DOT Agencies Extend Sleep Apnea Comment Period to July 8

The comment period had been set to end June 8 on the FMCSA and FRA notice requesting information about the evaluation of safety-sensitive personnel for moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea.

July 8 is the new deadline for comments about an Advance Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration published in March 2016 requesting certain information about the evaluation of safety-sensitive personnel for moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea. The comment period originally was set to end June 8.

On May 18, the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) asked for an extension to the comment period.

The rulemaking docket is available at; search for Docket FMCSA-2015-0419-0348. OOIDA cited the American Transportation Research Institute's Commercial Driver Survey on Sleep Apnea Issues. (ATRI released the results May 26, with drivers citing the cost and time away from work related to sleep apnea screening.) In its request, OOIDA said the survey will provide a comprehensive look at the impact of sleep apnea screening and treatment in the motor carrier industry that is beyond the information an individual motor carrier can provide, and OOIDA will use the survey data in order to present a better analysis of the information requested by the agencies.

The agencies held three listening sessions in May on their request in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles.

One comment is available in the online docket. From Sam Callender, DDS, of the Colorado Snoring and Sleep Apnea Center in Arvada, Colo., it advocates screening all transportation workers for obstructive sleep apnea during their annual DOT examinations, not just those who are suspected of moderate to severe sleep apnea.

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