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diabetes are not unjustly barred from a career operating commercial motor vehicles. The Association supports revision to Part 391 of the FMCSRs to provide for individual assessment consistent with efforts made to date, but without the constraints of the unduly cumbersome exemption program currently in place. As discussed below, amending this regulation will go a long way toward eliminating the outdated and discriminatory blanket ban currently encompassed in the FMCSRs. The Association, however, is very concerned about FMCSA’s decision to embark on an entirely new rule-making process. First, extensive effort

and research went into thorough, but it was also the first time. Through

developing the current exemption program. This process was incredibly time consuming – taking over seven years to complete this process a system for identifying which people with insulin-

treated

diabetes

can

safely

driver

commercial

vehicles

was

established.

The

exemption

process itself turned out to be too cumbersome to effectively provide for means of assessment and, therefore, the process should be changed.

a nondiscriminatory However, the basic

premise

that

people

with

insulin-treated

diabetes

can

be

safe

commercial

drivers

following

an individual assessment should not be questioned, and any new system should numerous advances in diabetes medicine and science made since the current blanket ban was adopted more than thirty-five years ago.

reflect the regulatory

In addition, given the length of the prior proceeding, and the anticipated length of the current rulemaking process, it is imperative that while any rule-making process proceeds, FMCSA continues to both process applications from individuals who are applying for an exemption from current regulations through the Diabetes Exemption Program, and make improvements in the current exemption program so that those who apply can be effectively considered for exemptions.

Requests for Information and Comments

FMCSA has identified for public comment thirteen areas for which it seeks input regarding possible amendment of its medical qualifications standards for drivers with insulin treated diabetes. The Association’s comments will address each area in turn:

  • (1)

    Currently, CMV drivers with ITDM must hold an exemption from the ITDM prohibition to operate in interstate commerce. What modifications to the ITDM prohibition in 49

    • C.

      F.R. 391.41 should FMCSA consider to enable such drivers to operate safely in interstate commerce without an exemption?

The Association does not believe that every person with insulin-treated diabetes should qualify for a commercial drivers license (CDL), and supports a process for determining medical eligibility on an individual basis. Such a process should meet both safety concerns and principles of fairness and individual assessment. The Association supports amending Part 391 of the FMCSRs to eliminate the prohibition against insulin-treated individuals, and removing the decision of who may operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) from an

exemption individuals

program to a system whereby

with

diabetes.

There

are

physicians numerous

determine problems

the medical qualification of with the current Diabetes

Exemption Program that necessitate removing exemption program, as well as many advantages to diabetes make these determinations.

the eligibility determination from an having physicians knowledgeable about

2

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