For Immediate Release
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Don’t Bar Medically Qualified Individuals from Becoming Commercial Drivers
WASHINGTON, DC —In response to a Department of Transportation request for public comment, Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), today sent a letter and issued the following 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 in interstate commerce. 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.
“Federal motor carrier safety regulations should reflect the advancement of medical treatment for drivers with diabetes. 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.
“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.
“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. “
Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), a Washington, D.C.-based labor organization, represents several million transportation workers in the private and public sector. The 31 member unions of TTD work in aviation, bus, mass transit, rail, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. TTD works with Congress and the Executive Branch including the transportation related Federal Agencies to protect good jobs, increase wages, defend workers’ rights, increase transportation safety plus security and ensure adequate funding for our nation’s transportation infrastructure. Under the umbrella of the AFL-CIO, which represents more than 9 million workers in the United States, TTD handles policy and legislative issues related to transportation. Visit www.ttd.org for more information.
Transportation Labor Urges Fair Treatment for Diabetic Drivers