On Tuesday, President Obama signed H.R. 3095, which requires the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to conduct a formal rulemaking proceeding before imposing any new requirement for screening, testing or treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and other sleep disorders on commercial motor vehicle drivers.
This fall National School Transportation Association (NSTA) worked closely with industry partners to organize bipartisan support in Congress and urged its members to contact their representatives in a show of support.
NSTA has been among the critics of potential regulation because of the burden it could place on private commercial carriers, such as having to disqualify commercial drivers diagnosed with OSA. In addition, NSTA has expressed concern over the possibility of private bus companies being required to test their drivers and pay for those tests as well as resulting treatment.
"Any new mandate that would impose over $100 million in costs on the industry should occur only after careful analysis of costs and benefits that the rulemaking process requires, to ensure that it would result in improved safety for our nation’s schoolchildren," said NSTA Executive Director Ronna Weber earlier this fall. "This bill simply ensures that a regulatory proposal of this magnitude is considered.”
Shortly after the bill was signed into law, the school bus contractors association thanked its members for their efforts.
“Our success in reaching passage on this bill is due to our membership. Without your relationships and outreach to Congress, which allows offices to hear firsthand how this could impact your operations, NSTA would not have been able to swiftly achieve this legislative victory in the shadow of such unrest on Capitol Hill,” NSTA stated. “NSTA looks forward to working with FMCSA as this moves forward.”
NSTA previously expressed gratitude to its industry partners as well, including the American Trucking Association, American Bus Association, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, United Motorcoach Association and International Brotherhood of Teamsters.