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TTD Supports Proposal to Streamline Certification Process for Drivers with Diabetes

By Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO

For far too long, drivers with well-controlled diabetes have been prohibited from operating commercial motor vehicles without first maneuvering through a complicated certification process to prove they are healthy enough to drive. TTD supports a commonsense proposal by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that would end this discriminatory practice.

While the presence of diabetes is widespread — more than 29 million Americans live with the disease — the majority of those lead healthy and productive lives while successfully managing their condition.

The FMCSA recognizes this, citing research showing that individuals with diabetes can safely operate motor vehicles. As a result, the agency proposes streamlining the process so that bus and truck drivers with diabetes have easier access to employment. The agency’s proposal includes provisions to ensure that safety remains a top priority for these drivers and all motorists.

We filed comments yesterday supporting the FMCSA’s proposal to simplify the certification process for these individuals. The agency’s proposal just makes sense. It creates a direct route to certification, reducing the time and costs these drivers spend on the current federal process. In addition, this proposal could have a broader impact on countless other drivers if states that maintain similar requirements follow the FMCSA’s lead and make commonsense changes to comparable rules.

The FMCSA is doing the right thing by proposing sensible new rules that reflect the progress that drivers living with well-controlled diabetes are making. This proposed rule should be implemented quickly — federal policy should eliminate unnecessary barriers that make it difficult for diabetics to pursue driving careers.

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