Thursday, May 1, 2008

Maybe the FMCSA should sleep on it …

A recent decision by the FMCSA’s Medical Review Board that recommends all truckers above a certain body mass index be tested for sleep apnea has plenty of folks up in arms – and rightly so.

We’ve even heard from some truckers who think the new proposal would disqualify anyone above a certain weight.

That’s not the case. In fact, it’s far more insidious than that.

The proposal would require any truckers above that body mass to undergo testing for sleep apnea, a process that costs thousands of dollars. That makes it unaffordable to any trucker whose insurance doesn’t cover it, or who doesn’t have insurance.

Plus, for those few who actually do have apnea, this proposal would require CPAP use.

If you actually have apnea, that’s a good idea. However, some of the discussion I saw on this revolved around monitoring the use of that machine. And I have a real problem with Big Brother watching me while I sleep.

That being said, I agree with what one of our callers said. Government rarely thinks about the consequences when they look at one of these regulations – even though the law requires them to consider the costs to small business.

Truckers will get the chance to speak out on this. And when the time comes, we’ll make sure you know where, when and how you can make your voice heard.