National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners is live
And has promising results for improved medical testing for truck drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently completed its National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. This is a long-awaited change that has (literally) been years in the making.
The new registry was required under the MAP-21 legislation, which we’ve frequently discussed on our legal blog. The registry sets baseline training requirements and standardizes testing for medical professionals who perform physicals on commercial truck and bus drivers. It also provides a centralized database for tracking a trucker’s medical certificates.
So far, the registry has been a success. Today, approximately 22,000 medical professionals have completed the coursework and testing and are part of the National Registry. On top of these medical professionals, another 27,000 have started the certification process. Under the current state of affairs, any current medical certificates held by truck or bus drivers will continue to be valid until the expiration date that’s shown on that particular card. However, upon expiration, a new medical issued by a certified professional will be required.
All interstate commercial truck and bus drivers must pass a US DOT medical examination at least every other year in order to obtain a valid medical clearance, and of course to maintain their CDL. To do otherwise is violation of federal law.
As a long-time truck industry safety advocate and a truck accident lawyer who has seen horrific crashes caused by medically unfit truck drivers, I feel like this is a safety milestone. This registry and the accompanying centralized database will put a stop to greedy medical examiners who issue bogus physicals just to get business, and more importantly, to help track truck drivers who should not be behind the wheel due to medical issues.
This is a great time to be a trucking safety advocate. Of course, the ultimate measure of how effective this initiative is will be a decrease in the number of serious truck accidents. Only time will reveal how much of an impact this registry will have.
For more information, see the National Registry.