WASHINGTON, D.C. – States will be required to keep medical certificate records on file electronically along with commercial drivers' licenses, according to a new rule from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
FMCSA on Dec. 1 issued a final rule that streamlines the process for combining CDL and medical records for commercial truck and bus drivers. When fully implemented by the states in three years, the new combined CDL will provide instant electronic access by state and federal enforcement officials. In addition, the rule requires states to take enforcement actions against CDL holders if they do not provide medical certification status information within the deadline.
"While we have made significant improvements in motor carrier safety, these actions will support and strengthen our continuing commitment to ensure that only medically qualified individuals are allowed to operate an interstate truck or bus. Safety is our paramount responsibility," FMCSA Administrator John H. Hill said.
FMCSA issued a proposal for a related rulemaking that would establish a National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners to ensure that physical qualification examinations of CDL holders are performed by qualified medical practitioners and are administered in a uniform and consistent manner. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking can be found at www.regulations.gov, docket number FMCSA-2008-0363. Public comments on the proposal should be submitted by January 30, 2009.
The final rule on Medical Certification Requirements as Part of the CDL is available for review at www.fmcsa.dot.gov.
Source: Traffic World