FRANKLIN – New federal regulations are threatening the jobs of truck and bus drivers. The Transportation Department guidelines is rolling out more strenuous requirements for Commercial Drivers License medical exams.
“From testing for sleep disorders, sleep apnea, blood pressure, diabetics, weight, BMI… It’s not just going to be going and getting a ‘bless me’ physical. It’s going to be going and meeting certain health requirements before they’ll pass you. This law has been on the books since 1999, but has not been enforced. But coming May 21st of this year, it will be enforced,” says Dr. Patrick Lashbrook of Medicine Made Simple in Franklin. Lashbrook’s staff will be certified to do the new exams.
The federal government is also expanding the types of vehicles that will require a Commercial License.
“This is anything over 10,000 pounds. Anything over 10,000 pounds has to have a CDL with a DOT examination physical,” says Lashbrook.
In addition to the weight requirement, commercial licenses will now be required for anyone with a vehicle designed to transport more than 8 passengers, or is carrying hazardous material.