OOIDA files petition for review over sleep apnea appendix

by Truck West

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. – A petition for review has been filed challenging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) final rule on medical examiner’s certification integration, claiming the rulemaking process was bypassed by adding an appendix on sleep apnea.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) submitted the petition with the US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in St. Louis, saying the appendix on sleep apnea, which instructs examiners to consider whether a truck driver has obstructive sleep apnea, was not included in the proposed rulemaking. The OOIDA said by law the FMCSA is supposed to conduct a formal rulemaking prior to requiring sleep apnea testing for commercial truck drivers.

The OOIDA contends that the final rule by the FMCSA, which was made in April 2015, added the sleep apnea appendix, which was not included in the proposal.

The appendix states: “If the medical examiner detects a respiratory dysfunction that in any way is likely to interfere with the driver’s ability to safely control and drive a commercial motor vehicle, the driver must be referred to a specialist for further evaluation and therapy.”

“These practices pull safe drivers off the road for protracted periods of time and force them to spend thousands of dollars on unwarranted tests and expensive exams,” OOIDA wrote. “In worst-case situations, safe driving careers are ended and small businesses are forced to close. OOIDA members have experienced these consequences firsthand on too many occasions.”

The OOIDA plans to file full argument on the matter by Dec. 19.

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