercial drivers could operate without rest, accidents related to sleep deprivation continued. The Department of Transportation’s statistics indicate between 3,000 and 4,000 die each year in trucking and bus crashes in the United States. It also indicates 13% of these are caused by driver fatigue. In an attempt to address this problem, the Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) modified existing driver hours of service regulations to increase the amount of rest required. Passed on February 27, 2012, the restrictions took effect on July 1, 2013. The FMCSA indicated in a press release that it believes the new changes will only impact 15% of drivers, mostly those with the most extreme schedules.
Starting on December 3, 2012, PSI Services LLC (PSI) began offering on-line scheduling for the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners certification test. The first available date to sit for the exam will be December 17, 2012. PSI has 260 test centers located throughout the United States.
The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) is a list of medical professionals who are certified to give medical examinations to those seeking to become interstate truck drivers. In order to be listed, regulations require examiners to undergo training and testing to ensure they understand the restrictions and requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act. Medical professionals seeking to conduct these examinations as part of their practice should understand the specific regulations and their history.