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Feds mandate medical tests must be done by trained physicians

It is likely that many people in Albany assume that the truck or bus drivers who are medically cleared to work have been done so by physicians who are aware of the medical conditions that generally plague commercial drivers. At the very least, New Yorkers may think, the physicians will at least know what illnesses or conditions to look out for that could cause a serious trucking accident. Sadly, there are currently no requirements that commercial drivers even see a physician to get a medical clearance; chiropractors are even allowed to determine if a driver is healthy enough to drive a truck or bus.

Sometimes this can lead to an accident caused by a medical condition the driver had no idea that he or she had. More often than not, however, it could lead to drivers shopping around for doctors or chiropractors who are willing to sign off on a medical release despite the driver not being fit to drive safely.

Fortunately, the Department of Transportation has revealed a new set of regulations that will go into effect in May 2014 that mandates the only physicians to be able to clear someone with a commercial license are those who have gone through a training. If a doctor wants to evaluate drivers, he or she must attend a one-day training and pass a certification exam. The training will focus on those medical conditions that could cause a serious trucking accident.

It is very important that federal safety regulations are followed, as they are designed to help keep Albany motorists safe. Ultimately, however, it comes down to truckers driving safely, cautiously and responsibly around all other motorists on the road. When they don't, they risk everyone's lives and safety.

Source: Red Wing Republican Eagle, "New regulations will require bus, truck drivers to get certified exams," Sarah Gorvin, Nov. 16, 2012

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