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Proposed New Regulations Draw Criticism

A federal agency wants to pass more safety rules that apply to truck drivers in Visalia and Porterville, but there are significant cost-benefit questions.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is on a campaign against sleep apnea. Proposed rules would basically require truckers who exceed a certain BMI and neck size to be tested for the condition, even if they have no symptoms. Advocates for owner-operators claim that the system is “guilty until proven innocent” and that the procedure is unfair, because truckers must miss work to be evaluated. Furthermore, if the test comes back negative, the insurance company may claim the procedure was not medically necessary and deny coverage, so the owner-operator will be stuck with the bill.

Advocates also point to a 2004 FMSCA study that found no correlation between sleep apnea and large truck crashes.

Commercial Drivers’ License Rules

CDL holders must comply with a variety of laws to stay on the road, and because large truck crashes can cause such catastrophic damage, the DMV is quick to suspend CDLs. Because points accumulate 50 percent more quickly for commercial drivers, NOTS suspension is always a threat.

The FMCSA also has the authority to take action against drivers, up to and including suspension, based on things like:

  • Alcohol or substance abuse,
  • Excessive traffic tickets,
  • HOS (hours of service) noncompliance,
  • Crash data, and
  • Inspection data.

The FMCSA normally uses law enforcement data to compile its reports, so the information may be inaccurate. For example, a fix-it ticket that is timely resolved may still show up as an adverse event.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive attorneys at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-349-9300 or email attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.