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April 19, 2012  |   Comments (6)   |   Post a comment

DOT tightens rules on medical examiners


WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new federal rule requires healthcare professionals who perform medical examinations for interstate truck and bus drivers to be trained, tested and certified on the specific physical qualifications that affect a driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle.

The final rule, which U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced on Wednesday, also creates a national online database of medical examiners who have completed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) certification process.

“Safety is our top priority and requires cooperation from everyone involved, including our medical examiners,” LaHood said. “This new rule will ensure that healthcare professionals conducting exams keep in mind all of the demands required to operate large trucks and passenger buses safely.”

Officials said that FMCSA developed the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners final rule as part of the agency’s commitment to enhancing the medical oversight of interstate drivers, and preventing commercial vehicle-related crashes, injuries and fatalities.

The rule addresses four National Transportation Safety Board recommendations on comprehensive training for medical examiners and tracking of driver medical certificates.

In about 30 days, FMCSA will post its uniform training and testing standards for medical examiners at Then, healthcare professionals, drivers, employers, law enforcement officers and the public can review the training standards and sign up to receive updates on the implementation of the rule.

By May 21, 2014, all certified medical examiners must be on the National Registry database, and drivers must obtain a medical examination from a certified examiner. Medical examiners who fail to maintain federal standards will be removed from the registry, officials said.

“Truck and bus drivers deserve highly trained medical examiners that think safety first,” FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro said. “By holding medical examiners accountable to high standards of practice, we raise the bar for safety and save lives through increased commercial driver and vehicle safety.”

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Well they have done it to us once more making it hard for me because of diabetes I cant drive no more but have driven for 25 years. Well I have applied for social security and have gotten it based on I cant drive anymore thanks OBAMA. For free check i would have rather worked. Morgan In Missouri.

Morgan    |    Jul 15, 2014 07:40 PM

Well once again the feds have guaranteed an unwanted consequence when schools can no longer hire bus drivers. The DOT walk around inspection creates each new driver to take the test several times at district or their expense. The new medical requirements are absolutely a joke. A first year law student would have a ball with the discrimination involved with these rules that discriminate against age and physical stature. Apparently this country wants to make sure that schools can no longer hire school bus drivers at all! If that's the case, I say, "Well Done!" I am a school superintendent who is also a bus driver. Thank goodness, I've kept my CDL updated and I can hardly wait until the next physical !!

Steve Lane    |    Mar 26, 2014 08:34 AM

There is going to be a lot of throwing the baby out with the bathwater with this new procedure.

Kathy    |    Mar 05, 2014 08:54 AM

with asthma, sleep apnea,(both controlled by meds and CPAP) and bmi just looks like my career as a school bus driver is over according to the new medical rules...will the multitude of us that are newly unemployed be able to file disability...for being unable to medically meet the new requirements that will prevent us from working. Will it be offered to us when the Federal government determines that we dont pass our dot exam?

irene    |    Nov 08, 2013 05:11 PM

Excellant!!!! We have required Dexteriorty testing every few years amd I believe if you have an injury or off for injury you should have to pass a dexterioty test to be allowed to drive again if you cant pass light duty should be considered, filing answering phones, typing etc... Family physicians should be educated before they release a driver to drive. Driving a vehicle is not all that is involved in being a professional driver. A Professional Driver is required to physicaly inspect the entire bus inside and out, bending, twisting, kneeling etc.. We check before every trip tires all exits seats are secure lights etc... we must be physically able to evacuate up to 60 students of a bus through emergency exits through any of the 8 emergency exists from side windows to top hatches front door or jumping of back door and assisting in lifting off. Being phusically capable is crucial and important to your career and children. Parents rely on us to keep their children safe and educated on vehicle safety. Report any physical problems before driving it is important to everyone.

GayLynn    |    Apr 22, 2012 08:22 AM

I would hope that they will take into consideration the fact that in an emergency, school bus drivers must evacuate students from the bus and some of the drivers have difficulty walking to the end of the bus (usually because they can't fit between the seats) or they can't catch their breath after climbing the 3-4 steps to get to their seat. They have a difficult time bending over or bending at the knees which is required to perform a proper pretrip of a school bus. Let's get physically qualified drivers in the seats to transport our kids.

goodnews    |    Apr 20, 2012 12:44 PM

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