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ATA asks FMCSA to delay medical examiner deadline for 6 months

In a letter to FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro May 8 ATA President and CEO Bill Graves asked for a “reasonable delay” of the NRCME, noting that ATA has been working closely with FMCSA staff to identify regions of the country that may lack sufficient coverage to identify drivers who live there. Graves went on to say that there are “wide swaths of rural areas either without available medical examiners or which are severely underserved.”

The Trucker News Services

5/19/2014

The American Trucking Associations has thrown its hat in the ring asking the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to extend the deadline on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) for six months until more examiners have been certified.

ATA’s plea for the delay comes not quite two months after the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) asked the agency to extend the registration deadline because of a shortage of examiners accepted into the Registry.

In a letter to FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro May 8 ATA President and CEO Bill Graves asked for a “reasonable delay” of the NRCME, noting that ATA has been working closely with FMCSA staff to identify regions of the country that may lack sufficient coverage to identify drivers who live there. Graves went on to say that there are “wide swaths of rural areas either without available medical examiners or which are severely underserved.”

He wrote that less than 15,000 medical examiners have joined the registry with the May 21 deadline looming, adding that by FMCSA’s own admission between 20,000 and 23,000 medical examiners will be necessary to meet demand this year alone.

“It is clear that the NRCME will not be sufficiently populated by May 21,” Graves wrote, “to be confident that all CDL holders will be reasonably able to receive medical certification.”

“To this end, ATA requests a six-month delay” to allow for more examiners to be certified, he concluded.

OOIDA in early April filed a petition asking an extension of the deadline and suggested that in the interim, drivers be permitted to obtain medical certification from persons either certified under the new rules or qualified under the current rules.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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