Highway Safety: Selected Cases of Commercial Drivers with Potentially Disqualifying Impairments, Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 363KB]

From the Highlights: "Commercial vehicles such as tractor trailers and school buses must be operated by skilled drivers who are mentally and physically capable of performing their jobs safely. Prior GAO [Government Accountability Office] work has shown weaknesses in DOT's [Department of Transportation] oversight of CDLs [commercial driver's license holders], such as inadequate medical certifications for commercial drivers, potentially putting the public at risk. GAO was asked to update its work on impaired commercial drivers. This report describes (1) key controls designed to prevent medically unfit or impaired commercial drivers from operating commercial vehicles and (2) examples of commercial drivers with potentially disqualifying impairments related to epilepsy, drugs, or alcohol. To identify key controls, GAO reviewed FMCSA [Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration] policies and regulations, and interviewed officials. Cases were identified on the basis of FMCSA roadside-inspection data, DOT's Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS), a national database of all commercial drivers, and SSA (Social Security Administration) disability insurance files. From this analysis, GAO identified commercial drivers who were driving with an epilepsy diagnosis. GAO also randomly selected 100 individuals to determine whether the driver was receiving SSA disability benefits when the state issued or renewed the driver's CDL. These cases cannot be generalized beyond those presented. GAO provided a draft of this report to SSA and DOT. SSA did not have any comments. DOT provided technical comments, which have been addressed in the report, as appropriate."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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