Subject: [IP] Re: Letter from the FMCSA
B FMCSA to issue diabetes exemptions
By Jill Dunn
Beginning Sept. 22, some insulin-dependent diabetic truck and bus drivers may
apply for an exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrationbs
The agency said that it will issue exemptions for commercial driver's license
holders engaged in interstate commerce, but it has not amended its diabetes
The maximum exemption period is two years and can be renewed.
bFMCSA believes that thorough screening of exemption applicants and periodic
monitoring of their safety performance is the most practical way to ensure
safety on the nation's highways,b said FMCSA Administrator Annette Sandberg.
U.S. law dictates that an exemption may be given only if it is likely to
result in a safety level equal to or greater than what would be achieved minus
The diabetes exemption docket will remain open for new information and data
on alternatives to the specific exemption conditions just announced. The agency
will continue program evaluation while it collects information about
insulin-treated diabetic drivers. The agency may change the program based on
The FMCSA must publish a notice in the Federal Register before issuing an
exemption. The notice will identify who will receive the exemption and the
provisions from which they will be exempt, the exemption period and the
terms and conditions. It also will consider comments received in making a
final decision, which also will be published in the Federal Register. Denied
exemption requests and the reasons for rejection also will appear in the
An exemption can be revoked immediately if the person fails to comply with
the exemptionbs terms and conditions, or if the exemption results in a lower
The exemption process consists of a screening component to identify qualified
applicants, followed by providing guidelines for diabetes management when
operating a commercial vehicle. The third component details how the agency will
monitor these drivers.
The agency issues its final decision on exemptions within 180 days of
receiving an application.
The FMCSA established the exemption process after reviewing research on the
effects of insulin-treated diabetes on driver performance and from the U.S.
Department of Transportation and state exemption programs. It also received
substantial medical input from endocrinologists.
To apply for an exemption, send a request and documentation to: FMCSA
Diabetes Exemption Program, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20590.
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