U.S. Officials Drop Plans For Screening Truckers, Train Engineers For Sleep Apnea

Aug 8, 2017

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Safety experts are saying the decision by U.S. officials to abandon plans to require sleep apnea screening for truck drivers and train engineers puts millions of lives at risk.

As The Denver Post reports, the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said late last week that they are no longer pursuing the regulation that would require testing for the fatigue-inducing disorder that’s been blamed for deadly rail and highway crashes, saying it should be up to railroads and trucking companies to decide whether to test employees.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was disappointed the agencies decided to scrap the “much-needed rulemaking.”

Sleep apnea can cause sufferers to be robbed of restful sleep, leading to drowsiness during the daytime.

In order for trucking companies or railroads to be cited if a truck or train crashed because the operator fell asleep at the wheel, a regulation that mandated testing – which would have needed Congressional approval – would have to be in place.