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Transportation labour urges fair treatment for diabetic drivers

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In response to a DOT request for public comment, Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportatio...

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In response to a DOT request for public comment, Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, recently issued a statement regarding the medical qualification standards that would allow diabetic drivers to operate motor vehicles in interstate commerce.

“Qualified drivers who treat their diabetes with insulin deserve the opportunity to operate commercial motor vehicles,” Wytkind said in the statement. “It is unfair to discriminate against diabetic drivers by placing unwarranted and unjust obstacles in the way of many qualified drivers when diabetes is such a treatable disease. Thankfully, Congress eliminated the requirement that individuals with diabetes have three years experience operating a commercial motor vehicle while using insulin in last year’s surface transportation reauthorization bill. We now call on the DOT to implement this change and to certify qualified diabetic drivers as quickly as possible.”

Wytkind said individual drivers with treatable diabetes should be examined by a qualified physician with specific knowledge of diabetes who can offer a clear assessment of their ability to hold a commercial driver’s license. Drivers certified to safely operate a motor vehicle should receive a license and perform without restriction, he said.

“Overall the health and safety standards applied to commercial diabetic drivers must not be more stringent than those applied to other drivers unless such standards are required to ensure safety,” Wytkind said.

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