Feds greenlight exemption for truckers with diabetes

Certain truck drivers who suffer from diabetes will be allowed to operate commercial motor vehicles in spite of their health conditions, federal regulators said Tuesday.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is exempting dozens of truck drivers who use insulin to treat their diabetes from rules that would otherwise prohibit them from operating a truck.

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"FMCSA evaluated the eligibility of the drivers and determined that granting the exemptions to these individuals would achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved by complying with the current regulation," the agency wrote in the Federal Register.

The rules are intended to prevent truck drivers from endangering other drivers on the road. Federal regulators have begun cracking down on truckers who violate these and other safety regulations, particularly in the wake of the crash that nearly killed comedian Tracy Morgan.

The FMCSA said Tuesday that these 72 drivers who use insulin to treat their diabetes have it reasonably under control and do not pose any additional danger to other drivers on the road. They will receive a two-year exemption from the rules.

The FMCSA is not exempting all drivers who use insulin from the rules, however — only those that it believes do not pose a risk on the roads. 

Furthermore, truck drivers that no longer need insulin to treat their diabetes are also exempt from the rules.