within their home state, the goods or people being transported are usually beginning or continuing an interstate movement. Thus, even operations solely within one state almost always constitute interstate commerce and trigger the FMCSRs. Finally, were the states to follow the leadership of the federal government and adopt the federal standard with its three-year requirement, there would be no way for individuals to obtain the required commercial driving experience in a legal manner. This is a very real and critical problem, which will render the federal protocol illusory relief. The bottom line is that most people who use insulin – and who would indeed be safe commercial drivers – will never be able to meet the three-year requirement.
The Association has heard from hundreds of individuals and families affected by the blanket ban. Sadly, most of these people would not be eligible for the proposed exemption program. Consider these examples:
A truck driver with an impeccable safety record and who has lived with diabetes for many years is forced to relinquish his or her commercial driver’s license upon commencing insulin therapy.
This is often someone who has supported his or her family through truck driving for many years, and does not have other employment options. Such drivers immediately lose their livelihood and can never even hope to re-enter their profession unless they find a way to lawfully drive a commercial vehicle in intrastate commerce for three years under a state waiver program. Literally, the Nation’s most highly decorated truck driver with thirty years experience and over 2 million accident free miles could be fired from his or her job. This result does not change even if that highly decorated driver demonstrates control of his or her disease and meets the medical standards set forth by the FMCSA’s medical panel. Such a result is patently unfair.
Sadly, we are aware of many people with type 2 diabetes who, when forced to make this Hobson’s choice, ignore the advice of their doctors and put their long range health at great risk by refusing to go on insulin therapy. This dynamic decreases rather than increases highway safety.
A truck driver who is newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is forced to immediately terminate his or her employment. Again, this would be true no matter how much experience that person has as a commercial driver.
A person who has had well-controlled insulin-treated diabetes for many years and who wants to pursue a position in interstate trucking would likely never be eligible for a commercial driver’s license
This would be true even if that person had been able to perform other physically demanding jobs without experiencing any problems. Thus, someone who has