Not carrying a medical card after a previous warning could result in CDL drivers being taken out-of-service, according to a new proposal being looked at by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).
The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires CDL drivers to carry a valid medical card, which the American Trucking Associations states, makes up the fourth most popular citation for drivers.
The validation process for driver medical cards, created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), is set for January 30, 2012 for state licensing departments, but as the CVSA notes, not all states will be ready by that time, and therefore, additional protection is sought after (http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=73702).
Hoping to cut back on the number of citations and promote safety on the road, the FMCSA proposed that a driver be taken out-of-service if they are caught without their medical card. The CVSA, however, decided that not having a medical card on hand did not pose an “imminent hazard” or increase the risk of an accident, and therefore, is looking at granting drivers two “strikes” instead of one before being placed out-of-service, truckinginfo.com notes.
The FMCSA is encouraging stricter penalties since many drivers that do not carry a certification do so not because they forgot it, but because they are not qualified to carry it, the article explains.
To obtain a medical card, a driver must pass a physical medical examination, which includes seven sections such as hearing, vision, height/weight, mental health, blood pressure, urinalysis, etc.
Medical conditions that pose as a driving risk, such as impaired vision, diabetes, or alcohol abuse, lead to disqualification.
Those that pass will be issued a medical card which is valid for up to two years, depending on if the driver has a current medical condition that needs to be monitored, such as high blood pressure. Learn more the DOT medical exam and CMV certification at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/medical/aboutdotexam.htm.
Using the Driver Information Resource database, inspectors can verify if the driver has a previous violation or not, but as the truckinginfo.com explains, a decision on the proposal will not be reached until the CVSA meets in the fall.
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Do you feel that drivers should be taken out-of-service if they fail to provide their medical card on two occasions?